Just as you wouldn’t send troops into battle unarmed, you shouldn’t send your sales force into conversations without the right tools. And for your sales team, the greatest secret weapon is sales enablement content. When created and deployed strategically, this content can showcase the company’s credibility, nurture and engage prospects, and address the objections that commonly arise during sales conversations.
In short, content marketing for sales enablement allows the sales team to work smarter, not harder — and improve their sales enablement KPIs in the process. It can even rescue your sales efforts after an ugly sales call.
But how can organizations strategically create sales enablement content that can achieve all these goals?
The first thing to know is that effective sales enablement content is the product of careful alignment between marketing and sales teams. These teams should jointly shepherd the company’s sales enablement efforts through careful communication about what resources are missing, collaboration in creating the content, and strategy in deploying it. Marketing and sales teams should also remain in constant contact about what’s working and what’s not to ensure the content they’re sharing contains all the necessary ingredients for prospect persuasion.
Effective sales enablement content is all about providing the right answers to potential customers’ questions at the right time. For that reason, good sales enablement marketing should contain a few essential elements that can help the sales team move buyers closer to decisions:
Sales teams need information, training, and coaching on when and how to use sales enablement content, and they need to be able to find the right content to deploy at the right time. They need well-organized content banks, built in tandem with marketing teams, from which they can pull the right examples. Sales teams also need CRMs that they share with marketing or even specialized sales enablement platforms to facilitate the organization and discoverability of high-quality, up-to-date content during sales conversations. It’s about finding content to meet prospects’ unique needs at the right moment.
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Many leads are deep into the buyer’s journey before your sales team even makes contact, so they know they have a problem and are looking for the right solutions. That’s where your sales enablement content comes in. For example, a salesperson could send a lead an industry report highlighting a growing need for a problem to be solved accompanied by a case study about how your product or service impressively solved this problem for a customer. This not only validates the need for your product or service, but it also helps build your case in your prospect’s eyes.
Qualitative evidence of your product or service’s efficacy helps, but most prospects will be looking for hard numbers to justify their investment. What ROI have clients seen, and what’s the average that customers can expect? What customer satisfaction results or Net Promoter Scores does your company receive? What post-service ratings or survey results has your company seen? What are your response times to customers’ needs? Paint a picture by the numbers.
During sales conversations, prospects are likely wondering, “Why your company, and why right now?” Your sales content should enforce a positive perception about what sets your company apart in the marketplace, whether that’s through superior value, speed, service, friendliness, ease of use, results, or a constellation of distinctions from competitors. The goal is to impress upon prospects that your company can provide a desirable experience that others can’t.
Sales enablement content is only as good as its recency and relevancy, so it’s crucial to keep your content current with recent examples, updated metrics, and fresh case studies. Your sales and marketing collateral should reflect your company’s current capabilities and address buyers’ top-of-mind concerns.
Of course, the sales team will need pieces that meet buyers where they are in their journeys so they can attract, engage, and delight strangers, prospects, and beyond. Now, let’s look at what formats these pieces of content can take and how they fit into the sales enablement puzzle.
With those key elements in mind, it’s time to get down to business by strategizing, brainstorming sales enablement topics, and creating your content. As you go, think through not only content, but also format. Email drip campaigns can warm up leads and prime them for a conversation. Blog posts, thought leadership articles, and whitepapers can educate prospects, supplement conversations, and answer questions. And customer testimonials, case studies, and sales one-pagers can help your sales team get down to brass tacks and share specific results.
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Beyond overcoming objections and moving leads toward sales, sales enablement content can highlight valuable information that your points of contact can share with other decision makers at their companies. It can also set out expectations that will introduce prospects to your company’s way of doing business and prepare them to become good customers after the sales close.
You can measure your sales enablement goals in many ways, and perhaps the most crucial is the time you save your sales reps that they refocus on conversations with potential customers.
Other common KPIs include the time to first call, or the time it takes to get a lead on the phone, and sales cycle length, or the total days or months (on average) it takes for the sales team to close a deal. Maybe the most common sales enablement KPI is close rate, which HubSpot describes as a measure of your sales representatives’ efficiency. Also known as close ratio, win rate, and lead-to-close rate, this KPI measures the number of new leads who convert into customers.
Creating sales enablement content that meets your goals is an ongoing collaborative process between your sales and marketing departments or between your company and any number of sales enablement services available today.