On January 8, 2010, Ken Knickerbocker wrote ‘Can sales give as good as it gets?’:
“When Joe Galvin of Sirius Decisions wrote “sales enablement is about knowledge transfer” last month, he spoke about how Salespeople need to access and acquire constantly changing information from a variety of internal sources to maintain their state of knowledge readiness and be able transfer that knowledge to their customers.
Joe is right of course, but he only has half of the picture. He should have also included the two-way exchange of knowledge that must exist if a sales and marketing organization is to flourish.
Not only must knowledge in the form of content, insight and data flow to the sales person, but insight, understanding and even raw data must flow back to other sales ecosystem stakeholders supporting the sales as well.
For instance, lead gen groups need up-to-the-minute and accurate knowledge of lead status and campaign effectiveness passed to them to make adjustments in the current campaigns or plan their next initiative or event.
Product marketing teams need to know how their product is fairing and what sales material is driving sales conversations forward.
Finance and legal teams need knowledge of the terms and conditions agreed to and the customers performance against those targets the prior year as they consider pricing on new projects and opportunities with the same client.
The sales operations group needs a damn near perfect knowledge of where each opportunity sits in the pipeline, how likely, for how much and when the deal is to close to generate a forecast executives can take to the street.
Professional services leaders need to see what service level agreements are being extended to ensure the appropriate resources are trained and available when the value promised must be delivered.
C-level executives need knowledge about the strength of the pipeline and current status of strategic opportunities and clients to determine where their time is best applied to drive forecasted results.
Enabling sales people is a first step, but in a world where everyone sells, sales enablement must take on more of a two-way, enterprise wide exchange of information and knowledge.”
I agree with the post above, but I’m wondering which feedback from Sales to Marketing is a task of Sales Enablement applications and which is a task of CRM systems? I can only speak to Sales Enablement applications:
Having a dashboard overview of both your inventory of sales material and its usage lets you track whether a certain sales region or certain products/services/solutions have no material available or whether it is not being looked at.
You will see which type of material your sales people love (Ratings might not tell you a lot but usage data will). This ability is crucial in becoming better and better in focusing your marketing efforts on what will actually help sales to close deals. “IDC research shows that over 40% of all marketing assets handed over to sales are not in use today.” (IDC’s Best Practices in Sales Enablement – Content and Marketing, July 2009)
Why pay someone to create reports every week when you and everybody else, who is interested, could have the kind of dashboard BizSphere calls ‘Content Landscape’ as well as even more detailed usage metrics of the Sales Enablement application; all of it in real-time and sliced and diced as you wish. For presentations to executives, just create a deep link to how you sliced and diced the data and they will get to see the current – as opposed to last week’s – data.
BizSphere is the Sales Enablement application Jeanne Hellman looks at in her case study of “implementing Sales Enablement in a complex, global company”.