Jordan Quinn, a BlueWhale Demand Generation Advisor, discusses how marketers can enable sales with their demand generation strategies.
Why is it important for marketers to build sales enablement into their demand generation strategies?
Building sales enablement into your demand generation strategy will make it more effective. At BlueWhale we know that our demand generation programs “get you closer to the close,” and this is especially true where sales enablement is concerned. The more knowledge marketers can share about potential buyers with their inside sales team, the better conversations sales representatives can have. More engaging conversations translate directly into your inside sales team achieving their appointment or demo goals, which creates higher quality pipeline more likely to convert into closed-won opportunities.
How should marketers involve the inside sales team when creating their demand generation plan?
Marketing and sales leaders need to be aligned on the goals of their demand generation strategies. Is your strategy volume driven or quality focused? If you’re placing more value on a targeted approach to reach quality leads (which you should be), then how is that higher quality lead information being delivered to your inside sales team? Your inside sales team should know what to expect from the leads you’re generating so that they can develop a plan to reach prospects. If you arm your sales representatives with information such as a lead’s pain points or current install base, then they can leverage those down-funnel insights to overcome objections and emphasize your value proposition.
The inside sales team should also be involved throughout the implementation of your strategy. Include them in progress check-ins with your lead generation provider and make training a priority. In order to have buy-in to your demand generation plan, they need to be involved from the beginning and throughout the process.
What can marketers do to enable inside sales to have better conversations with prospects?
Lead generation is metric driven, and that’s especially true of your inside sales team’s role in the process. The more possible interactions with the right buyers, the better. Marketers should be paying attention to connection rates; is the lead going to answer the phone? This gives your inside sales representatives more opportunities to have meaningful conversations and hit their goals of setting qualified appointments.
Marketers also need to incorporate as much information as they can in lead files and enable your sales team to tailor their conversations accordingly. Your sales representatives are going to approach leads very differently based on their pain points, for instance. If they know a prospect is concerned about budget versus quality issues, they can personalize the conversation instead of going in blind.
How can marketers ensure the leads they send to the inside sales team enable conversions?
Work smarter when it comes to your targeting. Building out a solid mid-lower funnel demand generation program that more precisely reaches your audience will pay dividends. You want to reach people who will own the relationship with your solution (which is typically not the top-level decision maker). Think “wide and deep” about your target audience and look across the whole selection committee to get in front of influencers who are more likely to engage with your inside sales team. These influencers can help guide your inside sales team to the final decision makers once they understand the value of your solution.
Any final thoughts on how sales enablement can have an impact within demand generation?
Ultimately your inside sales representatives have one goal: to set meetings or demos. Marketers can enable the sales team to “win” their conversations with prospects by putting leads into sales’ hands at the right time. Don’t discount timing. Half the battle is being the first company in line when the time is right for your buyers.
Marketers can identify the right timing for buyers and speed up the sales cycle using lead scoring. Lead scoring helps uncover those leads who you should send to your inside sales team now, even if they haven’t passed through all of your nurture steps. If a lead would otherwise be considered top-of-funnel, but they’re within your ideal customer profile, are showing buying intent, and answer the phone, do you want to spend precious time nurturing them or give your sales team a (very good) shot at scheduling a meeting? You should be using every opportunity for sales enablement to strengthen your demand generation program at all stages.