Demystifying Sales Enablement for Industrials

You don't have to be a salesperson to support the sales process. Here's how everyone can contribute.

The cliche about how “everyone in our company is in sales” is not accurate, but in many ways just about everyone in your industrial company can help with sales enablement.

Effective B2B sales enablement does more than align the marketing and sales teams. It ensures that a cohesive, persuasive message is presented to industrial buyers at the right times as they move through the funnel.

Success in this area comes from a strong foundation, a plan and a lot of nurturing. And it does take a team. Your IT, operations, and HR folks don’t typically interact with customers directly, but they have key insights to offer and can help develop processes to help the sales operation.

How to Enable Sales in Your Organization

In Episode 9 of the Industrial Marketer podcast, we discuss what industrial sales enablement is, what it isn’t, and how it works. Here are some of the ideas we explore.

What Sales Enablement Is

  • A systematic approach to sales
  • Sales and marketing alignment
  • Content that supports sales
  • Analytics for the sales process

What Sales Enablement Isn’t

  • Demand generation
  • Marketing
  • Sales operations
  • Making everyone a salesperson

The Core Elements of a Sales Enablement Program

There are three core elements to a sales enablement program. If you are embarking on a sales enablement initiative, just know it is a great opportunity for cross-departmental work that can align stakeholders around specific goals. It can help unify your teams.

Here’s how that process works:

1. Planning

This is stating the obvious, but you should understand what you want to accomplish. Everything rolls up into this. Don’t overlook the importance of training, even if it feels remedial. Plan for this at a minimum:

  • Goals and groundwork
  • Sales and marketing alignment
  • Rollout and training

2. Technology

This area should not be underestimated. The ability to source, score and track leads is crucial, and if you are not leveraging technology, you are starting at a disadvantage. Scoring and tracking leads is growing in importance as the industry relies more on digital leads as personal sales networks diminish for a wide variety of reasons. This is a good tech stack for starting off:

3. Content

As more of the research and buying journey moves online, content — and how to deliver that content — takes on a growing importance. Your content model should account for:

  • Industrial buyer journeys
  • Personas
  • Research process
  • When to deliver what messages
  • Sales content planning
  • Content auditing
  • What sales reps want for content
  • Sales access to content
  • Mobile access

Ultimately, sales enablement is about discipline and processes. The ability to know the value of leads by varying sources, and how they move through the funnel at different speeds, allows you to more effectively experiment with your tactics. You rely on data for insights into your production operation; your sales operation should be no different.

Just remember, industrial sales enablement is not about making everyone a salesperson. But it is about leveraging talents and aligning the organization around key sales goals.

Listen to the Podcast to Learn More About Industrial Sales Enablement

Listen to Episode 9 of the Industrial Marketer podcast for a more in-depth exploration of sales enablement for industrials, as well as a shortlist of 10 tools all industrial marketers can use to empower their sales teams.

Be Sure to Subscribe to the Industrial Marketer Podcast

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And if you have any ideas for topics you’d like us to cover on the podcast — or here on the Industrial Marketer website — send us a message on Facebook or Twitter and let us know!

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