Too Much Automation Is Hurting Your Business Here Are 3 Sales Enablement Plays To Do Instead

garrio harrison on sales enablement

For better sales enablment the technology value proposition must be inverted. Meaning, instead of technology pretending to be a human, use technology to make your humans superhuman.

It’s time to review your marketing and sales budget. You’ve made investments in sales enablement through marketing automation and advertising but it’s time, yet again, to tinker. 

You sigh as you think to yourself, “When will we ever get this right?”

You’re not alone. The struggle is very real among marketing and sales leaders.

While 48% of CMOs surveyed knew they needed to spend time developing strategies for long-term growth, in reality, 45% of CMOs said they spent their time reviewing budgets, approving content and campaigns, and evaluating marketing plans according to HubSpot Research.

As a partner at a marketing operation strategy firm, Curious, I work with marketing executives on this exact pain point. What’s getting results? Where should my dollar go? The most useful way I’ve found to guide executives has been through real examples. 

Peloton is the perfect fusion of my passions: marketing operations, personal fitness, and technology. In this post, I’ll use my experience as a Peloton consumer to translate sales enablement tactics that are proven to improve your bottom line. 

Garrio Harrison’s three sales enablement plays

  1. Turn customer delight into revenue with a customer retention strategy
  2. Align content to create experiences that drive loyalty
  3. Leverage technology to give your reps superhuman service abilities and cut the automation

Sales enablement extends through the entire buyer’s journey and beyond

There are three distinct areas in the buyer’s journey. Generally, if you’re talking to a buyer you’re either helping them, creating a partnership, or servicing the agreement. Or, otherwise known as, marketing, sales, and customer success, respectively. 

Each of the three categories should have a sales enablement motion. 

We’re all in the service of revenue. Many companies get this wrong. They assume revenue only comes from new customers. They assume sales enablement is only about marketing and sales alignment.

However, why not market to your current customers in a contextual way? 

Customer marketing is a powerful sales enablement function

The picture above is a great example. The Century Club t-shirt I received in the mail from Peloton clinched me as a customer of theirs forever. 

Peloton uses activity data to know exactly how much I was using their product. Instead of letting me get bored, they recognized that with an offering exclusive to other Peloton super-riders like me. 

Everyone loves feeling like they’re a member of an exclusive or high profile club. They also love being recognized for achieving something important. My wife soon joined that club with me, having achieved that milestone too, and we celebrated together.

Team Harrison Joins the Century Club

Do you think I’ll renew my membership with Peloton—you bet!  

Buyer preferences have changed a they expect more from the companies they do business with. Your business should have a customer retention strategy that delights customers.

Times are tough and though generating new pipeline should always be a priority, if you’re not presently aware of how happy your current customers are with your product or services then you’re missing out, big time. 

You run the real risk of losing them simply because you didn’t maintain the relationship. There are more opportunities sitting with your current customers than you probably know. 

Keep up the hype. 

Drive customer value through content experiences

Peloton could have just given me a free t-shirt. Instead, they made me ride for 100 miles to earn a free t-shirt. Therefore, it’s more than a free shirt.

The shirt (otherwise known as marketing content) represented my journey with the brand. The right content at the right time creates an experience. In today’s market, where content is everywhere creating valuable experiences will set you apart. 

Your sales enablement motion should create a relevant experience for your current customers as well as new customers.

Do not just qualify leads. Instead, build a relationship. Use every touchpoint to gather insights that will provide your team with what they need to enter the next conversation with maximum leverage.

Your customer-facing teams need insights more than your potential buyers need more content. So, make use of that time. Make sure that with every customer interaction you’re able to get closer to the customer. 

Instead of putting more questions on your forms, empower your reps with the right tools to customize and personalize experiences after asking questions in-person. Enable your business to tailor your product and service to that specific customer don’t just automate discovery, dig in and get to know your customer face-to-face. 

When done right, automation can then help you keep up and keep track of your relationship and give your reps the boost they need to arrive at ever customer touchpoint prepared to deliver maximum value.

Too much automation is hurting your business, enable better human-to-human interaction instead

When I first began my journey with Peloton it was with a real person. I went to the website and talked with a real human being via their chat feature. 

They were there to help me, that’s it. Simple. However, what I wasn’t aware of or expected was that their rep was taking detailed notes the whole time. 

Everything I told that Peloton rep on the website was recorded and tagged. Later when I was ready to buy the sales rep, a different person from before, knew exactly what I was working with. 

They knew what room I wanted to put their product in. They were aware of the carpet in that room and how to protect it. 

They knew all that because they took my experience seriously. Even when I was just kicking the tires.  

When the sales rep was talking to me later I didn’t have to explain anything to them. 

The day the bike arrived was the same story. The team delivering the bike knew all the details. 

This is what businesses tend to get wrong when leaning on digital tools to lead with buyers.

Too many businesses make dangerous assumptions

  • Website forms and the chatbots will do the qualification work
  • Scheduled emails will carry the entire conversation
  • Buyers don’t want to talk to salespeople. 

Getting started with sales enablement for the entire lifecycle of the customer, means addressing the revenue implications present in each of these assumptions.

In-person relationships are fundamental to driving sales

Look, businesses need leads—always will. However, not all leads are created equal and today’s qualification frameworks don’t work. 

People buy from people they trust before they buy from someone else. So don’t automate the best part of your business.

Instead, use technology to service the relationship and enhance the experience of your buyer. 

You don’t need to spend a huge amount of money on an enormous marketing campaign and make a huge splash. If you do don’t expect marketing automation to scale the experience of doing business with you. Marketing autmation can actually hurt your business

To get started with sales enablement, map your sales process as precisely as you can with the buyer’s journey.

Try to anticipate what they’ll do next and be there with a helping hand. Wow, them with personalization and a rep who actually cares about the buyer’s success. 

Align your budget and technology stack with your customer

Budget is top of mind for these CMOs because the days of big splashy ad campaigns that generate a lot of awareness are not as attractive to CEO’s and CFO’s these days as the marketing activities that actually generate a pipeline. 

The rise of sales enablement technology is bringing about a new era in revenue generation. Now, your sales process must be calibrated to driving amazing experiences on your buyer’s terms. Less is more, if you’re prepared.

The best experiences do win. 

If you dig in and analyze your marketing budget for the activities that have the highest return on investment then you’ll be ahead of the rest.  The age of marketing accountability is here and adopting a sales enablement frame will bring more clarity to your marketing. 

Now more than ever marketing and sales budgets have to justify every dollar. In my years helping businesses build marketing programs. I’ve seen many of the same assumptions being made time and time again. 

Adopt a customer-centric approach to align your budget and technology stack with your customer for better sales enablement. Just like with Peloton, there’s no amount of automation or big advertising spend that will substitute for the best part of your business. Double down on enabling the best possible experiences that build real human-to-human relationships, revenue will follow.