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David Mills
By David Mills on February 25, 2022

Sales Enablement and the Hybrid Sales Model

How sales enablement can support hybrid sales.

In 2021, almost one-third of outside salespeople transitioned to inside sales - permanently. But as the pandemic restrictions ease, a new kind of sales is emerging. It's the hybrid sales model in which sales teams use the best of virtual and in-person skills to become more efficient and meet new customer expectations of speed and convenience.

The missing ingredient? Sales enablement fueled by Sales and Marketing Alignment - a big part of which is driven by shifting priorities in the marketing focus.

Buyers were changing, too

In 2021, lots of salespeople discovered that they could swim both inside and outside the office if they learned to navigate the virtual space. The speedbump they ran into is that buyers were changing too. 

Buyers were already trending toward a strong preference for self-education, with more and more discovery happening prior to the sales discussion. During the pandemic that trend accelerated - no trade shows and no in-person visits.  

Estimates today put the pre-sales segment of the buyer journey at 70%. That means that what the buyer encounters online (i.e., marketing's job) is now the biggest part of the sales and decision journey for the buyer. 

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Hybrid sales rely upon marketing that enables hybrid sales

Not only is the salesperson working in a hybrid setting, the line between where marketing stops and sales starts no longer exists. Sales enablement means that marketing needs to be closely aligned with the sales conversation for two big reasons:

  1. Marketing has to ensure that the digital journey which buyers are taking 70% of the time before talking with sales actually supports and prepares more sales-ready prospects.
  2. Marketing is best equipped to create and support hybrid salespeople with digital content and information that accelerates and supports hybrid sales.

How hybrid sales can benefit from marketing sales enablement


Many of the automation tools used by sales can become big resources for sales acceleration. These tools are already found in the world of marketing and include

  • calendar and meeting booking automation,
  • data augmentation,
  • follow-up communication,
  • social media presence,
  • and research,

along with smart website pages that deliver specialized content to audiences that the sales team may be working with. 

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Digital content

Digital content is the bread and butter of effective marketing. It becomes much more powerful when it is closely aligned with sales insights. When that content is aligned, sales teams can use marketing content to warm up, keep warm and follow up with prospects with great impact. 

When marketing interacts directly with sales, the frequent questions and objections, along with existing content that is only accessible by sales teams become ways to amplify the content that buyers consume throughout their decision journey.

Digital experience tracking

The journey that buyers have taken before and during the sales conversation is critical information that salespeople need to access. A key marketing role is to clearly prepare tracking for sales use with clear indicators about the specific kinds of resources that are being accessed. This applies to both the individual prospect and what they may have been exploring as well as the larger audience and what they are searching for and consuming online. This allows the salesperson to have specific knowledge about prospects and top focus areas for the industry.

Support account-based sales

If your sales team is focused on reaching high-value prospects with an account-based approach, it will employ a multi-touch, multi-channel strategy that is designed to reach the entire buying committee inside that account. The development of these touches requires the support of marketing teams and often uses a one-to-one or one-to-many approach which can be supported much more effectively when the marketing team is engaged for this purpose.

Both teams are better

Whether the sales team is 50% virtual, or split another way, a close alignment with marketing must be created. Engaging the marketing team, or an external growth team, to fulfill the role of intentional sales enablement makes both teams better and can create real leverage for salespeople living in both virtual and in-person worlds.


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Published by David Mills February 25, 2022
David Mills