Did you know that almost any content piece you publish has the potential to improve your sales?
As the role of the high-value content is increasing, marketing and sales professionals join forces and share their experiences to tailor content perfect for each stage of the sales funnel. You’ll see the real marketing and sales magic when your marketing and content teams start creating sales-enabled content.
We’ve gathered the best pieces of advice and sales enablement practices to help you create the content which has the potential to empower and assist your sales team.
Why it’s important to enable your sales teams with curated content
Aren’t particularly sure what content enablement is? No worries! Before we move further to the types of sales enablement content you should be working on, let’s first dive into the sales enablement basics.
Sales enablement is the process of providing your sales team with strategic resources needed to engage customers at any stage of the buying process and drive more sales. To put it simply, it’s when you provide your sales team with relevant research, content, tools, and training materials to prepare them for more personalized and strategic interactions with customers.
When it comes to sales enablement, the content you produce has a major influence on the number of sales you close. The content you create for marketing purposes should be different from sales enablement content.
Typically, marketing content is created to attract leads and convert them into prospects while sales enablement content is the content you create for the conversion and closing stages of the sales funnel. In other words, sales enablement content is about convincing your customers after you’ve attracted them with your marketing pieces.
Sales enablement content for better sales-marketing alignment
Now that you’ve learned more about the concept, let’s see how you can benefit from sales-marketing alignment. Sales enablement content brings both external and internal advantages.
Here are some of its benefits:
- Strengthens the sales processes
- Helps you to boost conversions and work more leads through the buyer’s journey
- Brings a competitive advantage
- Provides insights into customers’ pain points, motivations, and behaviors
- Helps you to build long-term relationships with your customers
- Is useful for training new employees on product features and benefits
7 types of sales enablement content you should be creating
The right support and structure of sales enablement can bring a missing component to your content development process. Now, let’s take a closer look at the types of sales enablement content your marketing department should be focusing on.
1. Blog posts/articles
Even though marketing and sales enablement content should be differentiated, some content materials like informative blog posts and articles can be utilized for both purposes. From the sales enablement perspective, blog posts and articles have great internal and external value.
You can use blog posts to educate your customers and show your expertise in the industry. At the same time, you can utilize them for the purpose of training. For example, you can share blog materials as reference documents to educate a new salesperson about your products and their benefits.
2. White papers
Typically, finding topics for white paper documentation is quite challenging. That’s when your sales team can join your content marketing department in a brainstorming session. Insights from the sales team can give you the right understanding of your customers’ pain points, interests, and experiences.
Also, white papers can be used by sales professionals as an additional reference and informational boost. Statistics and educational information can be quite useful for both educational and sales purposes.
Conduct content audits to enhance existing content and revamp it for your sales teams
Conduct an audit of your existing content to identify which pieces need some additional work, which can be used for sales enablement purposes, and which you won’t be able to utilize at all.
It’s useful to identify specific questions your prospects might have and evaluate your content regarding these questions. If you find that some content pieces aren’t suited for sales enablement, you can reuse them as educational materials. If you aren’t sure where to start with your content audit, here are some useful tips.
- Generate a list of all your content
- Develop a detailed customer profile
- Focus on specific metrics to measure the success of your content efforts
- Create a report to summarize your findings, analysis, and recommendations
Conducting content audits can help you identify which responsibilities can be delegated to the service providers. For example, you can employ software for compiling and updating a list of your content or use a slogan generator to create SEO-friendly slogans for your content pieces.
Work with the sales team to identify the most popular concerns they encounter at different stages of the buyer’s journey and tailor your content accordingly. Ask your sales department to create a list of the most popular queries, and create different content pieces to address them.
Keeping track of the key metrics and success indicators is always a good idea. Measuring content usage and analytics will give you a clear picture of your performance. There is a lot of data you can collect about your content and it’s easy to get lost in the metrics. That’s why it is important to identify the key metrics you’d like to collect with respect to your goals and industry specifications.
All content metrics can be classified by the purpose and categorized into three groups: relevance, traffic, and engagement. To be effective, content must resonate with your readers. That’s why it’s so important to measure content relevance. The key metrics to measure relevance are time on page and bounce rate. If your average time on page is high with a low bounce rate, your content can be considered relevant.
The success of your content greatly depends on the amount of traffic it drives. To measure generated traffic, keep track of the average site traffic per month, page views, and page sessions.
Measuring user engagement is the key to keeping and retaining customers. Keep track of the number of downloads (likes, shares, comments, etc.), the total number of users, session interval and length, retention, and conversion rates.
3. Case studies
Case studies are great because they display how customers implement and gain value from products in real life. Putting together a good case study requires thorough research and analysis. When analyzing case studies, put a great emphasis on the success previous customers have had with your product. You can create case studies in a classic challenge-solution-result format for convenience.
There is no way additional references can hurt your sales department. It’s always a great idea to back your proposal up with real-life success stories and case studies. Not only does it add credibility to the words of a salesperson, but it also works as a persuasion technique.
4. Product spec sheets
Similarly to case studies, data or product spec sheets are useful for both your prospects and the sales team. When creating your product spec sheets, add a detailed description of your product and its features, benefits, pricing, and more.
Brief product spec sheets with a thorough description can also be useful for education purposes. For instance, you can not only share your blog materials but also present new employees with the product spec sheets to expedite their training.
Not sure how to create a proper spec sheet? Here is a list of what an ideal product spec sheet should include:
- General information about a product (e.g. name, description, code number, main and supplementary images, etc.)
- Classification of a product for easier search and audit (e.g. product category, type, size, color, collection, etc.)
- Product logistics to optimize delivery and warehouse management (e.g. dimensions, weight, size, volume, number of units, etc.)
- Stock sheets to inform your customers whether a product is available or not (e.g. availability, expected availability, stock pending reception, etc.)
- Rates, prices, and sales (e.g. general prices and rates, rates per customer, temporary sales and promotions, samples and points, etc.)
5. Competitor analyses/comparisons
Once your prospect has moved to the consideration stage, they’ll start comparing you to your competitors. That’s when you have to persuade them that your product has a superior value over competitors’ products. It’s useful to create competitor comparisons tables to visualize your advantage.
Your sales team can also learn a lot from competitor analysis as they have to be able to explain to the prospects why your company overperforms others in the industry. A well-crafted competitor analysis document is an essential material you should use in training sales professionals. Emphasize how they can best persuade prospects in the competitive advantage of your product.
Use your company’s internal documentation to create sales-specific content that your customers will later use in their buyer’s journey. Reuse product comparisons, product spec sheets, case studies, and customer surveys to identify customers’ concerns and address them in your content.
6. Sales scripts
Sales scripts (aka call scripts) refer to the predefined set of talking points, like product description, features, advantages, and price. Sales scripts are typically used by sales reps as a reference while engaging with prospects. Sales scripts are crucial because they can guide prospects to make their final decision at the bottom of the sales funnel.
If you want to employ sales scripts as a sales enablement tool, it’s important that your service team use it as a reference, not as a word-to-word script. Have your marketing and sales departments work together on the sales scripts. Sales professionals can share valuable insight into what works best in the conversation with prospects. While it’s the marketers’ responsibility to optimize the talking points accordingly.
7. Email templates
Email templates can also be used as sales-enablement tools. Besides equipping your sales department with the newsletters, you might want to share additional email templates, like follow-ups, check-in emails, welcome emails, outreach emails, and more.
Email templates can be utilized for specific marketing activities, let’s say, webinars, whitepaper releases, and events. Alternatively, your sales team can use a set of pre-designed email templates to test their outreach campaigns.
Mapping content to the customer’s journey
Create a customer’s journey map and assign specific content pieces to each stage. Your marketing and sales teams must work together to identify the best way to map your content to the customer’s journey.
As you create your content, try thinking from a customer perspective and make sure to create engaging content for each of the stages of the sales funnel. As a prospect enters the sales funnel, they are at the awareness stage looking for answers, resources, opinions, data, and so on.
The content you create must give prospects enough information as they start learning about your company. The best content types to offer at the top of the sales funnel are checklists, how-to videos, webinars, eBooks, white paper documentation, and more.
As prospects move further through the sales funnel, they now enter the evaluation stage. During this stage, people are actively researching their options. While the content at the top of the sales funnel is designed to educate people, the middle is best for showing why you offer the best solution. Use case studies, FAQs, data and product spec sheets, webinars, and demo videos during this stage of the sales funnel.
If a prospect successfully moved through the previous stages, they now enter the final purchase stage. The bottom of the sales funnel is where people figure out what it takes to become a customer and make the actual purchase decision. The best content pieces to offer during the purchase stage are free trials, demos, coupons, savings, free consultation, and so on. Collaborate with the sales team to learn more about the stages of the buyer’s journey and when is the best time to use different types of content.
The main benefit of maintaining an active line of communication between your sales and marketing departments is that, at the end of the day, these materials and ideas will benefit your customers.
As you’ve learned today, marketing-sales alignment is the key to creating sales-enablement content. It’s important to allow your sales team to take over and dictate direction to boost the effectiveness of your content strategy.
Continue supporting your sales team to the best of your ability with the right sales enablement software tools. When used alongside sales-enabled content, your sales team is bound to achieve their goals and exceed expectations.