High-performing sales teams have one characteristic in common: active leadership. With it, the most relevant content for every sales stage reaches its intended target. Without it, the same content goes underutilized, leaving teams on the wrong side of their prime opportunities. Today we’ll describe how best-in-class companies lead by positioning sales enablement as editor-in-chief. The benefits: sales content that is easier to find, more consistent in quality, and tightly aligned with business goals.
As highlighted in our recently released Best Practices in Sales Enablement, Volume 2: Put Your Sales Content to Work, content mapping and validation are two of the most important steps in deploying a sales enablement platform. Both activities require an editor’s eye and intuition, as well as the decisiveness to highlight what’s most important and remove what’s not.
Here are a few of the best practices we recommend instilling in your company to help ensure the content you have is content your reps need and can easily find.
Grab your red pen. Sales enablement pros have broad comprehension of sales strategy and execution. As editors, they reference these details to make decisions that provide the most compelling content for their sales team’s intended audience. This frequently means deleting outdated content and re-prioritizing recommendations based on changing customer needs, content performance, and market conditions.
Be specific. In their editorial duties as well as the form of the content map they develop, sales enablement leaders get granular. This makes it easy for sales teams to access the content they need throughout every stage of the buyer’s journey. By highlighting the “who, what, when, and how” of every item in their content map, sales enablement positions teams to utilize their best content for each customer situation. This level of specificity also improves the sales team’s ability to provide more precise feedback on what’s working and what should be revisited.
Validate (and repeat). The best editors vet their the content map with their sales and marketing teams at least twice per year (quarterly is preferred). During these check-ins, we recommend keeping a short list of questions nearby and referencing them often. For example:
- Does our content map make intuitive sense to you?
- Where would you look for case studies and intro decks (for example)?
- What’s missing? What do you need that you don’t see?
- What doesn’t make sense to you?
- Will this scale with our content needs?
Role play. A great way to prove editorial quality is to measure whether or not sales can quickly find what they need. One approach we recommend is to request sales reps and leaders explain their team’s content map to their peers. If the sales enablement team can sit in on this, all the better. Either way, good editors are good listeners and the ability to act on audience feedback is one of the keys to sales enablement success.
Circle back. First-rate editors maintain open communications with their sales and marketing teams, and share with them the rationale for important decisions and guidance on moving forward. This helps ensure sales and marketing feel part of the editorial process. We also recommend using these moments to request content that may not yet exist in your portfolio – the gaps yet to be filled and future opportunities worth pursuing.
As our customers attest, the key to getting the most out of any sales enablement platform is to stay active. The converse, allowing a sales enablement platform to manage itself, is inviting the same challenges that sales enablement was introduced to solve. Set yourself up for a win by being the energetic editor-in-chief your sales and marketing teams need.
For additional details on this and other best practices, check out Best Practices in Sales Enablement, Volume 1: Faster Sales Start Here and Best Practices in Sales Enablement, Volume 2: Put Your Sales Content to Work.