You can see from our past blogs that aligning sales and marketing is pretty important to us – it’s a big part of what we think a Sales Enablement Platform can bring to your business. Sometimes, though, it’s not possible to physically bring the two departments closer together – for a start, we could be talking about remote sales teams of thousands, distributed all over the world. In that case, we have to rely on digital.
If much of your working week is spent on the road, visiting clients and meeting new customers, you may be forgiven for complaining that you simply don’t have time to talk to marketing. It’s all you can do to send your boss a quick email with an update on your week so far.
However, with a bit of planning and some clever tools at your disposal, you might find that keeping field salespeople in touch with marketing doesn’t take as long as you think. Here are three simple features of a Sales Enablement Tool that can help salespeople reporting from out in the field.
Leave feedback on content
A good Sales Enablement Tool will permit you to leave feedback on content, which will be received directly by marketing. You could score the success of the content in a simple star-rating system, giving marketing an idea of what is useful and what you might want more of in the future. You could also leave more detailed feedback, such as pointing out mistakes in the piece, or indicating what specifically the customer liked or didn’t like about it. This is a real opportunity for salespeople to influence content development, which is crucial if marketing is to have a sense of what is needed out in the field.
This doesn’t take more than a few minutes of your time and could be the kind of thing you do when you return to your car after a meeting, or while you’re waiting for your flight later in the day.
Record your meetings
iPresent has a feature called Sessions, which basically allows you to record everything you show your customer on your mobile device. Just prior to beginning the meeting, you simply click to start a Session and at the end you click to stop. Every piece of collateral you share in that time will be recorded, including the length of time you spend with it, the order in which you view it and even any notes or scribbles you make on the content as you go. This is helpful for the salesperson, who can review the previous Session before going into a new meeting with the same customer, for example, but also for marketing, who effectively get to view the journey the salesperson is taking the customer on. If you have integrated your Sales Enablement and CRM solutions, session data can be stored in the CRM so that the information is available for later analysis on how the chosen customer journey contributed to the meeting’s success/failure.
Immediate reporting from one tool
Likewise, integrating your Sales Enablement Tool with your CRM means you can log details of your meeting while you’re still in the App, without having to switch to a new program or – worse – fire up a different device. Again, this is something you can do in the car park, at the airport, or over a lonely dinner back at your hotel. (Isn’t sales glamorous?) It’s much easier to make your notes while they’re fresh in your mind, and this level of transparency builds trust with your manager and wider team, who know exactly what you’re doing with your time. Better still, it avoids the dreaded paperwork when you return from a trip. I’ve known salespeople who spent a week away from the office and then spent the following week writing up their notes and sending follow-up emails – something else you can do direct from the app. That’s time that could be spent researching new customers.
Time saving, not time wasting
Sales Enablement Tools are designed to make life easier. They get material out from marketing quickly and easily; they enable direct (and valuable) feedback from salespeople on the content itself, as well as on the progress of the meeting. They save you having to write up a week’s worth of notes – or more – on your eventual return to the office, and make the debrief that follows such trips more constructive, since your managers already know who you saw and what you talked about.
In terms of a closer alignment with marketing, a good Sales Enablement Tool makes salespeople more visible and the work they do more transparent, so that there can be no misunderstanding about what salespeople are doing out in the field. In turn, salespeople are better able to engage with marketing on content, giving feedback and influencing the development of future sales collateral. Once they can see that their input is having an impact, it will encourage closer communications between the departments, even if they remain thousands of miles apart.