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Marketing’s Essential Role in Sales Enablement

By Marc Brown | April 17, 2018 | 0 Comments

MarketingCustomer Acquisition and Retention

Are you one of the many companies striving to launch marketing campaigns, sales promotions, or products and not seeing the expected results? You are not alone. In this blog, I will briefly discuss five key steps to boost marketing’s value in sales enablement.

(Source: Kristina Flour /

Many companies are transforming how they advertise, target, and engage prospects without questioning if they are enabling the teams responsible for selling them effectively. One of the challenges I see is a tendency to silo marketing and sales efforts–optimizing each teams responsibility without having a broader buyer engagement view that spans the buyer journey. As a result, a company’s collective focus often narrows to activities such as messaging, inbound/outbound tactics, sales targeting, CX, and revenue. While these are all critical program elements, this sort of ‘team myopia’ misses the broader needs necessary to fully equip your sales channel.

New buying behaviors–more information, options and people involved in a buying process–require sales leaders to better understand how customers make purchases and what sales can do to influence the decision-making process. Marketing expertise, understanding ideal buyers and markets, places them in a unique transformational role to stimulate sales enablement – improving sales insights of the market, individual roles involved in buying, and buyer-centric thinking.

To thrive today, marketing leaders must:

  1. Get involved and drive for shared sales enablement ownership. Sales is marketing’s direct connection to buyers. Marketing is sales direct connection to market insights and trends. The success or failure of a sales and marketing program is often dictated by the degree of alignment, priority calibration, messaging, and targeting.
  2. Demand a seat at the planning table. Enablement content must be developed, available and rolled out before any launch, otherwise you risk ill-equipped sales teams and lackluster results. Get the enablement content needs documented during the planning stage of any proposed / approved program.
  3. Help sales create insights that ignite sales conversations. This is becoming harder as the buying group (upon whom the purchase decision rests) has grown rapidly in the past decade. The average group is now 5.4 people, and often composed of those who barely know each other from widely different parts of the business or the world. Marketing leaders have the opportunity to transform marketing personas into targeted buyer guides, optimizing sales qualification and bolstering sales insights around unique buyer pain and need for today’s empowered buyers (Gartner client subscription required).
  4. Don’t stop supporting sales after the training is done. Foster trust and increase credibility by supporting sales throughout the sales campaign…partner with them. Great enablement teams are the bridge between sales and marketing, capable of developing one picture of the buyer’s digital history, or content consumption story. They’re the glue that takes marketing and sales’ data and merges them together and makes sure every customer-facing team member knows how the buyer functions and thinks.
  5. Measure, assess, and adjust. Sales enablement is a process that should be re-evaluated often by sales and marketing, looking for alternatives methods for information sharing, use, and results. Furthermore, marketing leaders in B2B organizations directing partner sales enablement must provide contextual, customizable and accessible content to improve indirect channel marketing effectiveness (Gartner subscription again required).

It’s vital marketing leaders not be victims of organizational silos, politics or leadership attitudes. Step up, take control, and partner with sales…it’s in the best interest of both organizations. Let me know your thoughts.

The Gartner Blog Network provides an opportunity for Gartner analysts to test ideas and move research forward. Because the content posted by Gartner analysts on this site does not undergo our standard editorial review, all comments or opinions expressed hereunder are those of the individual contributors and do not represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management.

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