Sales enablement plays a critical role for high-growth companies. Choosing the best products to add to the sales tech stack, developing processes that lead to an engaging and successful buying experience, and ensuring sales teams have the right content and training are just three goals of sales enablement. But because it's still a fairly new concept, sales enablement too often occupies that no-man's-land between sales and marketing.

This challenge presents an opportunity for sales and marketing to work together and craft the right sales enablement solutions. Using data like win/loss analysis to guide sales content creation and engaging sales as internal subject matter experts are just two ways to ensure sales enablement also empowers salespeople to offer the best solutions to prospects.

Making the Most of a Lost Deal

Win/loss analyses can do more than provide insight to B2B companies. They can be used to shape future product releases and prioritize features and updates. But there's a wealth of information for sales and marketing teams in win/loss analyses: they can reveal messaging efficacy, content effectiveness and more.

It's common for salespeople to add comments into CRM on a lost deal, but win/loss reporting should include much more. Jill Konrath's interview with sales expert Stu Perlmeter explores how win/loss analyses can provide a way for sales and marketing teams to align efforts and uncover opportunities for improvement, providing an "independent, third-party view, fueled by verbatim comments by customers." The most important part of a win/loss analysis the voice of the customer – without it, sales and marketing teams can miss the context of lost and won deals.

Sales as Subject Matter Experts

Win/loss analyses are just one valuable source of information for creating an effective sales enablement process. While the customer voice is the most important element of creating winning content, salesperson input is valuable as well. Relying on sales as internal subject matter experts on can help marketing teams craft targeted content that salespeople will actually use.

Playing the role of a subject matter experts can take several forms: from curating existing content to contributing their own helpful content to their marketing teams, salespeople can build relationships with prospects by providing the right content at the right time. Because prospects often don't engage salespeople until the later stages of the sales process, personalizing the content offered is one way to show expertise in solving prospects' problems.

Available Content is Useful Content

Searching for and finding useful sales and marketing content can waste valuable selling time, and it's up to marketing to make useful content easy to find, send and track. With more than 60 percent of content produced by B2B companies going unused, marketing must remove as many barriers as possible to getting valuable content into the hands (or inboxes) of salespeople. A proactive approach – making sales and marketing content available in a central, easy-to-find location and training salespeople on how to access it – can help salespeople save time and respond more quickly to prospects.

There's much more to sales enablement than creating content: creating processes to retrieve, deliver and track winning content is also important to successful sales enablement. The combination of subject matter experts, reliable data and a creative team is hard to beat – and marketing teams must recognize that combination as their key differentiator. No one knows your clients better than you do; no one knows your salespeople than you do. The most effective sales enablement gives salespeople the power to sell smarter and build better relationships.