Recently, the concept of sales enablement has gained popularity in the business community. Sales enablement is the ongoing process of using hiring practices, employee training, technology, and resources to maximize the effectiveness of salespeople. Basically, it means making sure the right salespeople have the right resources and are talking to the right customers at the right time to be effective.
There are a lot of variables that affect sales enablement, but inbound marketing is one of the most effective, and often overlooked, strategies for successful sales enablement.
For those who don’t know, inbound marketing is the strategy of attracting potential future customers before they are ready to make a buying decision. The aim is to have potential customers come to you, rather than you having to advertise to them. Usually this is done by creating compelling content that people will seek out. Since a loyal audience already knows your brand and has a positive relationship with it, it is easier to market products or services to those people.
But even those who are knowledgeable about inbound marketing often do not see its value in terms of sales enablement. As it turns out, inbound marketing and sales enablement are a match made in heaven.
Control the Conversation
Attracting potential customers before they are ready to buy (the essence of inbound marketing) sets your sales department up for success ahead of time (the cornerstone of sales enablement).
If your company is creating content that potential customers are viewing, you have the opportunity to emphasize the benefits of products or services like the ones you sell. That way, by the time your prospects are ready to make a decision, they are already influenced in favour of those products or services. And since the prospects are already familiar with, and have some level of trust with, your brand, then by the time they decide to purchase the product or service, they are more likely to choose yours.
Empower Your Marketing Department
Inbound marketing allows your marketing department to gather insights and take action at exactly the right moments. By analyzing the popularity of different topics, the behaviours of people moving through your site, and other metrics, you can find trends that will help you make informed decisions.
Say you review your website data and find that most people who use the contact form do so after viewing at least three pages of the site. You may decide to activate a pop-up chat feature only after visitors reach a third page. That way, the chat feature will not activate for arriving visitors, who will automatically ignore it, but only for people who are ready to engage in a discussion. By paying attention to your website data, you’re able to connect a salesperson to a qualified lead at the correct time.
Convenience Your Customers
Another way that inbound marketing complements sales enablement is by providing convenience for those who are ready to buy. Your visitors are seeking information to gain more knowledge and become more informed before they purchase. By offering them the information they seek, you’re helping them learn more and make more informed decisions.
That convenience means there are fewerbarriers to conversions, and more sales. You can even leverage your content to gain qualified leads. One common way of doing this is by offering additional downloadable content that requires an email entry. This strategy allows your sales department to compile lists of contact information for people who have demonstrated interest in your business.
Build Your Reputation
Finally, creating compelling content and distributing it online for audiences to find builds your brand’s reputation, and that helps your salespeople. People tend to be wary of companies they’ve never heard of before. Especially in the online world, people guard their financial information from any organization that could be a scam.
By having a well-known and trusted name behind them, salespeople are much more likely to be successful. Do your sales team a favour, and implement an inbound marketing strategy.
Posted By Author Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist
Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.