Sales Enablement and Inbound 2016: Our Key Takeaways
Another Inbound has come and gone, and what a week it was! From the opening keynote with Gary Vaynerchuk, to Lori Richardson from Score More Sales, to a Friday morning with Alec Baldwin, this year as filled with great messages from fantastic speakers. Armed with everything from breath mints to scarves, the App Data Room team spent the week talking to the best of the best in the industry of digital marketing. Here’s what we learned about the state of sales enablement in 2016:
1. Sales Enablement is here to stay.
We’ve all been hearing about “sales enablement” for awhile, but it was clear at Inbound that the concept has officially settled into the industry of digital marketing. Not only had HubSpot designed a agenda specifically for Sales at Inbound16, but they also included multiple break-out sessions that focused specifically on sales enablement. More companies, including big players like HubSpot, are blogging about sales enablement. Per CSO Insights, only 32.7% of companies had a sales-enablement function in 2016 – in 2017, that number is sure to grow. Of those companies currently using sales enablement, though, only 5.2% met or exceeded all of their expectations of their sales enablement initiatives. So, what gives? (If you want to do some more research, you can download the CSO Insights 2016 Sales Enablement Optimization Study here!)
Not quite sure what sales enablement is? Here’s a great place to start.
2. How should I be using sales enablement to my advantage?
Last year, we answered a lot of questions at our booth about the concept itself – what it was, how it worked, and so forth. This year? It’s clear that marketers have been working hard to learn and improve at their craft. People wanted to know how sales enablement can be applied to their specific role, company, and industry. Digital marketers not only now understand the concept of sales enablement, but they are eager to start implementing ideas in their organization. Most of the prospects who stopped by our booth were actively seeking to understand sales enablement, and how App Data Room could help them get the results they desired.
In other words, if sales enablement isn’t a part of your marketing strategy for the upcoming year, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage – we’d love to show you exactly how sales enablement could work in your favor.
3. Marketers are taking ownership of their results within their organization, which means that data and analytical capabilities are more important than ever.
One of the most common and consistent challenges faced by marketers is measuring effectiveness. In fact, 43% of marketers said that “proving the ROI of our marketing activities” was one of the biggest problems that their companies faced, according to Hubspot’s State of Inbound Report. This report also shows that companies that calculate the ROI of their marketing activities overall have a higher level of confidence in their marketing strategy.
While CRM and marketing automation tools have helped tremendously, there is often still a lack of data coverage when it comes to the relationship between marketing activities and direct impact on the bottom line of an organization. Marketing departments are creating better content than ever, but that content can have a minimized impact if Sales teams don’t have a way of easily accessing and using that content. We spoke with a lot of marketers who were particularly interested in the analytical capabilities of App Data Room, which allow you to measure not only the effectiveness of the content, but also how often it is being used and shared by your Sales team.
It’s also important to most teams to keep all of their data in the same place; we were happy to answer questions about our easy integration with HubSpot, as well as our integrations with other CRM and automation platforms.
Think about it this way – with the right sales enablement tools, a Marketing department can track the effectiveness of their content straight through to the signature on the sales contract to help prove both ROI and impact on the bottom line. No wonder sales enablement is here to stay!
Thanks for a great week in Boston, HubSpot – we’ll see you next year!