Checklist for Aligning Marketing with Sales Enablement Strategies
There’s a secret to scaling a fast-paced growth technology company; messaging alignment across every customer-facing employee and every employee, partner and customer at a company. Many marketers believe the heavy lift to create and launch a new brand and messaging platform is where the work ends for Marketing. That’s not the case. How do companies ensure that employees understand the brand value and messaging and are conversationally competent in their conversations with potential customers?
Message alignment with sales enablement is the key. Below is a checklist for activating content and scaling that content out to the entire organization.
Create Engaging Slides and Resources for Sales Enablement
It’s important to remember that slides are for discovery as much as they are for presenting. Put yourself in the shoes of your sales and customer teams when creating slides, training, and coaching aids.
Please ask questions like:
- How would you use the slides?
- How can the slides be used to drive a conversation?
- How can the slides be used to drive meeting momentum?
Slides are an important tool for communicating a company’s corporate messaging to a potential customer, so they need to be concise, clear, and easy to understand.
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I have listed down a few tips for maximizing the impact of your slides:
#1 Consider the Buyer’s Journey
Create core messaging slides for different conversations across the buyer journey. It’s a good idea to create micro-pitches that map to each step in your funnel and/or each conversation. Here are some examples:
- Elevator Pitch
- Customer Story
- Product Demonstration
- Custom Presentation
- Business Case
- Mutual Success Plan
- Utilize Presentation Speaker Notes: Add speaker notes and slide transition questions for each slide, asset and pitch to drive an engaging conversation. Make sure the questions are open-ended and not closed ended. They should engage the audience.
- Create a Strong Closing Slide: Include a “next steps” last slide for deal momentum and action. Be clear and prescriptive on ideal next steps in the process.
- Utilize Your Slide as a Resource: Put all slides in one deck including customer stories, product slides, proposal slide templates and any other supporting slides so that you can toggle between them easily in one presentation, depending on what questions arise.
#2 Roll-Out A Formalized Messaging Certification Program for Sales Enablement
The foundation of every sales training and onboarding program is grounded in pitch practice and messaging certification. Updated messaging, including corporate presentations should systematically be rolled out to all customer-facing employees. Technology is available to help companies scale a messaging certification program. Tech tools include using video role-playing, assessment, peer accelerated learning and dynamic content sharing internally and with customers.
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The process for rolling out a messaging certification starts with publishing the new messaging content, assessing knowledge, practicing communicating the updated messaging, having managers and peers provide feedback, applying to real customer scenarios and measuring the impact of the conversation effectiveness. The ultimate measures are improved customer satisfaction, more engaged buyers and new business revenue growth.
Anecdotally, when listening to calls and talking to customers, feedback will be positive and you’ll hear the same words and messages being shared resulting in positive and consistent customer experiences. The lifecycle of messaging alignment starts by launching a new brand message and is considered successful when your employees, partners and customers are echoing the same brand message.
# 3 Measure Leading Indicators Sooner Than Later
The next step to aligning your teams is to measure the effectiveness. It’s important to look for leading indicators that are early on in the ramping or sales cycle. We don’t want to wait until it’s too late to effect change. Looking to measure the impact on new business closed and quota attainment will not yield the right outcome-focused coaching and development teams need to be successful. The leading sales performance indicators will vary by role. Here are some examples of how to measure the effectiveness of your messaging with role-based activity metrics:
- Pitch Proficiency
- Emails Sent
- Calls Made
- Meetings Scheduled
- Pitch Proficiency
- Call Recap Summary Emails
- Pipeline Created
- Deal Progression
Verify Buyer Engagement and Feedback
Another great way to align teams on messaging is to focus on the buyer experience. Look for buyer signals—such as content engagement or frequency of communication—to integrate data insights with content reporting, deal scoring and forecasting. Sharing content with buyers and competently pitching products is important data to track. The holy grail of effectiveness is capturing insights from buyers before, during and after their sales presentations and sales calls in order to refine your approach.
It’s hard to close the loop on messaging alignment without data on buyer feedback. The companies that integrate sales enablement data with revenue intelligence data will win the deals.
Aligning sales enablement with messaging is something every company struggles with. Look for gaps in your process.
Are you making messaging content accessible and digestible?
Are you certifying your teams on your new messaging?
Are you measuring the impact of the conversation on the deal progression?
Don’t forget to utilize managers to coach teams over video, one on one training, and practice pitch delivery.
Do all of this well, and not only will your sales team be on its way to closing more deals, but your sales & marketing organization will be better aligned, better informed, and more productive than ever before.