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Major Sales Enablement Challenges Faced by Marketers

The sales and marketing relationship is a classic example of symbiosis: neither can exist without the other, and when they work together, both are better off. But sales-marketing alignment is no easy feat: it’s full of complicated processes that lack visibility and efficiency, leaving both teams to wonder who is responsible for what and if the benefits are even worth it. But enabling sales is undoubtedly worth marketers’ time and effort, and both teams will reap major benefits if it’s done right. Below are three of the most common challenges marketers face during the sales enablement process, and ways to overcome them.

1. Content Creation

It is marketing’s responsibility to ensure that all sales content is on-brand, on-message and contextually-relevant for sales in each selling situation. This is a tedious process that requires concerted quality and version control, responsibilities that marketing would be better off automating and replacing with more strategic initiatives.

What can you do about it?
You should approach your content creation strategy with “efficient personalization” in mind. Using slide-picking personalization for sales collateral allows for reps to build and customize their own collateral out of content that marketing has already created and approved. This controlled customization ensures that collateral is up-to-date and brand-consistent. If your content can also be automatically personalized by sales based on the context of their prospect interaction (prospect role, industry, title, stage in sales cycle, etc.), you will have little to worry about when it comes to version control and relevance, and sales can have a one-to-one interaction with every prospect.

2. Content Management

Sales content is frequently lost or saved incorrectly, and sales reps spend much more time searching for or creating their own content than they do showing it to prospective customers. Ideally, sales reps only need to refer to one location to access whatever content they need. But different departments may house content in different places, and it can be tough to track different versions or find out where certain materials are located. Many companies have trouble serving collateral at the right time as reps drown in a sea of disorganized content.

What can you do about it?
Marketers should understand how sales teams sell, what they focus on when selling, and what content is important to them at different stages in the sales cycle. In doing so, marketing knows where sales reps need content to be, whether that’s in the CRM, accessible within their email, or both. Understanding sales processes also helps marketing understand the best content to serve up to sales reps in different stages. By exposing only the right content at the right time during the sales cycle, sales doesn’t waste time manually searching for what they need and marketing can be sure that messaging is consistent and content is relevant for the customer.

3. Content Usage Assessment

Assessing content usage can be difficult for companies who have no visibility into how their content is being used. If your content repository doesn’t track which sales reps are accessing content, when, and how frequently, it’s impossible for marketing to know what’s resonating with customers. Further, sales reps typically don’t have any visibility into what content their prospects are opening and viewing, so they run into dead ends after initial outreach.

What can you do about it?
Marketers should employ content analytics that allow them to view usage breakdowns of every piece of content and segment by time period and sales rep. Further, sales reps should get notifications not only when their prospects open an email they send, but also when they view the content accompanying the email. This could go as far as reporting the time spent on each page, whether they share the content with others, and what device(s) they viewed it on. All of these analytics allow sales and especially marketing to understand what content is working and what isn’t, which helps improve future content creation strategies.

Sales enablement is typically regarded as a sales initiative, but marketing is absolutely staking a claim in sales enablement processes. At the end of the day, marketing’s goals are to drive more of the sales pipeline, quantify its contribution to the bottom line, and help generate revenue. Overcoming these major marketing challenges can help better align sales and marketing for greater collaboration and success.

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