In this blog post, i’ll talk about sales enablement content and how you can create engaging content that does the selling for you.
If you are like most people, you might be surprised to hear the term ‘sales’ and ‘content’ thrown together. Yes, up until a few years ago, content creation was exclusive to marketing professionals only. In their contrast, salespeople were responsible for closing deals via intelligent negotiations, overzealous pitches, and constant persisting.
However, the tides turned, and selling methods became more personalized and consumer-centric. Suddenly, we realized that the traditional protocols are not sufficient. And to woo the prospects – the sellers will have to adapt to new technologies, tools, and resources.
This is where ‘Sales Enablement Content’ comes in!
What is Sales Enablement Content?
Sales enablement content, also called the ‘sales collateral’ is any piece of informational material that the sales rep can use throughout the buyer’s journey in order to entice them in making the desired purchase. Instead of focusing solely on attracting the buyers, the sales enablement content provides them with the guidance they need to decide.
For example, consumers consider a product or service when it helps ease their pain points. In this regard, a case study is one type of sales enablement content that you can use to showcase how your product has solved the same problem for others.
Similarly, product demos help demonstrate the product’s functions and capabilities. In fact, buyers who see a product demo video during their decision stage are 1.81 times more likely to make a purchase.
Apart from these, there are several types of sales enablement content that you can use according to each phase of the buyer’s journey. This includes:
- Landing Pages
- White Papers
- Competitor’s Comparison
- Email Newsletter
- Loyalty Programs
The sales enablement content can be both – printed and digital assets. But regardless of the approach you use, the content should reflect your brand in the best possible light and remain in line with the buyer’s persona.
You can always work with a professional copywriter to accelerate the content creation process. But if you prefer the do-it-yourself route, take a look at the tips below for creating compelling content for sales enablement.
Sales Enablement Content Creation Tips
1 Consult the Sales Team
No one knows the prospects better than your sales team. Therefore, it is necessary that you keep them in the loop when creating content for their empowerment.
Before you start the creation process, sit down with the sales representative to discuss the hurdles they face during the sales process. What type of feedback do they receive? Are there any specific questions that are asked by the buyers?
Having information about the ‘gaps’ in the sales process will enable you to strategically create content that addresses them.
For example, sales reps belonging to software companies often complain that buyers are hesitant about investing in their product. They are reluctant because they cannot confirm whether the specified product will seamlessly integrate with their existing system.
Since you have this information, you can create content that describes your product’s compatibility with other software.
Besides the sales team, talk to anyone who interacts directly with the customer. For instance, the customer service department can provide you with further information about the consumer’s queries and input.
2 Put the Buyer First
Your meetings with the sales team must have given you an idea about the customer’s needs. Accordingly, plan out content that aligns precisely with your buyer’s persona.
As we mentioned earlier, sales collateral should be created according to the buyer’s journey. Similarly, not every customer you meet has the same requirements. So, you must map out the content that provides the right material to the different buyers at their respective stages of the sales funnel.
It is equally important that you consider the decision-makers in the sale process. For example, your product is mainly used by the Director of the company. However, he or she only joins the sales process during the final stages. And the complete negotiation is conducted by the person who is second in command within the organization.
In this case, you should prepare ‘decision-making’ material such as competitor’s comparisons and demos geared toward the end-user or the Director along with ‘informational and persuading’ content aimed at the second-tier.
3 Analyze Existing Content
You may already have some content already established as part of your sales strategy. We suggest that you save time and effort by initially using the existing material rather than creating new ones.
Check to see the content that already exists in your company’s database. Go through them and make updates wherever they are required.
This will give you something, to begin with. It will also give you an idea of the type of content missing from your sales collateral and enable you to map your future content strategy.
4 Make the Content Accessible
Having a library full of sales-driving content is fantastic. But if your salesperson cannot access the right content at the right time – then most probably the content is of no use.
According to different sources, 60 – 80 % of the content remains unused. And while the figures may be overstated, any number of collateral remaining idle is a loss for the organization.
You see: sales reps need to work fast. They have a quota to fill and, thus, are not very fond of rummaging around folders for the correct documentation.
To make the process easy, create an asset that outlines the different sales content types and when to use it. Integrate it with your relevant CRM to provide the sales rep with recommendations for sales content throughout the sales cycle.
5 Leverage Social Proof
Social proof is simply the concept that people will follow the action of their peers. It’s built on the idea that if some product has worked for a like-minded organization, it will surely benefit the others.
These days we see so many celebrities endorsing products and services through their social media profiles. And whether we confess or not, many of us are guilty of falling into their muse and buying the same for our use.
Social proof works similarly in sales. With the help of social media mentions, previous client’s feedback, and third-party reviews, you can also highlight your brand’s success. It will also make you appear reliable and authentic in front of the prospect.
Moreover, a salesperson’s job becomes a lot easier when the potential buyer enters the sales funnel with a positive mindset for your product.
6 Measure Success
Evaluation of sales metrics is critical when it comes to sales. Without it, you will never be able to establish whether your current content strategy is working or not.
One of the best ways to configure this is by directly seeking out feedback from the prospects. Ask them whether any of the candidates have responded positively or even negatively to their latest strategy. If the content is published directly on a digital platform, keep track of the clicks, shares, downloads, and views each material gets.
For data-driven results, dive deeper and analyze the average length of each sales cycle, the leads’ response time, and the percentage of customer acquisition.
7 Educate and Train
It should go without saying that the changes in your sales operations call for regular training of the sales team. Integrate regular training into your calendar. Make sure to train your entire sales team on new products, features, and methodologies.
Keep the doors of communication open with the sales rep. Make sure they understand the importance of each tool and know how to use it properly.
Always remember, consistency is the key to achieving a successful sales cycle. Make sure the sales reps are using each content that is available to them. Follow up with their content use and even consider giving rewards to the most active member.
When used correctly, sales enablement content can make a drastic difference in your product’s ROI and conversion rates.
As Marcus Sheridan once said:
“Great content is the best sales tool!”
So, equip your sales team with well-crafted sales enablement content and see how they exceed your sales expectations.