B2B Marketing and the Shift to Customer-Focused Sales Enablement [Report]

April 30, 2015 | Ann Lambert
B2B Marketing and the Shift to Customer-Focused Sales Enablement [Report]

As a buyer, there’s nothing more frustrating than seeking genuine responses about a product and being met with an impersonal marketing message churned out by and automated system. Prospects want people, not machines. As Forrester’s Laura Ramos writes in a recent report, it’s time to humanize the sales process—and marketing needs to support that transition through customer-focused sales enablement.

Customer-Focused Sales Enablement

In the report, titled From Priming the Pipeline to Engaging Buyers: The B2B CMO’s New Role in Sales Enablement, Ramos writes, “A growing number of innovative technologies and services help marketers put reps back in front of buyers when discovering and exploring solutions,” and goes on to list the ways in which they do so:

#1. Create communications centered on the salesperson, not marketing messages.

The fact that there are online informational resources does not make the sales rep obsolete; many buyers still value sales conversations to guide them as they explore their options. In fact, Forrester reports that “50% of B2B buyers want to work with suppliers who ‘understand my business, culture, and how to help me execute.’” With the right content, messaging and technology, marketing can create that level of intimacy for buyers.

#2. Use social sharing to turn sales into brand ambassadors.

“When sales tweets or posts interesting information, rather than thinly disguised pitches, prospects begin to see them as resources.” Ramos maintains that marketers can not only enable reps with “helpful, interesting, thought-provoking content,” but also leverage social platforms to make sharing this content timely and easy.

#3. Help sales pick up the conversation rather than hunt through piles of content.

Effective sales enablement isn’t just about creating the right content—it’s about organizing and optimizing it for specific selling situations. Ramos writes that “Modern marketers don’t just hand leads off to sales; they provide account-relevant content and leading questions to keep the conversation flowing.” The report identifies the Brainshark Sales Accelerator as one solution that makes this process easier, as it puts “dialogue-extending content at sales’ fingertips.”

Leveraging technology to help reps understand and enhance the customer experience is just one of the ways to improve the marketing/sales relationship. For more tips and ideas to promote a customer-focused sales enablement strategy, download the full report.  

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