Sales enablement is a term being utilized more and more these days, but what exactly is it?
Forrester defines sales enablement as:
- A strategic, ongoing process that…
- Equips all client-facing employees…
- With the ability to consistently and systematically have a valuable conversation with…
- The right set of customer stakeholders at each stage of the customer’s problem-solving lifecycle…
- To optimize the return of investment of the selling system.
More directly, sales enablement comprises the processes, practices, technologies and tools that improve the performance and productivity of the sales organization. But it not only benefits Sales; it also allows Marketing to create, distribute, and analyze content that is the most effective for reps and meaningful to their prospects and customers in a time-sensitive, compliant manner.
Though the healthcare industry is typically behind the curve relative to technological advancements (some life sciences companies are just now implementing a CRM), that doesn’t mean that sales enablement is something medical device marketers shouldn’t explore.
To help you navigate, here are 4 major signs you’re ready for sales enablement:
You feel disconnected from Sales
The good ‘ol love/hate relationship between Marketing and Sales—while nothing new, the lack of alignment is still happening to this day—and some would say it’s worse now due to the way these two groups have evolved over the years.
Today, Marketing is expected to have an impact at every stage of the buyer’s journey, from first touch to close. It’s not just about creating brand awareness anymore. This is why your marketing efforts should be interwoven with Sales—treating your sales reps as key opinion leaders (KOLs) to best gauge what’s happening in your market. After all, they understand your customers inside and out, and since content is crucial to lead generation programs, it inevitably contributes to Sales’ success.
While your marketing team may not have a shortage of content, the lack of accessibility, relevance, and context of that content is still letting Sales down in a big way. Without input from Sales, you’re creating your content blind, unsure if it’s really resonating with customers. On the other hand, you may be creating amazing content that is really resonating with your customers, but if Sales doesn’t know that it exists, who cares how amazing it is?
If 60 to 70 percent of content created by Marketing is going unused by Sales, you have to ask why this is happening. With a goal of bridging the communication gap between Sales and Marketing, sales enablement is a means to get everyone on the same page in the most efficient way possible.
You have trouble keeping documents up-to-date and compliant in a timely manner
As a medical device marketer, you face a unique set of challenges in large part due to the highly-regulated environment in which you operate. With regulatory changes occurring frequently, there’s always the looming fear that a piece of content with noncompliant information may surface during a sales interaction. This situation usually occurs because the sales rep doesn’t have access to the right piece of content or Marketing isn’t able to easily retire past versions.
By enabling medical device marketers with the ability to store, organize, and distribute collateral from one central repository, they are given the gift of a single source of truth. Sales enablement allows them to have ultimate version control to ensure that Sales always has the most up-to-date, compliant collateral possible.
This workflow will also lessen the fear of having outdated collateral appear in various places, including your sales reps’ desktops. This allows you to update collateral in one fell swoop, rather than chasing down previous versions hiding in different public folders, ultimately saving you time, and your sanity.
You wish you had insight into which content is being used and which content is working
If your marketing efforts aren’t measured, how do you know the content and leads you’re providing Sales are useful? How do you know your outreach campaigns are working?
Typically, once a lead is handed off to Sales, Marketing is left in the dark, having no idea how a piece performed or if it eventually led to a sale. Sales enablement provides Marketing with access to data they can’t collect through their CRM alone.
Most medical device marketers typically utilize the following KPIs to measure their efforts:
- Form submissions
- Calls-to-action (CTAs) or another specific link click
- Email opens
- Page visits
- Click-through-rate (CTR) or bounce rates
What’s missing though, are analytics that measure the level of engagement a sales rep or prospect has with a particular piece of content.
With a sales enablement tool, medical device marketers can uncover the following insights:
- Which content is being utilized by their sales reps, and how often
- How prospects engage with specific content, including how long they spend engaging with it, down to a page-by-page level
- What the buyer’s persona, lead status, and journey stage are since engaging with the content
Providing these in-depth, detailed analytics on exactly how prospects engage with specific content will inevitably lead to smarter lead scoring, a more relevant content strategy, happier sales reps, and more deals won.
You’re not sure how to quantify Marketing’s contribution to revenue
As mentioned previously, for Marketing to truly prove its value, it must provide complete and comprehensive support for Sales throughout the buyer’s journey.
But what about Marketing’s contribution to revenue? The sales cycle had to start somewhere, right?
Attributing a lead and eventual sale to a specific piece of content via a CRM or marketing automation platform is challenging. As outlined above, the engagement analytics within a sales enablement solution are key to quantifying Marketing’s contribution to revenue.
Since Marketing is often viewed as a “cost driver” within medical device organizations, simply showing the percentage of marketing qualified leads (MQLs) to won deals won’t suffice. You want to be able to prove that each piece of content you’ve spent precious time on has, or has not, eventually translated to a sale.
Understanding the entire journey—every click, every conversation, every touch point—from which your lead becomes a customer should be viewed as the holy grail of Sales and Marketing alignment. Sales enablement not only empowers Marketing to justify its efforts, but also encourages this extra layer of engagement to be viewed as the cherry on top of the sales organization sundae.