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Marketing Enablement: The Other Half of Sales Enablement

Today’s buyers come into the sales cycle more self-informed than ever before. If they’re properly informed by engaging with our content online before engaging with a salesperson, that’s a success we can attribute to marketing enablement.

“Self-informed” is an empowering idea, but it isn’t the reality. Buyers are expected to be self-informed by their organizations, and as marketers we need to support that expectation. We create content that educates end users and organizations about the problems, solutions, and the relationships they can expect once they connect their problems to our solutions. Our content gets prospects to self-identify and engage with us at planned intervals to advance the relationship. By engaging the customer in social media, webinars, and other forms of dialogue, our content pinpoints the problems, needs, and motivations of personas or customer segments.

If we’re effective, our prospect isn’t just ready for the handoff to sales.

He feels he has performed due diligence entirely of his own volition

– and that’s today’s definition of a strong prospect.

The importance of marketing extends beyond the handoff, and continues to enable sales through the customer’s buying and life cycles. Though the roles of marketing are equally important to the roles of sales in sales enablement, businesses do less to train marketers than sales representatives in sales enablement.

On-boarding for most companies today isn’t much different than it was ten years ago. Most marketers are still trained to work with portals, using document naming and archiving conventions that are not aligned with the content delivery capabilities of sales enablement platforms. According to SiriusDecisions research:

  • 81 percent of b-to-b organizations spend no more than $1,000 per year on marketing training and development.
  • Just 3 percent of b-to-b organizations spend more than $2,000 per year on marketing training and development.
  • 85 percent of b-to-b marketers were not professionally trained in marketing prior to taking their new positions.
  • 75 percent of marketers learned through trial and error on the job.
  • 20 percent of marketers have taken professional development training.
  • 5 percent have been systematically trained in their company’s’ professional development program.

As important as marketing is to sales enablement, it’s imperative that organizations revisit their training protocols for marketers. Bridge Metrics can partner with your organization to deliver proper training for marketers to drive impact across the customer buying and life cycles.

About the author

Alan Margulis

Sales Enablement Columnist

Alan Margulis is a frequent contributor, specializing in sales enablement, channel marketing, and software.

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