Nikki Dawson, Head of EMEA Marketing at Highspot: Sales Enablement is Key to Driving Marketing ROI

“It’s understandable that marketers value digital channels, as this is where they can best measure ROI on the materials they produce. However, this tunnel vision for all things digital has led them to turn a blind eye to one of the most valuable channels in the business – the sales team.

Right now, marketers produce the content and collateral that the sales team use to engage prospects and close deals. Unfortunately, this is where a lot of the communication can end between marketing and sales.

So, how can we close the gap, improve collaboration and drive marketing ROI through sales?

Silos are working against your ROI

Sales and marketing teams often work in silos, so keeping track of all the marketing content and collateral is a huge issue we see in businesses, regardless of industry.

The sales team can’t find the most up to date content; marketing teams keep producing even more content, yet both the sales and marketing teams are not working collaboratively when it comes to producing that content.

Consequently, it becomes impossible to keep track of which assets are working with prospects and which aren’t – it’s a cycle that needs breaking!

There is an assumption that all the sales team needs is an updated PowerPoint deck and a full day of offsite training – this is no longer the case! This information and training needs to be shared digitally, in one place, for the whole business. Organisations have been making efforts to align the two in terms of teams, data and software to maximise operational efficiency in generating revenue, but this issue is still all too common.

A lot of marketers produce content and don’t understand how to measure the ROI from it. From my experience, more often than not you’re creating sales materials in the dark, which go over to the sales team and get amended. This is where the dreaded Frankendecks are formed! There’s also the issue of sales teams not being able to find the material, leading to both marketing and sales teams spending time tracking down the latest collateral.

Marketers have long assumed that the sales teams are fine to just go off and ‘do it’ but it’s important that they both collaborate with each other, right from the beginning.



Why should we change our ways now?

Marketers are very aware that targeting prospects with the right messages on the right channels are critical for capturing their attention and ultimately driving sales. My passion point around this is that marketers are able to have a seat at the revenue table, be part of the conversations around ROI, have their say, and know what the ROI is on the content and campaigns they’re producing.

This means that marketers are no longer in the dark when it comes to what’s working and what isn’t. They’re creating content with purpose and know where to target customers depending on where they are on the buyer journey.

It’s no secret that both sales and marketing have always been like cats and dogs. But now, it’s about shared success. Marketing having a seat at the revenue table and having transparency and visibility via a sales enablement platform helps with this.

It’s no secret that both sales and marketing have always been like cats and dogs. But in order to be effective, it needs to be a shared success. Marketing can have a seat at the revenue table, have transparency, and visibility for all via a sales enablement platform.

Creating a partnership between both teams, where everyone understands each other’s contribution to what’s working and has the most traction in the overall success has never been more important.

Sales enablement isn’t just for sales

From a marketing perspective, marketers still think “What is sales enablement? It doesn’t have the word marketing in it, what does this mean to me?” Content is king to them, and similarly, is key when it comes to sales enablement platforms.

Content and content management are the main things marketers are thinking of 24/7, it’s easy for them to see the word ‘sales’ in the name and assume ‘well, that’s not for marketing’. This is simply not the case.

Currently, 70% of customer-facing content created by product marketing is never seen by a customer. Sales enablement platforms such as Highspot, help sales and marketing teams come together and work in parallel when creating and analysing content.

The shared analytics platform allows both teams to see what content is working and at what stage in the buyer and customer journey. This alignment creates a level playing field for sales and marketing to collaborate more effectively. Where before it was always siloed it was impossible for marketers to see where they were influencing the pipeline.

To summarise:

The ability to solve content chaos and frankendecks within business collateral by having one source of truth is an invaluable asset, and this is what sales enablement offers marketers and salespeople. Allowing the two teams to work in tandem will ultimately save time and increase revenues.

By facilitating colleague feedback on content and sales plays, sales enablement is also an ongoing commitment to training. This is one internal investment that no business will regret making as driving marketing ROI through sales becomes an easy achievement.”