January 2, 2017

Sales Enablement is the Answer to Your Lead Quality Problem

Written by
Chris Klinefelter

Joel Capperella, an expert sales and marketing consultant, was a recent guest on B2B Nation.

In this episode, we discussed:

  • The state of sales and marketing alignment today
  • Strategies to help improve this relationship
  • How sales and marketing alignment might evolve in the next five years

Below are some of the highlights from our conversation.*

Sales enablement has become a casualty of inbound marketing.

“I think there’s good news and bad news here. I’m a big believer in content marketing and inbound marketing, but the unfortunate symptom is that marketing has gotten really good at pumping up the demand generation metrics and using content to convert leads on the website. What’s happened along the way is that sales teams, especially a sales team that has less of a transactional process and more of an engagement process, is that they receive a greater quantity of leads but the quality of these leads suffers.

ALSO READ: Sales Enablement Isn’t a Buzzword. It’s Your Job. 

“When marketing passes leads to sales as qualified, sales teams still have work to do. I think while inbound and content marketing have been a great opportunity to be more efficient in how we connect and engage our audience, there’s been something lost in translation. That thing is sales enablement. The good news is that if you really approach it from the sales side first, demand will follow.”

Sales proves the story of marketing.

“If you’re a marketing professional today, then you have a lot to manage. What I always suggest is to first focus on that larger story that you want to tell. You should become aggressively prescriptive in your story, not just a ‘pain solution,’ which is what most companies are doing. You need to connect with a much more dramatic, larger story and tell it to your market. Now take that story and use it to enable your sales team to become more prescriptive.

“In order for this to really work, marketing and sales need to be partners. Sales has to be crystal clear on what the expectations are with clients. They have to understand and be open to listening to the bigger story so they can inject it into their sales calls and outreach strategies. Sales needs to prove the story that you’re telling.”

Sales and marketing tools are becoming more personal.

“I always like to see where technology is headed and where investments are being made. There are two big categories today: on the HR side of the equation, there’s a lot of venture money being invested in enterprise-level HR applications that are all about the people working at these companies. Before, it was all about the administrative work of managing the workforce — benefits, costs, and so on.

“The way the workforce is structured today, people want purpose, and we’re seeing a lot of money flow into applications that are more engaging. Slack is a great example of this. You’re also seeing a lot of investments on the CRM side. CRM’s are becoming a lot more personal to the salesperson. Where legacy CRM tools are all about process management, now you’re seeing sales tools that help you connect and engage. Going forward, it’s all about engagement. This is a good thing for sales and marketing. If you’re purpose-driven, then you are going to want a more intimate understanding of how you’re selling and connecting stories to the right audiences.”

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B2B Nation is a podcast for B2B sales and marketing professionals, featuring expert opinions and advice on the most important topics in the industry. Check out our other episodes on iTunes, or follow us on Twitter: @Technology_Adv.


*Some excerpts have been paraphrased to enhance readability.