It Takes (Convincing) a Village…to Make a Sale

Sales enablement

(Smarter with Gartner)


There used to be at time you’d home in on the needs/fears of a single stakeholder and tailor your sales and marketing message accordingly.  But decision making, even at the highest levels, has become more of a group effort.  According to research in The Challenger Customer by Gartner, the number of people involved in B2B purchase decisions rose from an average of 5.4 in 2015 to 6.8 in 2017.  

“With buying decisions increasingly committee-based, marketers must leverage enterprise personas to deliver marketing messages that drive higher-quality (and quantity) leads,” says Noah Elkin, research director, Gartner for Marketers.

In “Improve B2B Lead Generation With Enterprise Personas,” the author concisely lays out how to develop these personas.

An enterprise persona reflects market segmentation choices and places them in a context that makes it easier for both marketing and sales to apply in a consistent manner. Enterprise personas focus marketing and sales on the impact their value proposition has on the client’s larger strategic objectives, rather than a single stakeholder’s goals.

“Building an enterprise persona focuses the conversation around your customers and their needs rather than your product or service,” says Elkin. “This will go a long way toward building credibility and trust with your customers and prospects — two essential ingredients for generating sales-ready leads.”

We’d add that this is also a good internal exercise, where you gather company stakeholders at every level to crystallize your own enterprise persona, aka, brand, beyond your products or services.  This is actually a key element in the sales enablement support we provide to our clients.   

Developing enterprise personas adds considerable complexity to an already long sales cycle.  It requires a pretty demanding set of skills, including data mining, pattern recognition, behavioral psychology and forensics. That’s not easy to find for any company, let alone a mid-sized one with finite marketing and sales resources. But given the time and resources an enterprise sale already requires – and considering what’s at stake – it’s worth the additional investment.

Sales Enablement: Content, Technology & Support that Shortens Sales Cycles

In most companies, sales produces more content than marketing. But every minute a sale rep spends creating content is a minute he or she is not selling. Sales enablement helps organizations streamline the sales process and shorten sales cycles by improving buyer interactions with better, more relevant sales content and equipping sales teams with the tools they need to be more informed and productive sellers.

We know that nearly 60 percent of the buying decision is made before a lead will talk to sales. That means marketing is already participating in sales enablement.  Yet, according to Hubspot, only about half of the organizations surveyed align their marketing activities with their sales objectives.

Sales enablement

BackBone’s Sales Enablement Service:   

  • Sales and Messaging Diagnostic: web-based self-assessments that enable organizations to “audit” their sales/messaging processes.
  • Content marketing and sales automation to support all phases of the sales process: developing timely, focused content to improve – and sustain – communications with prospects and customers (case studies, product sheets, white papers, ebooks, articles, emails). Helping customers select and use the most appropriate sales automation platform to streamline the targeting and continuous improvement of their sales outreach.
  • Implementing sustainable, flexible systems to more efficiently find, hire and onboard top salespeople, and building a high performance team.

Sales enablement is about uncovering inconvenient truths by asking the hard questions: what’s working, what needs fixing, who should we be talking to and what does she want? Also: what’s your story, and are you hiring the best people.

Let us know if you’re ready to be asked some tough questions. You might be surprised at your answers. We’re offering the first 10 companies that respond a free sales content and technology audit. Please take a moment to fill out the form below and we’ll contact you to set up a call.  We look forward to meeting you!


Podcasts: Old is the New New

Don’t get me wrong, I love radio.

PodcastsSome of my earliest and fondest memories are radio-based: listening to late-night Mets and Knicks games (and some of their most epic well past bedtime), growing up listening to the talk radio that played in the house continuously (I can still do passable imitations of Bob Grant, Barry Farber and Malachi McCord), and in my high school years listening deep into the night to the surrealistic dreamscapes of the great radio monologist Joe Frank. Years ago I wrote a pilot for a radio series called Dick Mann Undercovers (wherein the eponymous Marlowe/Bond-like hero battles an assortment of arch-villains, including the Game Show Host, Abstract Expressionist and the French Chef — the latter threatens to turn the Hudson into bouillabaisse). I also co-hosted several nationally syndicated sports radio shows.

So yeah, I love radio and if given the chance could probably explain what I love about it. Still, I was perplexed by the unexpected rise in the popularity of podcasts over the past couple of years (in 2018, 48 million people listen to Podcasts weekly, up six million from 2017 — from Edison Research).

For the full article, visit