The challenges that lie ahead for your sales team are immense. Sales directly impacts your business's bottom line, so it is imperative to provide your team with all the resources they need for success.
That is what sales enablement is all about - empowering your sales team with the tools and resources required for converting more prospects into paying customers. And content is a key component in sales enablement. It is essential not only to the seller but also to the buyer making the purchase decision.
Sales enablement content is also one of the biggest pain points of sales professionals. A survey by Marketbridge shows that almost 71 percent of top tech companies find content development to be the most challenging areas of sales enablement.
With the right strategy, however, getting quality sales enablement content doesn't need to be a pain point. Most businesses already create engaging and relevant marketing content. By simply finding ways to utilize this content tactically and using the right tools, such as an Instagram content calendar, and best practices for creating new sales enablement content, half the battle is won. But before we dive deeper into these details, let's understand why your sales team needs sales enablement content in the first place.
The role of sales enablement content
To understand how sales enablement content empowers your sales team, it is first important to know what sales enablement content really is. Sales enablement content is any content created to inform, educate and support your customers in their journey towards making a purchase. Such content can be shared by your sales team with your prospects at different stages of their journey. This content will help them better understand the product or service, and drive the prospect closer to a purchase.
Sales enablement content can also be created exclusively for your sales team. Sales enablement content can be market research, customer data or relevant insights presented in an easily readable format that helps salespeople build better customer relationships and sell more efficiently.
So every business will broadly have two categories of sales enablement content: customer-facing content and internal seller-facing content. Customer-facing content can be anything like case studies, product comparisons, whitepapers, research reports, product demos, etc., that can influence a buyer's purchase decision.
Customer-facing sales enablement content can help your sales team:
- Overcome a buyer's common objections during the sales process
- Inform buyers about the product in much more detail
- Prepare and assist the customer in their decision-making process
- Improve the customer experience and build long-term relationships
Seller-facing content usually includes market trends reports, customer insights, calling scripts, email templates, product descriptions, and such resources that keep your sales team updated. The seller-facing sales enablement content empowers your sales team by:
- Providing up-to-date and crucial information
- Presenting important market and customer data in an easily readable, standardized format
- Giving them access to information round-the-clock
- Assisting their learning from sales training programs
Sales teams can also gather most of their sales enablement content from the marketing team. Most of the information that sales teams need is already available with marketing teams, and they can ideally collaborate to nurture prospects better. Marketing content usually includes blogs, case studies or whitepapers that can be repurposed by sales teams as customer-facing sales enablement content.
How to create effective sales enablement content
Now the real challenge is creating good sales enablement content that is truly empowering. Like any other content, sales enablement content will also need good content planning and the right tools to assist your efforts. Here are a few ways you can boost your sales enablement content creation process for better outcomes.
1. Brainstorm for a strong content strategy
The first thing that you will need to create effective content for sales is a robust strategy. Strategy building is not a one-person show, however. You will need to involve everyone who is working hands-on in sales as well as in content creation. Get together with your sales, marketing and content teams to think of what sales enablement content you should invest in. You need to assign responsibilities and decide on deliverables and timelines. Decide on a process and fix a schedule for regular internal meetings to gather feedback or discuss improvement opportunities. The content strategy should also define what tools and aides the team might need to deliver efficiently and on time, which brings us to the next point.
2. Get the tools for success
Content creation is a time- and effort-intensive activity, be it for marketing, sales or any other business function. Sales enablement content requires inputs from different people and has to undergo several rounds of revisions and editing to finally be worthwhile. Without the necessary tools at your disposal, it can be very difficult to maintain quality and productivity in this process. There are some tools that every sales team can benefit from using, with regard to content creation and collaboration.
At the heart of your sales enablement efforts is the quality of content you create. A content creation, collaboration and workflow management tool like Narrato is a must-have for this. Narrato boasts of a powerful editor that offers content optimization suggestions as well as an AI writing assistant. Custom templates can be created and applied to tasks, which are particularly helpful for creating your sales email templates and standardized reports. You can also create and save custom style guides for your whitepapers, research reports or any other content where a consistent style is preferred.
Collaboration features on Narrato, such as in-line comments on content and messages, let your team easily share feedback, in remote work too. Finished content tasks can be shared with stakeholders using publicly shareable links. There are custom roles and access for users. If you have freelancers on your content team, you can also manage their payments on the platform using the Freelancer Payments Management module.
Content project management features like content calendars and workflow boards help you keep track of your projects. All your content can be categorically organized under Projects and Folders. With new features being added to the platform very often, Narrato can be an indispensable asset in your sales team's tool stack.
Content in sales also includes all the visual content that you need to create. From videos to infographics to charts, there are a host of visual elements that enhance your content's value. To create such visuals, a visual content collaboration tool like Figma can be very handy.
Figma is a design platform where you can create all kinds of graphics without any expertise in graphic designing or using an online image editor. Easy drag-and-drop editors make the platform extremely user-friendly. Live collaboration ensures that everyone working on a design project is in the loop, even if working remotely. FigJam is the platform's collaboration tool that offers some interesting features like online whiteboarding where you can ideate and brainstorm with your team. From sketching ideas on the whiteboard to virtual sticky notes, it is very much like sitting together in a meeting room and collaborating on a project.
Internal communication as well as communication with stakeholders outside your company also play a key role in the sales content creation process. This is where a tool like Slack comes in. Slack is great for managing all your communication at one place. You can create separate channels for different teams, topics or projects, that will have only the members who need to be in the conversation. This keeps your conversations relevant and on point. You can also invite members from outside your organization to join a channel. If you work with freelancers, a marketing or content agency, or just need to gather customer feedback for your sales enablement content, Slack can be your centralized communication platform for everyone.
3. Regularly update your sales enablement content
It is important to remember that content creation in sales is not a one-off event. Most of the information that you share with your sales team is dynamic, be it product information, market research or customer data. This is why it is extremely important that all your sales enablement content is regularly updated. There should be a system in place to review and update the content every month or at least quarterly to ensure that new information is available to the salespeople. A meeting needs to be scheduled every time new content is released to brief your sales team about what it is and how they can access it.
4. Focus on the buyer experience rather than on sales
When creating sales enablement content, it is important to look at it from the buyer's perspective. According to research by Forrester, almost 57 percent of B2B businesses said that material they receive from vendors is useless to them. This is what happens when your sole intention with sales content is to sell rather than to add value to the customer's experience. So it is essential to do your background research and find out what a prospect might want to know from your sales team during their buying journey. Create content that answers their questions and addresses their objections. This will help build trust in your brand and is likely to influence a buyer's decision in your favor.
5. Track success and share results
Any kind of effort you put into business has to yield some tangible result. So your efforts in creating sales enablement content to empower your sales team also need to be constantly monitored for performance and success. You will need to set relevant metrics to see how your sales content has affected the outcomes for your sales team. For instance, has your conversion rate increased in a quarter after releasing a certain type of sales enablement content? Or, have your salespeople been able to reduce the sales cycle length after using sales enablement content?
These results also need to be shared with your sales team to boost their morale, so they continue to leverage the content for better performance. If the results are not up to expectations, it can also help you pinpoint where the sales team is faltering and determine how they can use the sales content better.
Sales enablement content is a powerful tool for every business. Lead nurturing with effective content is just as important as effective lead generation is for your sales team. If you want evidence on how sales content delivers better results, you can simply compare the productivity of your sales team before and after equipping them with quality content. Most often than not, the performance after will be far better. But it is important to revisit your content strategy regularly and keep optimizing it. Sales enablement content creation is a continuous process and you have to invest the time it needs if you wish to see long-term success.