The gap in every organization's sales execution results exists for very specific reasons. Buyers are savvier, the sales process is more complex, and sales and marketing teams have not transformed to be more in-line with buyers' needs.

To communicate value, businesses must reinforce sales training investment during the selling process, deliver coaching and guidance in real time, embed tools and appropriate buyer stage content at the right moment of the buyer's journey, and make it easier for sales teams to access compelling Marketing-generated assets.

Understanding the Gap

Over half of buyers disengage during the selling process and stay with the status quo because value was not presented effectively or what was presented was not aligned to the buyer's specific business challenges.

Reasons why value is often not presented effectively include…

  • Sales not using content and resources that marketing teams have created.
  • Content and resources often not aligned to specific buyer stages.
  • Sales not aligning to where buyers are in their buying process.

The end result is Sales spending too much time searching for compelling content and applicable resources, which can lead to less time selling. So selling content goes unused, which wastes Marketing's time.

That scenario happens at most organizations in varying degrees with the impact on both the top and bottom lines.

Marketing's Contribution to Sales Execution

Given that fundamental shift, the ability to effectively execute strategy is dependent on modernizing selling processes and helping sales teams be more agile. Sales and Marketing need greater visibility and insight to understand where gaps exist in sales execution to overcome quota shortfalls that hinder growth.

In addition, marketing teams need to create—and more easily serve up to Sales—the most relevant and buyer-aligned information for Sales to present greater value and differentiate solutions.

Marketing leaders can help solve these challenges and gain better alignment to buyers and the selling process as well as greater visibility into what marketing resources are working and which are not in order to refocus efforts.

Moreover, businesses must implement quality measures that show which salespeople are not using internal resources to communicate value.

By concentrating on the start of the sales process and making adjustments, sales execution will be much more effective.

Connecting Departments

Until recently, sales execution solutions were viewed as components of several markets, with limited knowledge of the full value proposition. Various macro and technological factors muted prioritization and understanding of what sales execution software can achieve for an organization. Each investment area (such as sales training, coaching, sales support, collaboration tools, content portals, and presentation tools) is important and worthwhile but much less effective when disparate.

We're now at an inflection point, where leaders have begun to visualize the large implications of not connecting these investments and now see the need for a solution that underpins their CRM to drive effective sales behavior. Better connecting those components can ensure sales teams are doing everything required to win sales.

In addition, complete alignment across Sales and Marketing starts with the unequivocal agreement of buyer stages in the selling process.

With defined buyer stages, Marketing can better create content, tools, and other resources aligned to those buyer stages, which can be more effectively used by sales teams to communicate value to buyers. Those assets can then be embedded in the sales process, specific to sales and buyer stages, and served up dynamically directly within the selling system.

By mapping selling and marketing content to actual buyer stages and intelligently guiding sales, teams can also make best practice processes more repeatable.

As a result, marketing leaders can more easily and accurately measure the effectiveness of marketing efforts, reduce the burden on resources by eliminating unneeded asset development, identify gaps in needed tools and content across buyer stages, and prove the ROI of Marketing's contribution to Sales.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

image of Christopher Faust

Christopher Faust is the chief marketing officer at Qvidian, a provider of sales execution solutions.

LinkedIn: Christopher Faust