He has over 13 years of digital marketing experience, during which he led the marketing strategy for organizations including Salesforce, Mint, and Intuit, among many others.
On this podcast, Sujan talks about how sales and marketing can work together to get the best results and what can happen when marketing and sales functions are not aligned.
What Is Sales Enablement and How Does It Relate to Marketing?
Sales enablement is when marketing leads are shared with the sales team, in order to empower them with data.
This way, you can utilize both teams to siphon the good leads from the bad.
It also allows each team to piggyback off each other’s strengths, thereby getting better leads and, ultimately, better results.
In essence, it’s a way of pooling your resources and using internal communication to shorten the sales window.
Are There Any Real-Life Examples of Sales Enablement?
At one of Sujan’s companies, they get around 16,000 new leads or trials in a month.
This is simply too many leads for a sales team to target. Plus, not all of these leads are going to be qualified — to know this, some research has to be done.
This is where the marketing team comes in. Using the various tools of market research, they can apply a number of filters that get the 16,000 number down to something more manageable, such as 500.
And a set of leads around the 500 mark is gold, according to Sujan.
That’s the perfect amount of leads that a salesperson can dig his or her teeth into, without wasting time on finding the leads worth following.
How Do You Get Your Sales and Marketing Teams to Work Together?
There are two aspects to this question, Sujan says. These are how to start the teams working together and how to keep them working together.
When it comes to ongoing work, it’s important to have weekly or bi-weekly meetings with the VP of marketing or the heads of each department. This way, everyone can share what’s going on and get feedback.
When it comes to getting the teams started together, it helps to take your counterpart out for a beer or lunch. This way, you can form a bond with the head of the other team and feel comfortable talking with each other.
Overall, communication is the key. Not only does it help build relationships, but the more relevant information that’s floating around, the better.
While this might not sound like a big change, it’s the small victories such as this that the leader should be focusing on – because they pile up. In time, these tweaks to how a business is run can completely change the structure of the business, and for the better.
How Do You Identify the Ideal Lead?
Your ideal lead is going to be the person whose lifestyle is best suited to the product or service you’re pushing. For instance, if you’re selling pools, a person who lives in a condo is not worth your time.
This information about people is best gotten through phone calls, as the real-life, one-on-one interaction can get results that a marketing form can’t. For this reason, you need the sales team to relate the information they get on phone calls to the marketing team.
Otherwise, the marketing team only has statistics to fall back on, which are important, but not the full picture. Once they have the info from the sales team, the entire operation can work at its full potential because everyone is helping everyone to help everyone.
How Do You Keep the Sales and Marketing Partnership Strong?
One thing that Sujan finds to be effective in maintaining the partnership between sales and marketing is to keep meeting notes. This way, you can take the notes, copy them, and send them to everyone, so everyone is on the same page.
Also, you want to make sure you’re adapting your meeting schedule to suit your needs. If you don’t have much to discuss, it’s okay to have a monthly meeting. However, if you’re going through a busy time, you might need to have weekly meetings.
You’ll also want to structure the meetings to give everyone about two minutes to give their individual updates. Otherwise, people can go on and on. Make sure everyone has given their update quickly, then open the floor to conversation.
How Does Feedback from One Team Affect the Other?
At one of the companies Sujan worked with, they had a spreadsheet of all the places where there was content. Each piece of content had a category and a description. This was open to the sales team and gave them great info for pulling in customers.
In some ways, you could think of the marketers as the blacksmiths, creating a library of diverse sales weapons for the salespeople to utilize.
With this material from the marketing team, sales can pull specific pieces, such as a blog, for specific uses. For instance, if a customer has a certain issue that is causing them to seek a product, the salesperson can refer them to a video that marketing made on that precise issue.
Where Can You Learn More About Sujan Patel?
You can also find more information on his blog, SujanPatel.com, where you can subscribe to his newsletter that regularly delivers videos and content pieces.
About Sujan Patel
Sujan is the leading expert in digital marketing. He is a hard working & high energy individual fueled by his passion to help people and solve problems. Sujan is the co-founder of WebProfits, a growth marketing agency, and a partner in a handful of software companies including ContentMarketer.io, Narrow, Quuu, and Mailshake. Between his consulting practice and his software companies, Sujan’s goal is to help entrepreneurs and marketers scale their businesses. Sujan is an avid blogger and writes 6 blog posts a week for publications like Forbes, WSJ, Inc and Entrepreneur Magazine. When Sujan isn’t working his normal 80 hour work weeks (13.3 hours a day, 6 days a week) you can find him at the gym in the early hours of the day or at the track racing cars and motorcycles. If you’re in the Austin, TX area and look up, there’s a chance you might see even see him fall from the sky with his latest hobby, skydiving, which emerged from his effort to conquer his fear of heights.