What is the true mark of a working sales enablement strategy? A sales force that maintains meaningful conversations with prospects and customers.
It doesn’t matter how many documents the sales enablement team puts out. The important thing is to provide the sales team with content that’s relevant and helpful at each stage of the sales process.
What content you need to create depends on the particular needs of your reps. Given the sophisticated B2B sales process, it requires various forms and types of content.
We have moved way past the days where we defend and make a case for sales enablement. The question now is, what do we need to do?
In this post, we put together the different content types to source, create, and provide to give top-notch support to sales.
Successful sales teams need to know your customers deeply 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. Prepare everyone by laying out detailed buyer personas. They ensure reps 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, the 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 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 enable sales reps to better grasp your market’s psyche. This allows 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 your product, 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”. This will cost your team sale after sale. Without familiarity with the industry, it is almost 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. This is so they can uncover client pain points. and offer solutions that help solve those challenges. It’s a way to show 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
It’s good practice for reps to research competition on their own. Still, sales enablement must give them information that shows 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. These fail to be incisive of the competition.
This blunts your reps’ chances of winning more business. It also hurts the relationship of the sales enablement 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 other is key.
For sales enablement, this means creating content the sales force needs to win over the competition. The content they provide must assist in convincing clients to switch. Sales reps must 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 along the sales funnel could suffer. If there is no proper support, sales reps could struggle with this as well. Like marketing, sales is a major channel that represents companies. All conversations, content, and communication from sales can either help or hurt the way your company is viewed.
That said, this establishes the need to have consistent messaging throughout your funnel through scripting.
Guided selling gets a lot of flak. Some say it dehumanizes sales and is closer to the old school tradition of robotic salespeople. Yet, scripts are not there for verbatim use. They must complement your sales process to ensure that your reps’ activities are in line with the way the company wants to do business.
Your sales enablement efforts should include content that helps reps use your playbook effectively. Scripts must reflect the collective experience of the sales department.
Answer these questions: 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 came the need for inbound marketing. Creating content that sells through direct sales pitches has constantly been proven ineffective.
Now, marketing professionals create content that helps audiences. Content must enrich their knowledge and help prospects overcome their challenges.
Sales enablement is ultimately about optimizing a company’s revenue generation efforts. That said, reps need to know which content attracts and convinces. Not only does this knowledge enrich their conversations, it also provides valuable clues about a prospect. This gives salespeople a solid head start before 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 create these content types. Use them and continue to foster a better relationship between sales, sales enablement, and marketing.
Sales enablement is vital to all effectiveness and acceleration efforts on the floor. Having a strategy in place is not only an option–it’s a necessity for all sales organizations that want to stay competitive.
This article originally appeared as a guest post on the Knowledge Tree blog.
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