The true mark of a working sales enablement strategy is a sales force that constantly maintains meaningful conversations with prospects and customers. It doesn’t matter how documents the sales enablement team puts out; the important thing is to provide the sales team with content that is relevant and helpful at each stage of the sales process.
What content you should create depends on the particular needs of your reps. Given that B2B sales processes are often pretty sophisticated, various forms and types of content will be required.
We have moved way past the days where sales enablement needs to be defended and made the case for. The question now is, what do we need to do?
In this post, we put together the different content types that sales enablement teams should be able to source, create, and provide to give topnotch support to sales.
Successful sales teams need to know your customers deeply in order to perform well. To prospect and sell with precision, reps must have intimate knowledge of your buyers’ motivations, needs, and pain points.
Supply them with persona documents – a vital part of addressing this need. Laying out detailed buyer personas ensures everyone is prepared to help customers uncover and solve their problems.
Persona documents come in various formats – infographics, spreadsheets, articles, and even videos. The skeleton of a persona document is a breakdown of a semi-fictional character representing a typical customer. Basic information like general background, age, gender, job description, size of the company they work for, their decision-making power in their company, personal interests, personal aspirations, and any detail that helps form a better understanding of the customer should be included in these documents.
Remember, buyers are still people. Their decisions are not purely business-driven. You need to earn their trust and speak to them in a language they understand.
Having these documents enables sales reps to better grasp your market’s psyche, in effect allowing them to fine tune their calls and give as much value to your prospects as possible.
Product Training and Mastery Documents
Consultative selling is where it’s at today. If your customer-facing reps don’t master the ins and outs of the solutions your company provides, the competition will leave you in the dust.
Salespeople should know what they sell – and only sell what they know. A clueless salesperson talking to a decision-maker who has substantial experience in the industry would be easily “outed”, costing your team sale after sale. Without familiarity with the industry and how your own solution fits in this context, it will be nearly impossible to score high-ticket sales.
Sales enablement plays a key role in developing product and industry mastery on the sales floor. Providing product and industry content to the sales force will help them ask the right questions to uncover client pain points, offer solutions that help solve those challenges, and demonstrate your company’s superiority over other solutions available in the market.
Examples: Product sheets, pages, manuals, use-case demos, live demo recording
Competitor Research and Analysis
While it’s good practice for reps to research the competition on their own, it is expected for sales enablement to provide them with information that puts them in the best position to show your solution’s edge over others. It’s often a neglected component of a successful sales force. There are too many sales guides that only gloss over the competition and fail to be incisive of competition. Not only does this blunt your reps’ chances of winning more business, it also hurts the relationship of the sales enablement team or the marketing team with the sales force.
Aligning the efforts of these departments has been a perennial issue for sales organizations. Ensuring that each one is performing to support the productivity and efficiency of the others is key. For sales enablement, that means creating content that enables the sales force to win over competition, convince clients to switch, and be at the forefront of establishing your solution as the best in the biz.
Examples: Competitor battle cards, competitor site and content audit, competitor marketing materials
Because of the multi-touch nature of B2B selling, the consistency of messaging across the sales force and along the whole sales funnel could suffer if there is not proper support. Like marketing, sales is a major channel through which companies are represented. All conversations, content pieces, and written communication that goes out through sales reps either helps or hurts the way businesses view your company.
That said, this establishes the need to have consistent messaging throughout your funnel through scripting.
A lot of flak has been thrown toward guided selling, in that it dehumanizes sales and is closer to the old-school tradition of robotic salespeople. However, scripts are not there to be used verbatim. They are created to complement your sales process and to ensure that your reps’ activities are in-line with the way the company wants to do business.
Your sales enablement efforts should include providing the sales force with content that helps them move through your playbook effectively. Scripts should reflect the collective experience of the sales department – what core scripts work to open up the sales process? What scripting works for common objections and inquiries you get?
Examples: email templates, voicemail spiels, Call scripts, product demo scripts and presentation materials
Customer-Facing Marketing Materials
In today’s business landscape, customers are in control. They drive revenue with their choices and decisions. Now more than ever, anybody out in the market for a solution has access to a vast amount of information. With that comes the need for inbound marketing. Creating content that sells through direct sales pitches has constantly been proven ineffective. Now, marketing professionals are creating content that educates and helps their audiences enrich their knowledge and overcome their challenges.
Since sales enablement is ultimately about optimizing the sales department’s revenue generation capabilities, reps need to know what content attracts and convinces prospects. Not only does this knowledge enrich their conversations, it also provides substantial clues as to what challenges and interests a prospect has. This gives salespeople a solid head start prior to connecting with a lead.
Examples: blog posts, case studies, ebooks, infographics, lead magnets, videos, podcasts
Regardless of who owns the sales enablement function in an organization, it’s crucial to know that creating these content types and fostering a better relationship between sales and marketing are crucial in optimizing the ability of the sales force to generate revenue.
Sales enablement is vital to all effectiveness and acceleration efforts on the floor. Having a strategy in place is not optional anymore – it’s a necessity for all sales organizations that want to stay competitive.