Marketing and sales have evolved quite a lot over the years, and so has the consumer. Businesses today have to woo clients that are more savvy, well-informed and skeptical than in past generations. It is no longer the case that creating a quality product is enough to get you over the line. Success comes from building a brand that convinces clients to commit to a purchase decision.
This is where sales enablement comes in. For all the effort and resources a company pours into content marketing, sales enablement should be the end goal. Teams have to devise an effective sales content strategy which will help them become more effective at converting leads.
In this article, we dive into how this is done. How can you create effective sales enablement content?
What is Sales Enablement Content?
The goal of any business is to get more people buying more of its products or services. From the buyer’s perspective, this usually means comparing different options and selecting the most beneficial one. For the company, the goal is to influence this decision as much as possible to get the client to buy your product. Sales enablement content is simply the content companies create to try and nudge leads in the direction of their products.
Why Is It Important to Create Sales Enablement Content?
Businesses know that leads are looking at a line-up of competing products before they come to that all-important decision. If a prospect comes across your product and is interested, they will need more information before they can make a decision. Even if your product is better than the competition, you will need to provide the information the lead needs in order to be able to compare products. Not providing this may rule you out, and the sale might go to a company whose product the buyer feels they know better.
Sometimes, this information might not even be related to the product itself, it may be about the identity of your brand for example. What values do you stand for that are important to a certain demographic? Taking a clear stance on things, like the environment, certain social issues, or your commitment to local communities, might be enough to convince people your brand is worth their loyalty.
So how does one go about finding the right sales enablement topics to help them create the right content?
5 Tips for Creating Sales Enablement Content
Ask Your Customers
Getting it from the client themselves is a sure-fire way to come to reliable conclusions. You could survey your clients to ensure you are basing your strategy on a large enough sample of respondents. Find out what was most important to them when choosing your product, where and how they came to a decision. Information on what platform they discovered this information on will help you focus your efforts better. Also, find out what you could do better. Almost every purchase is likely to be a compromise on some attractive aspect of another product or service they may have rejected in your favor.
Use Your Sales Team’s Expertise
Considering that they are the ones who are in contact with your clients the most, it only makes sense to get your sales team in on the act as you come up with a plan. They have a well-rounded practical view of what clients want and how to best persuade them. It would be a fatal mistake to overlook this crucial and very valuable information. Including your sales staff in this process also gets them invested in the plan and helps to keep them motivated to implement it in the long run.
Map Content to the Customer’s Journey
Whatever content you settle on, it should be targeted to specific phases of your client’s interaction with your strategy. If they are only first learning about your product, for example, you may want to employ advertising campaigns on the platforms best placed to reach your target market. If the customer is weighing different options, you can provide them with success stories, showing how others have benefited by choosing you. You can offer them samples or trials, or you can position your product advantageously, in terms of price or value-addition against direct competitors. The idea is that for every stage of the journey, you should have carefully crafted content that addresses the needs of your clients.
Visualize Your Content Where Possible
The most effective content is easy for the audience to digest. It is therefore a good idea, where you can, to present information in a way that is easy for your clients to quickly understand and easily remember. That means video, audio, pictures, and infographics wherever possible.
Analyze the Content Usage
Even after you have settled on your strategy and deployed your content, it is important to continuously improve. Tracking the performance of your content and making tweaks when and where necessary will ensure that you constantly stay aware of what is working and what isn’t. Knowing which content converts best helps you create a blueprint for future success.
Top 8 Sales Enablement Content Types
High-Value Blog Posts
Blog posts do a great job establishing you as a trusted source of truth for your clients. By giving them information to help them solve problems, you cast your brand in a positive light, and pitch your products or services to them in a subliminal, non-intrusive way – without sounding too “marketingy”.
Case studies showcase how your offering has provided the solution for a problem the client might be facing. Instead of inundating your leads with spammy marketing messages, you instead show them the demonstrated effectiveness of your solution in a real story involving others like them. That is a powerful message that, if done right, could work better than any catchy slogan.
Lending your brand credibility by showing a string of happy customers helps create trust. On their own, marketing messages sound like, well, just marketing. Adding customer testimonials adds a “don’t just take our word for it” element to your messaging that will enable your audience to give you the benefit of the doubt.
Well-designed, thoughtful emails can be an effective tool for getting through to your clientele. Take the time to create classy, attractive templates that your sales reps can use to quickly generate sales enablement emails that are engaging, without them having to spend too much time making something from scratch.
Ebooks give your clients an opportunity to deep-dive into a subject of interest. Like blog posts, they establish you as a trusted source, and give you an opportunity to show off your products or services without making people feel that you are aggressively trying to sell them something.
White papers are a level up from e-books. They offer technical information that is well-researched and demonstrates your expertise in a certain subject matter. It is a no-frills presentation of content that your client may be interested in. Like e-books and blog posts, by giving your clients information on a subject that helps them solve a problem they may have, you establish yourself as the go-to for them in that field, and stay top-of-mind.
When sales agents do well, the whole company wins. It is in your best interests to ensure your sales staff get all the help you can give them. By organizing information for them so that they can quickly and easily relay it to clients, you help them close deals faster, give them confidence that they can speak authoritatively about your product, and ensure that your messaging is consistent.
Digital marketing content has generally evolved with the internet. As data transfer rates have gotten faster and faster, content like high-res videos has become easy to access. As devices and speeds have improved, resolutions have increased the quality of the content you can put out in this format. This medium is now a favorite in times where people are less likely to read through long pieces of text. Investing in well-produced video content can help not to just keep your target market interested and engaged, but also more likely to assimilate and retain the information you want to present to them.
As business has become more and more competitive, businesses are striving to differentiate themselves to their clients. On the other end of the spectrum, people have become numb to marketing messages, preferring to do their own research and make up their own minds. In this climate, the most successful companies are those that are able to create effective content that meets the clients information needs and persuades them to make the right choice.