Aligning Business and Sales Enablement Priorities (Survey)

June 15, 2017

It’s well established that aligning sales and marketing teams increases win rates, revenue growth and content ROI, while it reduces sales cycles, operational costs and time wasted on unproductive prospecting. Sales and marketing alignment isn’t a best practice anymore, but an obvious essential strategy.

However, does this awareness necessarily mean that organizations are doing it well? To answer this question, Showpad recently commissioned a survey of 50 sales and marketing professionals (director-level and above) across five industries: medical devices, building supplies, manufacturing, technology, and chemical.

The survey results reveal two valuable insights: there is strong connection between business priorities and sales enablement priorities, and that overcoming challenges is largely a matter of getting better at targeting the right people at the right time.

The Top Business Priorities:

  • Increasing top line revenue (51%)
  • Improving client loyalty (21%)
  • Launching new products (13%)

Top Sales Enablement Priorities:

  • Improving sales effectiveness (28%)
  • Creating a way to stand out and differentiate (17%)
  • Speeding up sales cycle and deal velocity (14%)

These data sets map to each other logically. Increasing top-line revenue is directly accomplished by improving sales effectiveness, while client loyalty escalates when organizations consistently differentiate their brand, and keep the relationship dynamic and energized long after a purchase.

As for the third priority on each list, the unifying factor is solutions. Successfully launching new products is essentially about solving client problems, and speeding up sales cycles happens when sales reps (supported by marketing teams) effectively identify, target and solve their prospects’ challenges. As such, organizations should make sure that product development, business development, and sales and marketing teams calibrate their independent and collective efforts around the fundamental question: “is this helping solve our clients’ problems?”

Let’s move onto the next interesting set of data in the results:
 

What are the Roadblocks to Achieving Top Business and Sales Priorities?

  • Hard to have targeted, personalized conversations (35%)
  • Hard to give clients the right information at the right time (20%)
  • Hard to share most relevant/recent product information (16%)

Shifting the focus to the key obstacles that prevent (or at least obstruct) organizations from achieving their top goals reveals, quite clearly, that the root cause isn’t a question of alignment or misalignment: it’s a matter of successfully deploying a sales enablement strategy.

The challenge of having targeted, personalized conversations with prospects can be meaningfully addressed by sales enablement tools that automatically provide sales reps with content recommendations based on deal size, deal stage, buyer persona, and other variables.

The challenge of providing prospects with the right information at the right time can be addressed by a solid sales enablement strategy that enables mobile presentations (so sales reps can engage prospects anywhere and anytime). And the roadblock of sharing the most relevant and recent product information is meaningfully addressed when marketing teams duly support their sales counterparts. They should publishing, organizing and controlling content on a centralized platform – and regularly interviewing sales to make sure their content is geared toward solving the most dire customer pain points.

We’ll be publishing more tidbits from this survey in the weeks ahead, so check in on the blog to learn more. In the meantime, please check out our essential guide “What is sales enablement?”