Industrial Marketer

Demystifying Sales Enablement for Industrials

April 13, 2021 Joey Strawn & Nels Jensen Episode 9
Industrial Marketer
Demystifying Sales Enablement for Industrials
Chapters
Industrial Marketer
Demystifying Sales Enablement for Industrials
Apr 13, 2021 Episode 9
Joey Strawn & Nels Jensen

You rely on data for insights into your manufacturing operation; your sales operation should be no different. Industrial sales enablement is about discipline and processes. The ability to know the value of leads by varying sources, and how they move through the funnel at different speeds, allows you to more effectively experiment with your sales and marketing tactics. We’ll help you with what industrial sales enablement is, what it isn’t, and how you can get started. And we offer up Joey Strawn’s top 10 tools that industrial marketers should possess in order to enable their sales teams:

  • Sales Decks
  • Market Research
  • Case Studies
  • Target Persona Outlines
  • Sales Scripts
  • Blog Posts
  • Product/Service Sheets
  • One-Pages
  • Competitor Comparison Guides
  • Visualized Customer Journey Map
Show Notes Transcript

You rely on data for insights into your manufacturing operation; your sales operation should be no different. Industrial sales enablement is about discipline and processes. The ability to know the value of leads by varying sources, and how they move through the funnel at different speeds, allows you to more effectively experiment with your sales and marketing tactics. We’ll help you with what industrial sales enablement is, what it isn’t, and how you can get started. And we offer up Joey Strawn’s top 10 tools that industrial marketers should possess in order to enable their sales teams:

  • Sales Decks
  • Market Research
  • Case Studies
  • Target Persona Outlines
  • Sales Scripts
  • Blog Posts
  • Product/Service Sheets
  • One-Pages
  • Competitor Comparison Guides
  • Visualized Customer Journey Map
Joey Strawn:

Hello, everybody and welcome back to the industrial marketer podcast. You know, it's your place for the tips to text the trends and the tactics for industrials who care about driving leads to their companies, primarily using digital channels if I'm being honest, I want to be your host Joey Strawn. And as always, I'm joined by my counterpart Nels Nels speak true to thyself,Jensen. How are you doing today Nels?.

Nels Jensen:

Doing great Joey doing great looking forward to diving into industrial sales enablement, which as I figured out is a team sport.

Joey Strawn:

Oh, my goodness, I am so glad that you said that it's gonna set the stage so well when we dive in. And honestly, this is a topic that we've been asked to talk about. This is something that is incredibly important in my mind when it comes to how to market industrials in the New Age, or in our current age and beyond. But the reality is, is that no one department can do it alone. It's not the marketing job not marketing person's job. It's not the salespersons job. And hey, if you're that marketing slash sales person, it doesn't have to be just your job either. There's a lot that goes on with sales enablement for B to B's and then special, especially industrials in the supply chain, and their needs like their sales cycles are crazy. Nell's crazy, crazy. Yes. And

Nels Jensen:

But the point of the team sport too, right? It's not just one or two people. You know, this involves your IT department. This involves, you know, you're extending into what are your goals as an organization? We'll and we'll dive into this shortly. But yes, it and it's a great opportunity to get your company aligned toward important goals and metrics.

Joey Strawn:

I agree. So let's let's take a moment here before we dive in. So guys, if you've wondered how your sales and your marketing funnels need to talk to each other, if you've been wondering how to really track that lead from when it comes in to when you convert it because your sales cycle, let's be honest, maybe six months, maybe 12 months, maybe two years in some cases? And so how do you nurture? How do you track? And how do you make sure that those leads are being converted in the correct way. And now I want to be really clear. Today's topic is about sales enablement in the b2b and industrial spaces. But what that doesn't mean is sales. enactment, it's not doing the sales process, and it's not sales. exacerbates meant it's not getting rid of the sales either or putting them on a pedestal. This is about making sure that all of our systems, all of our processes, and all of our teams are working together to enable the sales process to work in its maximum capacity.

Nels Jensen:

Yeah, let's let's let's talk about processes systems and an alignment.

Joey Strawn:

I love it. Alright, so So Nels as we dive in today, sales enablement can mean so many things to so many people is changed definitions over the years, you know, our current understanding of sales enablement, walk us through kind of how you see it, how you use it in when you're thinking about creating things thinking about writing stuff.

Nels Jensen:

Yeah. So let's start out with what sales enablement is. Right? We've touched on these points. It's a systematic approach, right? So, you know, are you it's not just getting leads, but it's, you know, how are you qualifying leads? How are you scoring leads? How are you tracking conversions, you know, there's a system that needs to be in place for these processes, right. And then its alignment, its sales and marketing alignment. So obviously, if your marketing team is pushing certain things, hopefully they align with whatever your primary goals are, and whatever motivates in the behaviors that you're expecting from your sales department. It's obvious, but again, it's one of those fundamental things, contest your content support sales. And that's become very clear in the, during the pandemic, where a lot of companies have been revisiting their websites to prop up their content, whether it's just making better use of the content they have are creating new searchable content, but the content must support sales for your sales enablement. And then, of course, it's an analytics process, not just for scoring leads, but it's also for the sales process, right? So you're collecting data. And again, data is a good thing. But what can you actually draw out of it and what insights can you get out of it? So to me, there's four components of sales enablement, systematic approach, sales and marketing alignment content that support sales and analytics for a sales process.

Joey Strawn:

I love that. And I want to talk about each of those quickly, like when? How do Okay, so how do we do that? You know, what does that look like? That sounds awesome. And is, you know, quite frankly, great. And is right. So when we're putting that into practice, like when we're thinking about that systematic approach, and I'm glad that you started there, because one of the things that sales and marketing need to be able to do is communicate. And since systems are most likely going to be in play, since humans are most likely going to be in, in play, and quite frankly, we do things, all sorts of which ways. So the idea of making sure that there is some consistency on the input method is extremely important. And that's what that systematic approaches, you know, a lot of people have heard these terms, but like MQL, and SQL or SAL, you know, what, what are those mean? Like, when we're thinking about systematically approaching how we look at our intake valve, if you will, in the math in the process, you know, our are we qualifying it on a marketing level, like that's one of the high levels of, Okay, this is at least a good enough person to market to, they're in our target personas, we're hitting the right, you know, job descriptions, as we're, as we're doing our outreach, we're getting the people that we should at least be seeing our stuff. But then not every one of those is going to be something that a salesman, a dedicated outreach person, or business development lead, can realistically contact, you may have hundreds of contact form submissions a day, you may have three, but the reality is, is that there's not going to be usually enough for one person to do everything for every lead that comes in. So identifying which ones then elevate to that next level of sales accepted and sales. qualified leads are what what are those gates that the salesman need to know to be able to say, I am going after this, this, this, this and this. And if they meet these five qualifications, then we're headlong into a conversation, and I can sell that person.

Nels Jensen:

Sure. Right.

Joey Strawn:

And we're ideally, the way that those that is communicated, is what you were saying is through that sales, and marketing alignment. And this is where we could talk tools and systems all day, you know, HubSpot is the big name, Salesforce is a big name, you've got your Mark eddowes, and your nutshells. And everything, everything, everything, we've got an episode coming up here soon, about CRMs, specifically. So the systems are all over the place. But the concept is that whatever you're using for sales, and whatever you're using for marketing, need to and should connect and talk to each other, how whatever those systems look like. And whatever those specifications may be. That's, that's going to be unique to every situation. But the systems have to be able to talk to each other. So you can say, Hey, we got lead x, y, z from a Google ad that we put out on this date. With this much budget, it was clicked on because someone searched this keyword, they came in on this date were sent this many emails, so and so reached out to them and then turn them into a deal. And Salesforce followed that deal. And then eight months later, we can now see that it closed for a $65,000 installation. And we can trace all that back to a 65 cent keyword bid. If you if we can do that across the board. Nelson, we can enable the most prolific and opportunistic pipelines to be the ones that were funneling to the salespeople.

Nels Jensen:

Sure, sure. So with any time you talk about alignment, right, you're obviously talking about some key groundwork that includes things like communication, but it also what are you communicating? So you're starting, I hope with a goal,

Joey Strawn:

Right.

Nels Jensen:

And what does that look like? So you're going backwards from the goal, okay, what does that mean? So if you're, you know, we're gonna sell what, whatever one, you know, $200,000 machine a month. Okay, so what does that look like? So we're going to need X number of prospects, and Okay, so we're going to need, you know, and you just keep backing it out asking what does that mean? How do we do that? And then you share that information with your teams. And okay, then the content team has an idea how they might be able to go to that the IT department can help out in terms of, well, how do we make this accessible? You know, oh, well, you know what, you can't the sales people can't access this when they're on the road, we need to have a better mobile display, whatever. I mean, you know, planning is obviously important, right? That's one of those No, duh, you know, kind of statements, but it's so true sales enablement, you have to start with primary goals. And then you have to start with communication so that everybody can get behind them and figure out what is their piece of this right goal.

Joey Strawn:

Then from there, like, after you know what you're going towards, then it's mapping out how to get there. And it's what systems are in play. And here's where it really I want to come back around to the content element of this now. So if we've hidden the content nugget until about right now, but I want to open that up, because sales enablement in today's era, especially with COVID, and being so digital, and so new, everything's so different, and everything's so the same in the same way. It's weird. But being able to know what that journey looks like, you know, what are Where are your customers? How are they going to engage with you? How are you going to look at it? This isn't about making every person in your company, a salesman. This is not the ABC Glengarry Glen Glen Ross, like everybody be always be closing coffee's for closers. This isn't about marketers who are focused on, you know, the optimization of a website learning to then how to sell your company services. But what it is about is understanding the pieces of content that are helpful along a customer's journey, and then being able to supply those as a marketing team who knows how to talk about that. So yeah, you know, now one of the things that I love that you do on a regular basis, is you're always interviewing customers, like subject matter experts, and people who know these processes. And the questions that you ask are, you know, and I want you to walk through more of them, but like, what are the things that keep you up at night? What are the questions that you're, like decision makers always ask you? What are the things they complain about to you on a regular basis? Sure. Right, exactly how, tell me how we take those questions, and then turn them into these like foundational pieces of content to enable the sales process.

Nels Jensen:

Sure. And it was like you're reading my mind, I was actually I thought I'd go into the SME, probably subject matter expert, right. So here's the here's where the team sport thing can come in. Right? Your your message on your website should be the intersection of what you want to communicate with, what is the language and questions that your prospects are looking for? Right, should be that intersection. So when you're talking to your client, what is it that keeps their prospects and customers up at night? Right, you're understanding issues that they're dealing with? What are the trends? What are the commonalities, what are the things that separate, you know, that client from you know, other other clients kind of thing. And as you glean this information, you should be sharing it in the, in my case, the content side, the more we share that internally with our team, the better off we are, because the account manager understands, oh, okay, this is why this business line does x. And there are other business line does why. So that's where you get into the team sport. So you understanding these different personas and one of the fascinating things to me about industrials, you basically have to win over an engineer who has to have a certain amount of technological information, and that you can be assured that you're really helping them. And you have to win over the purchasing department and the finance department. Those are two very divergent personas. But you have to have the content that allows each of them to research your solutions adequately. So when do you deliver what message at what time and that's where integrated marketing comes in, because if the marketing the, you know, the people who are selling media, you know, buying media, for instance, if they understand that, hey, here's, here's where you do x or y as a tactic, because you've already had people in the funnel, asking about one, two or three.

Joey Strawn:

You know, I love I love that you brought that up. And I want to take another moment and do kind of a, let's put that in a real world context. So you know, where we're talking to a client or you're you're in your office, and you're wondering how to get people through those gates. And you don't know what content pieces you need, or why marketing and sales really need to work together and how this can be. So this isn't about like, Oh, we need a whole bunch of leads. That's demand generation. That's lead generation that's marketing's job like that's there. They're working on that. On the sales enablement side, though, where we can work together is to say, Hey, you know, every time I talk to an engineer, the biggest hurdle they have is they say, I just don't know how to train my team on a new software, like I can't overcome that hurdle. They're all stuck in their thing. And as they I hear that from every guy, and that's how I lose a bunch of engineers. Well, that'd be fantastic if we had a resource a video a white paper, a guide Then explain the exact benefit company XYZ brought to that migration process and how that's not going to be a problem. But it would also be great because then that engineers can be like, awesome. But he can't spend X number of 1000s of dollars on your thing. So the purchasing manager has to be brought in, you've made it past the engineer, who was the one searching for a solution and found you, the purchasing managers not doing that most likely, unless they're, you know, sharing hats and rolls. But most cases, you hit the first you hit the first layer first. Then the next round, the purchasing agent comes in, and they say, Hey, I really need to understand how a 20% increase in this tool fee is going to save me this back end. Well, guess what, you can't then turn around and give her the same video or infographic that you gave the engineer, you need a different piece of content that speaks to her there needs her needs. And that those need to be prepared beforehand. Sure. It's so every step of the way.

Nels Jensen:

It's it's sales, content planning is one way I put it, because you have to have that technical expertise. So the engineer goes, Oh, okay, these people are worth checking out. And then you also, even though they're getting farther in the funnel, then you have to bring back mid level information for the finance and purchasing department so that they can look at this from a, you know, and maybe those blog posts about, hey, the ROI of the solution, or maybe it's misconceptions about this, or it's about compliance or, you know, it is layered content. And it's not necessarily and that's the that's the difficult thing about manufacturing, is it's not layered necessarily in a chronological order, right. And so when we talk about when to deliver what messages that's, that's really the crux of the issue for to me, for content marketing for industrials and manufacturers. But once you get that in place, you know, again, and you your team is aware of these circumstances and these issues that are impacting the buying process, the team sport, then you're better equipped, so that this department can address x and this department can address why. And together, you're going to end up with a more qualified lead for z, right?

Joey Strawn:

And I can't tell you how many times we've been working we've been partnering with with clients and helping them out and something will come up and be like, Oh, man, Steven sales has been mad about this for years. And then Marcy in marketing is like, I've never heard that. And like the whole thing was, well, Steve wishes that he didn't get every single contact form that came in through the website, because it's trash. It's like, well, we could have taken him off the forum two years ago. Why were we just talking? So again, like I said, it's not a matter of old what sales jobs and what's marketing's job, it's looking for those efficiencies, where they can where the marketing team and their knowledge of how to talk to people about our, you know, products, and the sales team's experience of their relationships and their ability to convert and their ability to you know, develop the business are working in the most harmonious way possible. Yeah. And then you had mentioned the final step of this being the analytics of it. And it's it sounds, it may sound weird, for sound to be like analytics on my internal process, like, what are we talking about? Let me give you let me give you an example. So if we've got the marketing qualified gates, like we know, which leads the marketing teams going after, and we also have a gate that we know which of those what small percentage or whatever percentage of those that sales accepts, and then tracks down or tries to develop, if we find in the analytics, that there's a huge drop off, but between those two numbers, and we make one change, that doesn't cost us anything, to help improve that one handoff, and we convert 15% more leads, that's a huge margin. With a small optimization. If we're just looking at what those gates and barriers and processes are, if you're not looking at them, you could think everything's fine. And you're dribbling out leads on the side, you're losing 1000s of dollars.

Nels Jensen:

Yeah, and you know, it's, it is and, and I agree 100% with your comment that everybody is not a salesperson. But almost everyone can have a piece of the sales enablement process. And that's one of the great you know, anytime you put together and you take a bunch of people from different departments and put them on a cross departmental team with a goal, good things happen. And I think sales enablement is a really good opportunity for companies to engage people who have knowledge that would help the sales process.

Joey Strawn:

Now, I think that you, I mean, you're the content guy, you're the whiz, you just did it again, I think we should end on that phrase, not everyone is a salesperson. But everyone can help enable the sales process. And so with that, I'd like to take us down to the shop floor now, because I told you, I was gonna bring sort of a David Letterman top 10 list, and it's not quite as punny, as he would do. But I think I've got some actionable things that some people can walk away from this episode with. So let's let's head on down to the shop floor and and talk about some actionable things.

Nels Jensen:

All right, let's do it.

Joey Strawn:

How right after that wicked segue, we're ready here on the shop floor to talk about how to put a lot of this into practice. We've used some hypotheticals today Nels, but I you know, this is the shop floor, we got to work down here. So I brought 10 essential B2B sales enablement, content ideas that people need to think about, and take note of when they're thinking about their sales enablement, journey, process, and life. So you ready?

Nels Jensen:

Yeah, you want to drum roll, I shouldn't have sound effects ready, but I don't.

Joey Strawn:

Wish I just brutal. That's the terror that was a terrible drum roll. But I give myself an award for it. Alright, here we go. One of the first bits of content that the marketing team and the sales team should work together on to creating is a visualized customer journey map. Ooh, good.

Nels Jensen:

We love. Everyone loves visuals.

Joey Strawn:

Everyone loves visuals, it could be just a simple little timeline, but it's like, Listen, at this stage, we need to be talking about this sort of stuff. And at this stage, we need to be talking about this sort of stuff. And if you have that visualize, that everybody can look at, then it's fun, you can easily move around like, well, let's put some emails here. Or maybe Ooh, we need a salesman to interact once they download this little piece of information that we have. So if you've got that visualized, everybody can have a clear idea of these are the stages our clients go through when they're working with us.

Nels Jensen:

And that'll be eye opening for some people in your company because they don't realize how complex it can be for industrials and manufacturers. It's that's not an easy diagram. But it's super valuable. Good.

Joey Strawn:

And it needs to be a collaborative effort. So that's, that's why it's on the list. So here we go, you're gonna like this one, Nelson, I'm gonna allow you to talk about it. Because my next one on the list number two is target persona outlines. Why do they need to write up target persona outlines now.

Nels Jensen:

Because that the more you can identify who you are talking to, the easier it is to craft that message. You know, if you're dealing with a contractor, versus an engineer, one is more involved in the design. Phase One is more involved in a sort of build or output phase. They're looking, they have different needs, they have different issues, they have different concerns, but they're both part of the process. And you may be selling to each two personas. We're big fans of personas.

Joey Strawn:

Goodness said it better myself. I, alright, number three moving on, is a competitor comparison guide. Now we didn't talk a lot about competitors on this episode now and and and I do want to clarify why because we were talking about the sales enablement, process and tools and theory. But every company that's working on marketing themselves and optimizing their internal processes need to understand what their competitors are doing. So that way you know what those pain points are, you know what those things that people leave competitors to come to you because of our or vice versa. hate to say it leave you and go to competitors for having all that documented and how where you stand in the competitor mix will help you understand which pieces of content are needed and are which word are the highest priority?

Nels Jensen:

Yes, and it makes me think internally and I got one magic word that if you know what's the phrase eat your own dog food. I got one word that hey, we need to continue to press on. We're getting better at it. But when we get to keep working on it, and that's video, anyway, keep back Okay, number number what are we up to three or four going backwards?

Joey Strawn:

I say we're at we're at four now, I believe No, that was four. So we did visualize customer journey map. We've done the target personas, we've done competitor comparison guide. Here's another thing. You're gonna want some sort of market research. That's a documented report of hey this many people in our industry need this service or this is how many possible people Are companies we could work with in the market, a lot of these can either be purchased or a partner to be found. But if you can do it, it's a really great piece of collateral to have, and then can be atomized out into other types of content that we'll talk about later on this list.

Nels Jensen:

Oh, absolutely. Could be your ideal client list. It could just be, Hey, your sweet spot matches theirs. But yes, it's market research. It needs to be refined market research to it can't just be, you know, Captain Obvious kind of thing.

Joey Strawn:

Right? Um, and then Okay, so the last five, so those four, were was four, I've got one more. With this, that's mainly sales. But we need some sales scripts on deck. This is why if someone comes in with these questions, we need to know how to answer them. This is typical sales practice, the little red book or a little black book of sales, all this stuff is in there. I'm going to agree the next two sales scripts, and the next one, number six sales decks, those should be pretty standard, we should be able to have you know, you as a company need to be able to turn around to sales tech that talks about your benefits, your differentiators that helps in a general conversation, tell the story of why a company should be working with you. But there also needs to be some sort of script for a client or a salesman when they're dealing with common objections, or Oh, I'm glad that you mentioned that we hear a lot of people say that there's this we have this resource and this blog post and this video that you could watch on it. And it can be as simple as that. But just a way that the sit every salesman doesn't have to remember every piece of collateral in every instance along the way,

Nels Jensen:

right? And believe it or not, you could share that throughout the company because you never know when that opportunity comes up for other people to be a part of the sales process. speaking the same language, meaningful language very important.

Joey Strawn:

Yep. All right. So the last couple here are just going to be fun content pieces that I think everyone can benefit from. We've got one pagers, you know, just a quick, something that could be laminated or leave behind for a sales and maybe just a one pager on a product on a service on a capability on a deal. Just some sorts of little one pagers that are fun, leave behinds always great, always beneficial blog posts.

Nels Jensen:

Not a bad idea to make them searchable on your website to is exactly laminated is a little right. But anyway, sorry.

Joey Strawn:

PDFs, not always PDFs, everybody brought them out on your site. And blog posts, just general searchable blog posts on your site in a catalogue archives for all time with search engines, keyword optimized talking about questions and problems that your that your clients have very top of the funnel, beginning of the journey pieces, but very, very important.

Nels Jensen:

Yep. Couldn't agree more. Of course. That's what I do.

Joey Strawn:

So there you have it there. So and then case studies, you're going to want to do oh my goodness. Now tell us about case studies.

Nels Jensen:

Yes, success stories. Right. How you know, you make people happy, you fulfill their requirements. They love you share the good news. And it doesn't have to be complicated either. It can be a 92nd it can be a 32nd video, you know, success stories. It is interesting to me how few success stories I see on industrial and manufacturing websites. Amen.

Joey Strawn:

All right, I love it. And then the last one is it I mentioned product sheets I mentioned like service, one pagers, but one pagers on benefits, just a specific emotional one pager. That can is a again another type of leave behind but more on outs not specifically products and services more about either the benefits that you have or your differentiators or just something personal that would benefit your salesmen and client relationships.

Nels Jensen:

Yep. So ships solutions and what what are you solving as opposed to product features is more about you and benefits is more about the customer? Absolutely, exactly.

Joey Strawn:

And so that's it. I'll read through all of them again. So we've got a visualized customer journey map. We've got some competitive competitor comparison guides, got one pagers on your benefits and differentiators got products and service sheets for everything that you offer, blog posts, sales scripts, target persona outlines, case studies, market research, documentation and sales tax. And those are 10 pieces of sales enablement content that everybody listening can pick and start building right now.

Nels Jensen:

That's right and share them with your teams, because sales enablement is a team sport.

Joey Strawn:

I love it. Oh, now, this has been a really fun conversation. I know that you and I have been wanting to talk about this for a little while. I hope that people were taking notes via record, listen to this again, guys share out this episode. If there are other people that you know in your spheres that might benefit from some of this comments on on, on the blog post and on the articles and share on social let us know what sales enablement questions and issues that you're dealing with, that are on a common basis that we can all share we can all learn from that's what this is all about. If you're not already subscribed to the podcast, and please do whichever service you're listening to, I know you can subscribe. I know it's possible. Don't tell me it's not I know it is. Make sure you're watching us on social media and you're following along. We have a great community of industrial marketers that are just really all about learning and growing and getting better at this constantly changing world that we all live in every single day. And finally, if you haven't already subscribed or visited industrial marketer comm check it out. There's a lot more resources than and I can even mentioned here between everything I listed white papers and decks and pages and all sorts of things. So guys, check it out. Follow along, get engaged. Now, this is this has been a blast. I can't wait to see you next time. All right. Thanks a lot, Joey. Thanks, guys, and we will see you next time.