Sales Enablement: Bring Marketing & Sales Closer Together
How familiar are you with sales enablement? As Pipedrive users, you’re certainly familiar with how much work goes into closing a deal. When your marketing team turns over a “hot lead,” you put hours of work into explaining your product, overcoming objections, staying in front of the prospect, building a polished proposal, and getting ink on paper (or a digital signature on a PandaDoc proposal!).
While winning new business is rewarding, losing a deal after putting hours into bringing it along can be crushing.
I’ve experienced this myself during my career, and it’s caused me to spend countless hours studying how sales teams can be more effective. That obsession with building more effective sales teams is what led me to co-found PandaDoc, and it’s a passion that fuels my personal mission to support sales enablement for our customers today.
Be a sales enabler
Sales enablement consists of processes, tools, and technologies to empower sales teams. It’s a culture and a mindset that align an organization’s processes with sales objectives. Without sales enablement, we’ve found that sales teams are less effective and produce diminished results, thus failing to reach their revenue goals. In my opinion, a lack of sales enablement is why so many companies suffer from high turnover in their sales departments.
To get sales enablement right, you have to look at the activities that keep your team from staying in front of prospects. Hunting leads, managing pipeline, building proposals and presentations, collaborating with other departments… Let’s examine how your company can use sales enablement to save time for your sales team.
Leverage marketing collateral
Your marketing department has a vast amount of knowledge and collateral they use to drive demand for the products and services you sell on a daily basis. From buyer personas to whitepapers, to targeted content, marketing departments have a broad set of content at their disposal. Sales enablement puts that knowledge and material to work for you, the sales expert, so that you can impress your prospects, beat your competitors, and close more deals in less time.
In practice, sales enablement gives you an arsenal of new tools to close business with and creates a closing culture in your company where everyone is focused on helping you bring new customers into the fold. When marketing puts their creative muscles and product knowledge to work for the sales team, the company grows faster. Giving sales teams easy access to the same collateral library that is used to build brand awareness and drive lead generation is a no-brainer. (And it works both ways — ask any content team and they’ll tell you that sales is a vital resource in understanding what content prospects want to read.)
Make contract negotiation easier
Sales reps often voice their frustration with the traditional contract negotiation process. Working with multiple stakeholders in your company and at the prospect’s company can be taxing, especially when numerous contract versions are viewed, revised, and sent via email. To make the process more efficient, work with your sales team to understand the most common contract objections that slow down your sales cycle.
Build a library of accepted revisions that your sales team can leverage when they are negotiating with their prospects. Certain content and brand elements should be locked from changes so sales reps would not have to worry about compliance. Having these accepted revisions at hand will allow your sales team to negotiate more effectively — helping them close deals faster.
Streamlining contract negotiation is a key function of the PandaDoc platform, which was also why our clients asked for an integration with Pipedrive. We’ve seen first-hand how much more effective sales teams can be when they’re able to move through the contract process in less time, like how Vaimo increased their productivity by over 25%.
Align your sales, marketing, and support software
When studying how sales teams function, I’ve discovered that sales reps in every industry suffer from lost time spent asking and answering questions with their co-workers in marketing and customer support. In some cases, this is to aid with content that serves as sales enablement, but in most cases, it is because the systems and tools each department uses are separate from one another. This prevents information from flowing freely as a prospect moves through your funnel from marketing to sales, and hopefully as a customer, on to support.
Sales enablement also means aligning your tools to the buyer journey, so vital information is easily accessible at all times. In PandaDoc’s case, that means a direct integration with more than 30 of today’s top CRM, and Support platforms. These integrations allow customer information, interactions, and files to flow seamlessly from one team to another, reducing the time your sales team spends gathering information from marketing at the beginning of the sales cycle and sharing information during the handoff from sales to support once deals are closed.
By creating a culture of sales enablement in your company, you can build better relationships in and between your sales and marketing teams and their respective funnels. This creates a streamlined, more consistent experience for your prospects, and has been shown to increase close rates for sales teams.
Learn more about sales enablement
Find out how Pipedrive and PandaDoc work together to support sales enablement for companies like yours — download our free webinar Master Activity-Based Sales, recorded on November 3rd, 2016. Pipedrive co-founder and CEO, Timo Rein, and I explain how activity-based sales can make you more effective at selling today, and how incorporating a culture and the tools of sales enablement can put your team head and shoulders above your competition.