Is your sales team constantly pestering you with different wants and needs? The process of asking your sales team what they want, and then using what they say to create your content is past its time. The sales team, in reality, does not know what they need and often has trouble finding it.
It is the job of the marketing team to create content that aligns to the sales process. The biggest problem marketing and sales teams have isn’t necessarily that the content doesn’t exist, but how to make that content easily accessible. More specifically, is the problem that the content isn’t there or that it isn’t findable?
The way to resolve this sales enablement problem is to systematically get the sales team what they actually need—those things that help it complete an activity to move the buyer towards a sale.
What Can Marketers Do?
1) Map the Sales Process/Buyer Journey
What does your buyer journey look like? The Graphic below is SiriousDecision’s version of the journey.
Not only is it clear that there are a number of stages in making a buying decision, but each requires its own distinctive information to help the buyer move through the process. The goal of the exercise is to make sure we have content that is available along the entire buyer journey, so creating your sales process map is the key first step.
2) Align Content to Sales Process/Buyer Journey
Based on where the buyer is in their journey, the marketing team should have materials that support each stage. The team must therefore organize which materials go with which piece of the journey.
As a basic example, a prospect at the earliest portion of their journey would probably be looking for introductory presentations, case studies and market research information. As they move further down the cycle, you could potentially present them with guides and an ROI analysis, followed by contracts at the very end of the process.
3) Figure Out What You Actually Have
A lot of the time, your sales team and others in the field ask you to create something because they do not know that it already exists. You might create a brand new piece of content that you could’ve already had but didn’t know it because it is buried away in your enterprise CMS, like SharePoint. Taking the time to catalogue which content you have that is still relevant today is the key—because stale, outdated content can clog up a CMS faster than Bigfoot taking his first shower.
4) Fill in the Holes
Now that you’ve figured out what sort of content you have, you can fill in existing holes and create new content. This approach is much more efficient than simply responding to one-off emails by members of your sales team, as the right pieces of content will be delivered to everyone, rather than to just those individuals with wants and needs.
5) Make it Available/Easier
The ultimate goal is to make it easier for members of your sales team to find what they need without having to ask marketing. For many sales teams, it is impossible to go into a shared drive from a mobile device while traveling to meet a prospect and locate the right pieces of content for that precise moment in the sales process.
While this step often requires the right technology, it is also important to keep in mind that improving the sales enablement process begins with streamlining the marketing process. For a company looking to improve their sales enablement process, the goal is to make the process the sales person goes through easier than what was currently in place and also make marketing more efficient with its efforts supporting the field.
Although sales enablement success is defined by making the sales process easier, it cannot be built through one-off emails that are simply responding to individual wants and needs. As a marketer, you need to go through this five-step process in order to continuously deliver the right information and content to your sales team.