With conversational marketing, sales enablement is about organizing activities and content to increase buyer empowerment. More specifically, it’s about bridging the gap between non-customized content and customized content.
To accomplish this, marketing needs to do three things:
Map content around real-life buying pathways such as industry pains and client-driven milestones in the buying process
To deliver buyer-centric content, you need to mine your sales conversations for key insights about what the buyer wants and needs. Review call transcripts, but also spend the day with your sales team to get a first-hand understanding of what they’re up against.
Make content easy for sales to find and access through smart cataloging and tagging
Unless sales can reference your content quickly and easily, they won’t use it. Conversations happen quickly. Sales needs to be able to grab the exact right piece of content and insert it into the flow of the conversation in real-time.
Provide sales with training using a detailed sales playbook
Your sales team needs quality content just as much as your buyers do. It used to be enough to provide sales with some strong content assets, but now you need to make sure that the sales team knows exactly how, when, and why to use those assets within the context of a conversation. A comprehensive playbook will provide them with all the info they need to successfully respond to inquiries and address objectives.
The Sales Playbook — Your guide to understanding the buyer
Sales training and enablement are where the rubber really meets the road. After all, you may have the best customer content in the world, but that only matters if your sales team uses it effectively.
The sales playbook provides your sales team with everything they need to know about buyer needs, struggles, and behaviors. It covers use cases, the structure of buying committees (and the individual roles within those committees), typical objections (and how to address them), and more.
All this information helps the sales team understand specific scenarios, anticipate questions, and overcome a buyer’s hesitation. A playbook also helps sales align content based on various signals that help narrow down what will be most relevant. These signals range from broad (firmographics that tell you whether you should share enterprise or mid-market content, for instance) to much more refined details – use cases, buying stage, specific objections, etc. – that provide additional hints about which pieces of content each buyer needs.
A strong playbook gives sales the ability to be proactive, prepared, and incredibly responsive. Here are a few things that go into a successful playbook:
- Definitions of key milestones and benchmarks that communicate intent and interest
- Market and competitive analysis including both intel on other companies and success stories about your own clients
- Personas and pain points that help salespeople step into the buyer’s shoes and empathize with their situation
- An understanding of all the players involved in decision making so that you can avoid the mistake of focusing on a single point of contact instead of everyone within a buying committee
- A clear and compelling value framework that enables outcome selling that demonstrates benefits framed specifically in terms the individual buyer will appreciate
- Objection handling strategies that go far beyond a typical script to include tailored content and data-backed customer profiles to help them turn the conversation around
Alignment isn’t just about building a bridge, it’s about convergence.
While sales enablement is certainly about narrowing the gap between sales and marketing, conversational marketing takes things a step further by encouraging the actual convergence of these two teams.
Building a single, cohesive conversation around the buyer means that traditional sales and marketing territories are overlapping more and more. Sales is brought into the mix earlier and marketing stays on longer. There are more points of contact between the two teams, and more practical collaboration. Sales insights truly inform marketing activities, and marketing assets are utilized more consistently and appropriately by sales.
It’s almost as if everyone – regardless of title – is coming together for a common, unified cause.