At first glance, the ability to harmonize B2B marketing and sales initiatives within an organization would appear to come naturally—be a natural fit. Our experience reveals that’s not always the case.
It is critically important for growth-oriented manufacturing companies to not overlook sales enablement strategy as part of their marketing infrastructure.
We understand the manufacturing business paradox. Your industry is complex. At StratMg, our language is unambiguous because we believe in transparency. Our approach is based on identifying solutions that meet needs.
Recent studies show:
Beyond the textbook explanation and marketing-speak, sales enablement can and should be defined in diverse ways. Oftentimes the best reflection of an innovation is through the actual approach. Of interest, how does aligning a robust B2B sales enablement strategy produce verifiable results.
For a brighter context, let’s filter sales-enablement activities through the lens of 5 Ws.
The Who started as a 1960s English rock band. But that’s not relevant to the context of this article or your manufacturing audience.
Your sales leaders are.
A customer mindset that touches every department has become and is a coveted hallmark for many successful corporations. Everyone in your fabrication shop is in one way or the other contributing to the delivery of a unique customer experience.
A well-defined and executed sales enablement strategy for manufacturers has the potential to improve experiences, for teams and for customers—bringing greater alignment to the sales, marketing and shop floors.
Repeat business, new sales and employee retention are forms of adhesive—the glue that holds fabrication houses together. Supporting the people involved in making sure that happens.
That’s what sales enablement is about.
It is intertwined with demonstrated ability to:
…Customer service is everyone’s job!
…My door is always open.
…There is no “I.” There is only “We.”
Let’s take you for example. Does your company manufacture high-quality, high-performance products?
Check. Next questions:
Does your sales enablement strategy communicate credibility and produce results?
Because the right one can help overcome a lot of potential problems or challenges. That’s our $0.02.
Stop right now. Stay with us. Read this.
Let’s shift gears.
When we talk about sales enablement, we’re not discounting the fundamentals of any proven B2B sales strategy or network. We are merely expanding on what’s proven to work.
Did you know boosting your sales enablement marketing strategy game can:
Part of sales enablement is defining what every rep in the organization “needs to know.” In fact, prioritizing an effective strategy can help catch red flags and correct certain misalignments.
It does more than just empower marketing and business development professionals to succeed.
It unleashes their drive—to serve, to sell and to get more fully aligned with your business, your brand.
Before your next business development leader walks out that door, should we have a conversation about “what” sales enablement really is? It is collateral, the tools that empower them to do their job, which is likely: Sell widgets, be equipped, stay informed, speak with authority, close deals, serve customers before and after the sale, perform at their very best-and-highest level every single day.
What about tomorrow?
We have seen a lot.
Of PowerPoint presentations, share decks, websites, social media pages, flyers, online brochures, email signatures, etc. over the years. Thank you. The power of this type of clean, raw data can rev marketing engines.
There is a general lack of resourcefulness in US manufacturing industries. Said nobody. Ever.
The collateral you have on-hand and whatever else is produced can be harnessed and repurposed to help set in motion an array of ROI-measurable campaigns such as email marketing, B2B lead generation, website optimization, marketing automation platforms, sales enablement platforms, SEO and more.
Why is that important?
Right now, when we’re talking about “the what” of sales enablement, what we’re really talking about is enablement collateral—the tangible materials and takeaways that empower marketing tenacity and excellent salespersonship.
One way to think about sales enablement collateral is by picturing the construction of a library that allows for the consuming and sharing of information bi-directionally—sales > marketing / marketing > sales—with connection points to vital teams.
What if you knew for sure the result of building your sales enablement library and stocking its shelves—being viewed and updated and expanded on a regular basis—would increase B2B sales knowledge and improve the customer experience?
Would you like to see more of or less of?
What if sales enablement actually increases sales?
It is reasonable to think manufacturing sales leaders would stand to benefit most from harnessing sales enablement tools: “We sold multiple units. I had no idea it could happen like this.” – Comment of a senior US manufacturing sales rep after learning one single case study resulted in a significant sale.
If we may be so bold, would you like to see more expansion in the capabilities of your B2B manufacturing marketing efforts, your sales enablement—your salesforce?
Where’s all this going?
The best sales enablement considers the quality of your maker widgets and performance standards. It should also consider how that quality and how those standards are going to be reflected in the sales enablement materials being produced.
For use by the people who market and sell from within and outside your organization. Everyday.
Is this art + science? Yes. Is it rocket science? No.
Okay, so this is more than a “did everyone get the memo” type of conversation. There is nothing one-and-done about B2B sales, marketing and sales enablement. It’s THE process.
We could argue…
WHY NOT! – START USING THIS to empower all stakeholders by helping answer some of the most common sales enablement collateral questions. Generally, they want the access, the information!
LET’S GET A HANDLE ON SALES ENABLEMENT COLLATERAL!
A solid sales enablement strategy ensures better alignment of B2B marketing and sales performance.
The proper strategy and collateral can rev marketing engines—allowing for more perfect unification with sales, and staying ahead of the goals:
We know sales enablement helps marketing teams market widgets, sales teams sell widgets and customers purchase widgets.
Importantly, investing in sales enablement props up your manufacturing salesforce, brand ambassadors and marketing partner to take greater ownership, greater charge. Thus, further streamlining and improving the customer experience.
Think about how empowering and valuable it could be to put all of this and more at a sales rep’s or brand ambassador’s fingertips right now.
Why not help them:
1) Make it easier to set meeting agendas?
2) Be better prepared prior to calls?
3) Collaborate more efficiently, communicate more effectively with marketing about clients and current projects?
4) Share more–and more up-to-date content by making it easier to find, more accessible?
5) Take advantage of greater B2B sales strategy and coaching opportunities?
Can sales enablement best practices help satisfy the demands of existing customers and drive new leads and repeat business? Yes, of course.
A trickle more than a flood.
But it goes beyond.
The customer mindset runs companywide. That means your customers are your front office staff, customer service associates, executives, salesforce, vendor partners, etc., too.
The people who are generally the most excited about and capable of understanding your products and sharing your content. They are typically concerned with:
Marketing + Sales = CONVERSION HARMONY
The sales enablement collateral relied on by sales leaders and business developers in manufacturing companies varies tremendously. Your scope of marketing collateral overall may be a little, it may be a lot.
One of the first things salesy types often learn?
Something to hand a customer or prospect, whether that’s a business card, a magazine, a flyer or how-to guide, your company’s web address, an email, a phone number scribbled on a restaurant napkin. The list goes on.
Great effort. In truth, the advent of social media and rise of digital technologies fueled by the Internet of Things are still reshaping the way we 1) share information 2) communicate 3) present ourselves as people, as businesses, as society.
You already know the standards being used to shape your sales culture and customer’s experience are important. From the sales executive to first-year manufacturing cadets on the shop floor, your marketing partner and every cheerleader in-between—makes everyone feel good.
After optimizing a website, social media marketing, a white paper or case study, email campaign, etc., what other collateral may be useful and considered for your sales enablement library—and other marketing agendas?
What we are suggesting is that by aggregating your existing wealth of knowledge and materials, buttressing, adding and updating as needed—you are already well on your way to a bright sales enablement future.
Wrapping up with more questions—
Do you believe customer service and service-after-the-sale should continue—
Do you know who else believes? Your top sales leaders.
Just something to think about.
Real quick, can you recap and generalize your core message today about why sales enablement should matter to me?
So, what happens when you combine a broader, more dynamic sales enablement strategy and the right marketing collateral with better organization and sharing?
We’re glad you asked.
All we are saying: Missing a sales opportunity, frustrating a customer, watching a top salesperson relocate. We know these are never fun times to repeat. It always leads to more questions.
From our experience, answers to these types of questions could be indicative of how much power is being generated for marketers to market, salespeople to sell and customers to buy.
The ideas presented in this article are a way to get manufacturers and industrial manufacturers thinking more deliberately about how sales enablement may be used when:
Manufacturing Better Business Outcomes
At StratMg, our mission is to create and save manufacturing jobs in the US through consistent long-term sales growth for our clients. If we have learned anything about companywide sales enablement while serving US manufacturing companies for more than a decade, one of the best things we can do is continue:
Create a better informed and unique experience for PROSPECTS, CUSTOMERS, TEAMS!
Simplify Sales Enablement for Better Results
Importantly, we know sales enablement must be weighted heavily toward your target audience, the resources available, the personas of your clients, your marketing team or partner’s capabilities, etc.
It can help to have the right sales enablement strategies, sales enablement software and sales enablement platforms in place.
A really good idea is further and intentionally enabling:
StratMg is committed to sharing what we’ve learned, our insights and experiences. We get that your business developers are tasked with navigating complex waters in an ocean of prolonged sales cycles—and with little tolerance for expectations being set out of alignment.
Here, we have been following the shifts in B2B marketing and sales enablement strategies in the US manufacturing sector for more than a decade.
So, when we say we understand the “how and who cares” of sales enablement and that it revolves around the culture of your unique manufacturing company or industrial manufacturing organization–we mean it.
We are relationship builders within the manufacturing space.
StratMg also knows every manufacturing outfit is different—and it’s those differences that set you apart, truly, as a qualified sales enabler in your space!
Right now, the knowledge and information widgets you already have on tap or the desire and ability to produce—that collateral is the start of a sales enablement powerhouse.
More at www.StratMg.com.
The definitive elements of your sales enablement strategy can always be placed in that context of the scope of your objectives—YOUR uniqueness and unique selling proposition.
StratMg also believes in producing the ability for customers to measure:
1) Their investment in marketing.
2) Through the sales funnel.
3) ROI through their sales pipelines.
Because that’s one of the most important keys to optimization of B2B sales enablement strategy, and more.
With 300+ manufacturing clients and 90%+ success rates for our manufacturing clients, our proven methodology has successfully generated hundreds of millions of dollars in attributable revenues and growth.
Here, the door is always open to contact us. Check our website. We’ll always give our $0.02 worth.
We would very much appreciate and like to learn more about yours.
With over two decades of experience, Parin leads an expert demand-generation agency, StratMg, that helps industrial manufacturing clients achieve unambiguous and quantified organic sales growth across the US, EMEA & APAC.
Parin has built & positioned StratMg to be a value-added marketing services provider that strives to create a culture of quantified sales-driven marketing initiatives leading to sustained business growth through channel management, diversification, new customer acquisition and retention strategies and tactical execution.