Creating content that answers the right questions is key to attracting, converting, and retaining customers. According to recent studies, around 95 percent of buying decisions are directly influenced by content.
Content marketing ensures that today’s information-hungry customers are more engaged and informed before engaging with a sales rep. But every customer has unique needs. The right content can help salespeople add more value to every conversation with potential customers.
However, 95 percent of salespeople say they don’t have access to enough valuable content. So there seems to be a clear lack of collaboration between content marketers and salespeople.
What is Sales Enablement?
Sales enablement is the process of giving salespeople the right tools so that they can engage more effectively with customers in the later stages of the sales cycle.
There is some overlap between content marketing and sales enablement. While content marketing usually contributes to awareness and consideration-stage content, sales enablement content typically focuses on the decision and conversion stages.
Any content created for these different buyer stages can be used by salespeople during customer interactions, which is why content marketers should work closely with the sales team to make sure they have the right content to close more leads and accelerate sales.
In this article, we’ll look at how to empower your sales teams with the right content and information. This will ensure your content helps to build a stronger team, as well as drive sales.
What Types of Content are Best for Sales Enablement?
1. Supportive Content
These supportive materials should provide sales team members with information on the company, its values, and the ideal brand voice to be used during customer interactions.
2. Persona Documents
Creating content that is aligned with buyer personas is a crucial part of the sales process. Any details that give salespeople a better understanding of target customers should be included in these documents. Include information about typical customer demographics, job titles, motivations, aspirations, and pain points. You can use infographics, spreadsheets, articles, and even videos.
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3. Competitive Research and Analysis Documents
To understand your customers’ needs more fully, you need to know the competition. Give your sales team competitor research and analysis content that shines a light on the positives and negatives of competing brands. They can then more effectively highlight the benefits of your products and services. Areas to cover include product comparisons, price information, and audience statistics.
4. Sales Scripts
Effective sales scripts can help salespeople persuade leads to make a final purchase decision, so they’re an integral part of the sales process. They can help guide team members through different stages of the sales funnel and promote a consistent voice among various team members.
Sales scripts are especially useful for new team members and should include various talking points around different topics that may come up in customer interactions. Include questions that salespeople can ask customers, as well as answers to frequently asked questions.
5. Quick Reference and Product Sheets
As well as handy reference guides, these can be used to quickly build knowledge around specific topics such as products and services. They should clearly state the benefits of the product, service, or brand, and how they can solve problems faced by potential customers.
Like other content, these short documents should be kept in a cloud-based online location that’s accessible to all team members. They’re perfect for training material and as documents that sales people can give to prospects in the decision stage. Include product details, target audience information, and price points.
Lead Generation Content
Although lead generation content is a key part of any marketing strategy, it can also be used to educate a sales team. Salespeople can also use this type of content if a customer wants more evidence of how your brand is the solution.
6. Case Studies and Testimonials
Case studies, testimonials, and online reviews are great content assets to help salespeople close more deals. Whether they are written documents, audio files, or video content, this type of content can be sent out to push buyers toward a decision.
7. Blog Posts
It’s a good idea to use a cloud-based storage system such as Google Drive or Dropbox to store every blog post you create. This way, salespeople always have easy access to a database of articles on various topics.
You could also add a small “sales-friendly” section to every blog post on your website. Describe your company and what it does, and include a call-to-action that leads to a contact form. This can be an effective way to provide your sales team with more leads.
8. Ebooks and Whitepapers
Gated content like eBooks and whitepapers are valuable for both content marketers and salespeople. As well as containing informational content about products and services, they often contain stats and reports that help to persuade decision-stage buyers.
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Of course, there’s some crossover between all of these types of sales enablement content. Lead generation content can be used in the conversion stage, and conversion content has lead generating potential.
Give your salespeople the ability to create their own content, or adapt existing content. This content can be tailored to specific leads and unique customer queries. Here are a few examples:
9. Email Templates
Give salespeople a variety of email templates for different occasions. These can include outreach emails, follow-up emails, check-in emails, and more. Ideally, the sales team will have access to a set of templates that can be tailored to every type of customer and lead.
Social media is usually thought of as a content marketing channel, but it’s also useful for prospect engagement. Salespeople can send out links to existing social media content and also interact with prospects on each platform.
Give your sales team links to useful social media content that could be useful to customers, such as reports or infographics. You could also add a unique sales hashtag to certain posts, so that your sales team can quickly locate relevant sales-oriented content.
Engaging presentations are useful in content marketing campaigns, but they can also be an essential part of a sales pitch. To maximize the value of each slide presentation, it should be a joint production between marketing and sales.
While the marketing team can help to create presentation templates, salespeople can customize each presentation by introducing a number of key points related to the needs of each specific lead.
Bridging the Gap Between Sales and Marketing
It should be clear by now that marketing teams need to provide valuable content to their sales team. When salespeople have access to the right content at the right time, they’re more likely to engage leads and close more sales.
Hold regular meetings with your sales team. They constantly hear questions from potential customers and are therefore a treasure trove of content ideas that can be used for all stages of the sales cycle.
At the same time, salespeople should work with marketing departments so they can add value to their conversations with leads at each point in the buyer’s journey.
When sales and marketing work together, companies can see significant improvement on key performance metrics. According to the Harvard Business Review, “Sales cycles are shorter and the cost of sales is lower.”
Not all of your content will be perfect for sales enablement; some of it will have to be tweaked to make it more relevant for different types of leads. However, as you start to develop content for sales reps to use throughout the buyer’s journey, you’ll build a more well-rounded content strategy within your organization.
Use these strategies and you can transform your sales reps into trusted experts that can build more successful customer relationships and close more sales.