We all know technology is changing marketing, but how we should all keep up with that rapid evolution is up for debate. Marketing used to be about creating a solid campaign, pushing it out to the world and measuring the results at the end.
Now marketers are feeling more pressure to drive tangible value and provide more immediate data. This has shifted our strategies to include more measurable tactics, such as email marketing, blogging and social media.
But there is one area where marketing has been slow to evolve: How it works with and supports the performance of the sales team. Despite all of marketing’s efforts to stay current in communication and lead generation tactics, the sales enablement strategies of many companies have been neglected and have yet to experience all of the technological advances that are possible.
Because of the speed of today’s business, marketing tends to happen in a bit of a silo. It’s not on purpose, but often happens because we’re all so busy doing our parts to move the business forward. As a result, there is a tendency to build a marketing strategy and come up with all kinds of creative tactics that will generate great leads. Then, the strategy is executed relatively independently of any other department, team or individual. Marketing and marketing alone is responsible for marketing.
If so, you’re not alone! Not by a long shot. However, the unfortunate result of this rush to be efficient is often a disconnect between the strategies executed by Marketing and the day-to-day efforts of Sales. All too often, Sales is unaware of updated marketing materials, new sales tools and resources intended to help reps in their jobs. Even if Marketing sends out regular emails or provides updates at the weekly Sales meeting, it’s just not enough to constantly get the new resources in front of every sales person and pull the outdated materials from circulation. Somehow the disconnect remains.
Additionally, many companies also lack a steady flow of feedback from Sales. This means it’s often difficult for Marketing to know what is being used, what’s working and what gaps need to be filled with new resources. It’s inefficiency at its finest.
If this sounds like your company, you would probably like nothing more than to see Sales and Marketing aligned and performing beautifully together. But how? Why, through the beauty of technology, of course.
Think about all of the marketing resources you are currently creating and updating for Sales. What if you could make all of those resources available electronically in a centralized location that is accessible to your sales team anytime, anywhere? Now, also imagine that you could incorporate real-time analytics on the usage and effectiveness of these sales enablement resources the same way you do for all your other marketing efforts.
It changes the game, doesn’t it?
Whether it’s through a mobile app or web-based application, just imagine how technology could change the way your sales people use your resources. And, if it is all digital, you could update it anytime and ensure your sales team has the latest and greatest materials always available at their fingertips – without the costly expenses of printing and shipping it!
We’ve seen it happen several times here at Maestro. One example that comes to mind is a medical device company that acquired a new line of products and needed to educate and equip its 1200-person global sales team to confidently and successfully go out and sell it. Instead of printing thousands of pages of product literature, we created an app for the company, allowing them to make all of the new product information available digitally – anytime and anywhere.
With the tap of a finger, these sales reps around the world were able to access the most current, most complete information possible about the new product line. And as any changes or updates were made, Marketing was able to quickly modify the content of the app and add to it as needed.
Marketing could rest assured knowing that the sales team was using current, accurate information and messaging. Sales knew that its reps were supported with the tools and resources they needed. And the sales force went confidently out into the field to start selling the company’s new products.
By going mobile, this company’s Sales and Marketing were able to smoothly navigate the new product line acquisition together and enable its global sales force to perform beautifully.
Think about it: All of your other marketing efforts have evolved to include digital media, reach people on their mobile devices and track success in real-time. Isn’t it about time that your sales enablement strategy evolved, too?