Content is at the heart of every modern marketer’s toolkit. But aligning this material with sales departments is a common problem many organisations face.
Your marketing team might be well-armed with blog posts, case studies and whitepapers to generate leads and brand awareness, but you need a well-equipped and driven sales team to nurture leads over the finish line.
If your sales team hasn’t got content that can provide the right information, in the right place and at the right time, closing these leads can be almost impossible.
Giving your sales team access to content that’s aligned to your buyer personas will help your business increase conversions, reach high-value prospects and close the most valuable leads.
But what types of content should you be creating for your sales team? How can they leverage marketing efforts to help increase sales?
Here are seven examples of sales enablement content to get you started.
1. eBooks and Whitepapers
Despite being traditionally used as content for the lead generation stage of the sales process, eBooks and whitepapers can go full-circle and also be valuable materials for sales professionals.
These resourceful documents can showcase statistics, insightful information and evidence on your brand’s product or service. For example, if a sales rep needed to access details on a particular piece of software during a last-minute pitch, they could reference the eBooks or whitepapers to gain an informational boost.
However, these can often miss the mark when marketing and sales teams don’t communicate. By maintaining effective communication between both departments, eBooks and whitepapers can directly address the needs of high-potential prospects that’ll be further down the sales funnel – the most important stage for pushing leads through to purchasing.
Sales enablement software can help reduce these communication roadblocks by ensuring sales reps always have access to the most relevant content to share with prospects, regardless of the stage they’re at in the customer journey.
2. Blog Posts
As a sales tool, blog posts are highly useful for the last stage of the sales funnel. They can educate sales reps and help build stronger relationships with leads.
Blog posts at the bottom of the sales funnel should focus on decision stage content. During this stage, a potential customer will be evaluating whether your company could be the solution to their problem. So, make sure sales reps have plenty of blog posts specifically about your company to help validate a lead’s choice.
For example, a decision stage blog post for a small business finance company could be “Why X Small Business Finance is the Perfect Alternative to Traditional Lending”.
Although these types of blog posts should talk about your company’s solutions, ensure they’re not too salesy and keep them customer-centric. Include a call-to-action in each blog post that encourages prospects to, for example, schedule a sales call or request a product demo.
One of the best places to create blog content is directly from the frequent questions your customers are asking. Who has this information? Your sales reps! This way, they’ll be able to send these posts out to leads who want answers during these crucial sales funnel stages.
3. Case Studies
When leads begin to evaluate their options before making a purchase, your sales team will need do to everything they can to advertise why your business is the right one for them. However, this needs to be proven with evidence.
Simply telling a lead why your product or service works is one thing, but taking this a step further and applying a specific existing customer example is a much stronger form of persuasion.
Case studies are perfect for this as they can illustrate a client success story without being a blatant sales pitch. Well-rounded case studies are completely customer-centric, demonstrating the struggles and challenges your target audience is facing.
They’re not just there to talk about your business. Sales teams can use case studies to showcase how your business always prioritises the individual needs of your customers, something that many fail to accomplish in their sales material.
Creating a strong case study requires a few essential ingredients. You’ll need a clear story, a reputable source who can provide a testimonial (e.g. a client contact) and of course, quantifiable results. You should highlight the initial problem in the case study, how your company fixed it and direct results.
If a lead is looking into a specific offering your company can provide, overloading them with content that explains the ins and outs of all your solutions could just result in information overload. There’s no point advertising products or services they haven’t shown any interest in.
One-pagers are designed to combat this. They’re one-page glimpses that showcase a streamlined understanding on a specific aspect of your brand, focusing on clearly articulating its benefits.
For example, if a lead was looking into purchasing an email marketing automation tool, your sales reps could fire out these short summaries to meet the exact needs of this potential customer.
These quick reference sheets should be kept in a central location that’s accessible for all sales reps. They’re ideal for sales professionals to keep handy for knowledge boosts during pitches.
5. Sales Scripts
This form of content marries traditional marketing and digital sales enablement strategies. A sales script is a set of talking points that are specifically designed for sales professionals to use at the last stages in sales funnel.
When done correctly, sales scripts are an integral part of an effective sales strategy. They should contain all the information a prospect has been provided, plus anything extra that could sway their purchasing decision.
However, one mistake often made with sales scripts is sales reps reading them word-for-word. Instead, sales scripts should be used as a rough guide mostly focusing on the correct tone of voice that aligns with your organisation’s brand; this will help guide the conversation with a lead as they move into the purchase stage.
If you’re looking into creating some sales scripts, it’s essential you actively communicate with your sales professionals. Only then will you know which aspect of your sales scripts are working and which need optimising further to create a more streamlined reference point.
6. Social Media Messaging
It might not be an immediate thought as a sales tool, but social media can be a high-converting platform. The messaging side of it is particularly beneficial for sales enablement, as they are a great starting point for meaningful prospect engagement.
Whether your organisation uses Twitter or LinkedIn, be sure to provide your sales reps with some suitable content. Also, any high-quality material that your content marketers are creating, for example a 30-second video or an in-depth blog post, can be very valuable to sales professionals trying to encourage interaction with prospects.
Be sure your digital marketing department is serving your sales department by steering their focus towards creating content geared towards sales reps so they’ve got plenty to lead with.
7. Competitor Analysis
Although it’s not something you’d send out to leads, competitor analysis is an essential tool for sales reps. After all, they need to be aware of what your competition is offering to differentiate themselves.
When sales departments know where your company outperforms others in the industry, they can offer future-forward information and solutions that showcase the advantages of choosing your product or service.
Examples of competitor analysis could include a content or site audit and analysing competitor marketing materials. Answer questions like “where are your competitors lacking?” and “what are they doing effectively?”
Summarise this information in an easy-to-view format so your sales team will be armed with all the content they need to steer the business towards you.
In order for digital marketers to enhance the success rate of sales teams, aligning content creation with sale professional’s needs at heart is essential. This will help streamline the customer journey for all parties involved, increasing the likelihood of leads making it through the final stages of the sales funnel.
This guide has been written exclusively for ByteStart by Adam Little, Chief Marketing Officer at Data Dwell, providers of sales enablement software that makes your business’ content work harder for marketers and sales teams. The software boasts being Salesforce’s only 100% native Sales Enablement App.
Last updated - 27th September, 2019