In this episode, sales and marketing agency founder Owen Richards shares his unconventional views on sales enablement and the crucial role of Marketing in it, along with a fresh perspective on the interplay between Sales and Marketing.

Views on Thought Leadership

Owen Richards begins by challenging the conventional notion of thought leadership. He argues that being a thought leader is often equated with being vocal, but that doesn't necessarily correlate with expertise or effectiveness.

The noise created by so-called thought leaders often lacks validation, according to Richards, and he asserts there's no direct link between their personal brand and their actual capabilities.

Sales Enablement: Beyond Qualifications

Richards emphasizes that sales is not just a qualification; it's an art that requires understanding and skill. He points out the lack of formal education or clear standards in sales, which leaves a gap in distinguishing between effective and ineffective sales practices. That gap, he suggests, is where marketing can play a significant role.

The Role of Marketing in Sales Enablement

The crux of Richards' discussion revolves around how marketers can aid in sales enablement. He suggests that marketing teams can provide valuable resources and insights to help sales teams understand their products and services better. That understanding is crucial for salespeople to communicate effectively with potential clients and close deals.

Check out the video for more details, and the full podcast (link below the video) for the entire insightful conversation.

Don't miss future episodes: Subscribe to the Marketing Smarts Live Show on YouTube. And to catch up on all previous episodes, check out the full playlist on YouTube.

Episode Details, Guest Information, and Referenced Links

Episode No. 65

Guest's social media profiles:

MarketingProfs resources referenced in the show:

"In B2B News" article referenced in the show:

"From the #mpb2b Community" links referenced in the show:


Transcript: Empowering Sales Success—The Role of Marketing in Sales Enablement, With Owen Richards

Welcome to the "Marketing Smarts Live" show by MarketingProfs and the Marketing Smarts Podcast. Where we dive into B2B news, resources, valuable guest content, and much more each week.

If you're a B2B marketer looking for a place to learn, keep up to date, and have some fun along the way, grab a beverage, a notepad, or at least some style of writing utensil, and welcome to the show!

Hello to all my Marketing Smarts Live viewers today. I'm super excited to bring you of the Marketing Smarts Live show.

This week's topic is all about Empowering Sales Success—The Role of Marketing in Sales Enablement.

So, if you're ready to get your learn on, buckle up and let's get ready to rock and roll.

Hey, I'm your boy George B. Thomas, speaker, trainer, catalyst, and host of this here show, the Marketing Smarts Live show, as well as the Marketing Smarts podcast found on your favorite podcast app.

Our guest clips today are brought to you by none other than Owen Richards.

Owen Richards is founder and CEO of Air Marketing, an end-to-end sales and marketing agency based in the UK.

Offering a blend of outsourced sales and marketing services, Air's team of 100 people work with B2B SaaS, tech, and finance companies to drive growth and revenue.

Owen advises businesses on their go-to-market strategy, and he has a genuine passion for navigating the complexities of early stage go-to-market in startup environments, with a particular focus on people, culture, and strategy.

Now, remember the clips of Owen Richards today are pulled from the full marketing smarts podcast episode, and if you want to listen to the full interview with Owen Richards and myself, make sure to tune into the Marketing Smarts podcast, link to the full show will be in the description below after the live show ends.

Now, in this episode, again, I'm talking with Owen Richards about Empowering Sales Success—The Role of Marketing in Sales Enablement.

In this first clip, I ask Owen, when we say Sales Alignment and when talking about Sales Enablement, what is the biggest issue you have seen most organizations face and where should they get started?

Here are his thoughts:


Owen: I get asked similar questions quite regularly. I always default to the same reaction with this. How involved are the salespeople in defining that? What you see is brilliant marketing leaders come up with a strategy around enabling their sales team, and they do it in isolation. You'd be surprised how common that is. They do it, they build it with no conversation with the sales team, or limited conversation with the sales team around what are prospects actually looking for, what are they missing in the conversation, what do you need to be more successful. I think that is bouncing around a lot at the moment. I think it's more important than ever that the collaboration in this process is about giving the salespeople a voice in the process so that they can contribute what it is that they need.

I think that's where it starts, that with the essence of the brand, like I talked about earlier. Get the starting point right and the rest will flow from there. What tends to happen is marketing teams at the end are going to sales teams, "Do you think this will help?" and the sales team says yes because they've done loads of work on it and they can't say no. Surprise, it doesn't go anywhere, it fails.

I think starting with the foundations, getting it right in the first place, is a really obvious one when you say it out loud, but you'd be surprised how many people are not doing it. We talk about templates, tips and tricks, it's the simplicity of having a plan and sticking to that plan.

Coming back to that quality versus quantity, that volume and quality of content thing, you have to make sure that you don't just produce content once and then nothing afterward of any value. I preach to our clients and I preach to my team sometimes, it's OK to just put content out for content's sake, it is OK. Is the work perfect? No. But we need to be seen and we need to be heard. Don't put terrible content out, but not every post and every video is going to be your best one. Be OK with that.

So, there are a couple of things there that I guess most commonly come into the conversations that I have.

Are you building in isolation?

Do you have a plan?

Is your content being created for marketing and sales success?

Put the answer to that in the chat pane or let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #mpb2b and, of course, tag me using @georgebthomas.

We'll get back to Owen Richards and his thoughts on Empowering Sales Success—The Role of Marketing in Sales Enablement. But first, I have to ask...

Are you part of the MarketingProfs community? If not, become part of the MarketingProfs community by heading over to - That's

Now, it's time for one of my favorite sections …

In The B2B News - Where we talk about breaking B2B news or really important tips we find on the Google news tab related to you and your B2B business. This week, the title is...

6 B2B Sales Strategies to Stay Ahead and Win More Customers by Manas Jha

Personalizing your B2B sales strategy connects you with your customers and drives better sales.

It helps you stand out from the crowd and earn better customer loyalty.

If you're a sales company or an entrepreneur looking to break into B2B sales, start by implementing these six B2B sales strategies.

Businesses that want to thrive in a competitive marketplace need B2B sales strategies.

At least five follow-up conversations result in a sale in 80% of business-to-business transactions. This underscores the need for perseverance in B2B sales.

To read this article, check out the link below when the live show is over.

So let's get back to Owen Richards and his Marketing Smarts podcast episode.

In this clip, I wanted to ask Owen to unpack his thoughts on marketing selling and sales marketing. How can they both think or understand both sides of the fence?

Here's what Owen wanted to share.


Owen: I think it is a similar point, but the other way around, where it comes back to empathy and understanding. In my opinion, marketers should be selling, marketers should be involved in the sales process. The moment you do that, it's an a-ha moment where the marketer goes, "Oh, I get it. This is what we need to be using. This is what we need to be doing." I think more hurdles will come if you don't understand the process.

So, my advice to people is get involved in the sales process. Go sit in some demos, go sit in on some discoveries, handle some inbound inquiries, make a few cold calls, go and have some conversations, know what it feels like, know what it looks like. You can anticipate a lot of the hurdles because you've felt it, you've seen it, and you'll be thinking about them before you hit them. The worst thing is when you hit a hurdle and not know that it's coming. If you know you're going to have the hurdle, you're planning for it way before.

It's a foundational thing. If you get the foundations right, if you get the plan right in the first place, it's so much easier to get the rest to fall into place. Then I think the other piece is around getting Sales buy-in, making sure that your sales team is utilizing the stuff that you're creating, making sure that they are pointing people to the right things, that they're pointing to the why, why are we doing this, why are we changing the way you sell, why are we asking you to follow this process that you weren't following before, why does it matter. Because salespeople are inherently selfish, we want the tools to sell and we want to do it in the easiest possible way. If you're asking me to do things in a new way, I need to understand why that's the case.

I think there's a couple of things there.


Is your foundation right?

Do your departments have empathy for each other?

Do they know both sides of the fence?

Is that even possible in your organization?

We will get back to Owen Richards in a few minutes but first it's time for some...

Dope B2B Learnings From The Vault of MarketingProfs Articles

That's right, It's time to dig into the treasure trove of valuable information and pull out two pieces of gold to help you be a better B2B marketer.

Article one this week is: Good or Bad? What We Can Learn From Nicolas Cage About Sales Enablement by Cathy Colliver

When you collaborate with sales teams for over a decade, you have time to stop and reflect. Especially when ad tech and digital marketing have pushed things too far.

Sales enablement is like a dear aunt who loves you but can also ask super inconvenient questions.

And Sales is like the frenemy whose social skills you admire. It's enough to make you wonder whether it would be easier to go it alone in marketing. (Psst: it's not.)

Article two this week is: Five Ways to Improve Product Marketing and Sales Enablement Collaboration to Drive Revenue by Rita Patel Jackson

Product marketing and sales enablement teams share an ultimate goal: to help sales teams sell more. Each team has an important role in driving revenue.

Product Marketing focuses on developing content assets for the sales team to use throughout the buyer journey, and Sales Enablement ensures reps know how and when to use that content to deliver great buyer experiences and close more deals.

At successful organizations, Product Marketing and Sales Enablement act as each other's extension.

That level of collaboration and alignment improves the effectiveness of each team, in turn ensuring the sales team is well equipped to grow revenue.

Want to keep learning more? If so, check the links in the description below after the live show to get access to both amazing MarketingProfs articles.

OK, back to Owen Richards … Let's dive back into this conversation of Empowering Sales Success—The Role of Marketing in Sales Enablement

In this clip, I wanted to ask Owen what does sales enablement success look like? How do we know we've reached B2B Marketing sales enablement nirvana?

Here's what he had to share.


Owen: I have a really good answer to this, I think. In my opinion, you'll know you've been successful when two things happen.

When Marketing celebrate a closed deal. In the moment, the business celebrates the salesperson closing the deal. But when Marketing is celebrating it and being celebrated for that, then you've reached that success, you've reached that point where people get it. A big client comes in through inbound inquiry, the salesperson doesn't create the content that proposes all the stuff to bring them in there in the first place and then take them through the sales process. They hold the theory, but they have everybody else in there as a passenger supporting them.

They get to the finish line, and what most businesses do is say, "Well done, George. You've closed a deal." No, you haven't. The team have closed a deal, and Marketing were a part of that. It's natural in the culture. You have to kind of practice to start with, but when Marketing gets celebrated and celebrates themselves because they care about a closed deal in the moment, for me, that's reaching success.

I think the same is true the other way around. When Sales starts saying thank you to Marketing, or starts acknowledging a great opportunity coming in top of funnel, and they do that off their own bat, that's a way you know you've reached the point of success.


Is your marketing team celebrating when a sale is being closed won?

Is it the "team" that closed it vs. a single sales rep?

Does it feel natural? Are you doing this in your organization?

Is your sales team thanking you for the amazing leads being generated?

We're going to get some words of wisdom from Owen Richards here in a few minutes but right now, it's time to turn the spotlight on you, the MarketingProfs community. Yep, time for...

From The #MPB2B Community

We searched far and wide in the #MPB2B universe to find amazing information and conversation to bring to the masses.

So, first, make sure you are using the hashtag, and second, make sure you have fun and add value to the community.

Then, we'll spotlight you or your crew on the show. This week, it's...


Gone are the days of working high-volume keywords into content and BOOM—ranking on search. Where long-term success is beholden to tech giants.

Join Amanda Natividad, VP of marketing for SparkToro, for Beyond SEO: How Modern Content Marketing Powers Growth.

Amanda will share how to think beyond SEO to audience research—so you know who is searching, where they're already hanging out, and what else is top of mind for them.

Join us to learn:

? How content powers the rest of your marketing functions

? How to better work with your cross-marketing stakeholders (without stepping on toes!)

? What it means to strive for "business sustainability" with your content

? How to develop agreed-upon content KPIs with your leadership team

Register for free now ??

#mpb2b #b2b #marketing #seo #audienceresearch

But you need to check out the description and click that link to check out the post and read or learn more!

Marketing Smarts viewer, I have to ask... are you going to be next to get the spotlight?

Remember, community, use the hashtag #mpb2b on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter and get the light shined on your awesomeness in the next episode or a future episode of the Marketing Smarts Live show!

Pro-tip, it won't hurt if you tag me in your post as well; I'm @georgebthomas on LinkedIn and Twitter.

OK, let's kick it back to Owen Richards and some words of wisdom around this topic of Empowering Sales Success—The Role of Marketing in Sales Enablement.

Here is what Owen Richards wanted to leave us with...


Owen: You talked about the human element of a previous interview you've done. I did a talk at a conference a couple years ago about sales leadership, saying how can you lead your sales team like a human. I think that for me is really poignant. I think it's true across everything that we do as leaders, whether we're marketing, sales, or revenue as a whole. It's about leading as a human and genuinely caring about the people that are within your teams. If you do that, then you always get a better outcome.

I think for me as a founder of an agency that aligns Sales and Marketing, we do see those things go hand in hand. I've seen the good, the bad, and the ugly across that, and the key thing that I can pick out where success has happened is where the people care about each other, where the people are aligned, where the relationships are genuine, where they want to work together, where they are a genuine team, it always stems from the leadership. If you get leadership right, which means clear vision, genuinely caring for people, giving them the support they need, giving them clear direction, giving them feedback, being honest with them, not shying away from the difficult conversations, all of that kind of stuff, if you get that right and you show empathy and desire to lead in that way, then across sales, marketing, enablement, alignment, and every other part of business, you will always get a better outcome. That's the philosophy that I try to live by.


Are you leading your sales team like a human?

Do you genuinely care about the humans on your teams?

Are the relationships genuine, aligned, healthy?

Man, I love those words of wisdom!

Have you enjoyed today's journey? Let us know, use that hashtag #mpb2b on whatever platform you are joining us on.

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image of George B. Thomas

George B. Thomas is a marketer, video Jedi, and HubSpot certified trainer with 25+ years of sales and marketing experience. George is owner and HubSpot Helper at He has a record-breaking 38 HubSpot sales, marketing, service, CRM, and CMS certifications. George harnesses his expertise in graphic design, Web development, video editing, social media marketing, and inbound marketing to partner with, teach, and develop solutions for companies looking to develop their businesses and increase their revenue.

LinkedIn: George B. Thomas

Twitter: @GeorgeBThomas