In the sales world, Thanksgiving usually means one thing: there is just one month left to close Q4 deals! With the pressure to generate year-end business, the functions surrounding sales generally get little time to give thanks and celebrate a year’s worth of accomplishments.
Sales Leadership, Sales Enablement, and Marketing all face the same pressure over the next 30 days: fight to drive toward this year’s goal. Each member of the team has something to be thankful for – a great buyer or a successful new tool – but rarely do we reflect more broadly on how the organization works together to drive to the goal.
Just because Thanksgiving has passed does not mean that time to give thanks is over. Before you dig back into Q4, take some time to look outside of the function and give thanks for what Sales, Marketing, and Sales Enablement are doing to work toward a common goal.
Sales Enablement might be most thankful for the positive environment this year – the “perfect storm” of buyer needs, seller stresses, and economic pressures has allowed the function to take on a leadership role in the 2010s. In return, an extremely talented group of learning and development, sales, and training experts have been able to rise into a role designed to directly impact rep efficacy.
Sales Enablement, of course, could not exist without sales. Enablement teams can thank sales for learning and applying the skills and behaviors necessary for closing deals. Sales also provides valuable feedback and progress that can be used to tailor an effective and competitive learning program.
With Marketing, Sales Enablement becomes even more effective. A well-crafted message or set of skills forms the backbone of training and learning, giving Sales Enablement the fuel needed to create extremely talented sellers. Marketing can also take the lessons from a learning program and apply them to future content, evolving the entire organization.
Marketing only works when the right message is in use at the right time. The task does not just stop after a message or piece of content is created – reps actually need to be able to carry it into the marketplace.
For that reason, sales might be the biggest asset that marketing has. Reps are able to talk with prospects and use the newly created messaging, giving marketing a direct connection to buyers.
The relationship between sales and marketing is obvious, but giving thanks can help reaffirm a synergetic connection. Marketing gets to use their message and help prospects become buyers, while sales gains a valuable set of resources to go close business.
The agent of change for marketing comes in the form of a strong enablement team, which comes in to help marketing take the newest story and bring it directly into sales conversations. When this relationship works, marketing benefits from reps training on the right message. Enablement also provides marketing direct feedback on how to tailor the next set of messages to be more effective or more widely adopted, strengthening the impact of marketing on the business.
Sales has a lot to be thankful for. The economy is finally returning to normal, while quota attainment rates are staying steady. Across most metrics, things are looking up for a function that many have suggested is becoming less important.
So what should sales be most thankful for? Great messaging and the chance to practice and learn it.
On the marketing side, sales can appreciate that the function is generating high-quality content, both to drive leads and help convert prospects through the funnel. Marketing also helps to create the messaging that converts buyers that are becoming harder to sell to each year.
Enablement should be sales’ best friend in the driving the year-end close. Traditionally seen as just a resource for sales learning, a recent “perfect storm” of circumstances has…enabled the role to take a new prominence in many organizations. The result? A function able to bridge sales and marketing, leading learning and practice initiatives and helping reps ensure that they can take the right skills, messages, and behaviors into the field.
What enablement does in the background cannot be overlooked either. As part of a progressive learning plan, your enablement team is constantly exploring new strategies and technologies, all to help you hit the number more often.
Sensing a theme? The close, deep connections between Sales Leadership, Marketing, and Sales Enablement teams exist for a reason: all three functions help the others achieve more and succeed more often. All three roles are working toward a common goal – hitting the number – and thus all benefit from strong selling, training, and messaging. Even if we pick fun at marketing for never carrying a bag, or at sales for butchering the newest message, the story each year is the same: each function is an essential part of the puzzle.
What part of the Sales Leadership, Marketing, and Sales Enablement relationship are you most thankful for?