5 Reasons Digital Marketers Are a Natural Fit for Sales Enablement
They've been calling it the Great Resignation. Record numbers of workers around the world are choosing new paths. Like so many others, I chose to make a career change in the midst of the pandemic.
I resigned from my role as a digital marketer, choosing to join the nation's largest edtech as part of the Sales Enablement team.
The phrase "sales enablement" can mean different things to different people. For many, it brings to mind sales trainers. For others, it signifies a bridge between marketing and sales.
Our Sales Enablement team is both of those things – and more. We act as advocates for our sellers throughout the organization. We help them filter incoming signals from leaders, customers, and other departments. We help them connect the dots and focus on what matters most.
In the first few months since making this switch, I realized something. A decade of experience in digital marketing had given me many of the skills I now needed to enable my sellers.
For any fellow marketers wondering if a different path may be right for them, I have something to share! Here are five reasons digital marketers have the potential to rock sales enablement:
1. We already speak the language.
Talented marketers are good storytellers. Something like translating product features to value propositions is second-nature for us.
But even beyond that, marketers know how to talk to other marketers. And we know how to translate "marketing-ese" so other teams can understand.
This is a key benefit sales enablement professionals can provide an organization. For example, many marketing campaigns seek to "soften the beaches" for sellers. It is easy to get caught up in the details and the excitement of launching new creative, new messaging, etc.
But did we forget to tell sales this was coming? Did we forget to tell them how best to capitalize on the campaign? All too often, this communication loop is never closed.
That's where sales enablement comes in: closing the communication loop. This lets sellers maximize campaign impact and marketers achieve better ROI.
2. We know how to run campaigns.
Speaking of campaigns... marketers have lots of practice planning and executing campaigns to communicate with customers.
In the world of sales enablement, sellers are our customers. But the rules of campaign management still apply! Campaigns should have target audiences, desired outcomes and metrics, channels, content, etc.
Example: Instead of driving X many prospects to request a demo, you're driving sellers to make X many prospecting calls. A campaign by any other name would smell as sweet.
3. We understand how to interpret analytics.
Digital marketers must be comfortable with understanding metrics all along the marketing funnel. Sales enablement simply picks up at a different juncture. "Funnel math" still matters.
But there are other sets of metrics that matter for sales enablement as well. This could include sales technology adoption, new hire time-to-productivity, and retention.
Marketers understand the importance not only of tracking metrics, but of using them to drive change.
4. We know user experience matters.
In digital marketing, UX is make-or-break. Leads tend to flow down the path of least resistance - it's human nature.
Turns out, sellers are humans too! (Who knew? I'm joking, of course.)
Removing friction from your sellers' paths frees them to focus on their objectives. This is an area where digital marketers can bring UX design expertise to the table. Whether it's a public-facing website or a seller tech tool, we can follow the same UX formula. Diagnose the issue, find the solution, apply the fix, measure, repeat.
5. We're comfortable learning new tech.
Earlier in my career, I worked as a digital marketer for a 3D printing startup. I smile when I remember trying to explain my job to elderly family members. Managing SEO for a 3D printing software company – when I was born, neither of those things even existed!
Learning new technology is a skill than any digital marketer must master. Much of modern selling also relies on understanding the best way to leverage the tech tools at hand. But most sellers don't have the luxury of spending hours experimenting. It's up to sales enablement pros to find the most efficient way to use the tech to achieve the goal, and evangelize it.
Why did I make the switch from marketing to sales enablement? In part, the mission of my new organization appealed to me. I was also looking forward to a new challenge. But I've also discovered that marketing to an internal audience often gives you more room to have fun!
What do you say, marketers? Have you changed careers during the Great Resignation? If so, which skills served you best?