For sales professionals to remain competitive in today’s sales landscape, they have to capitalize on every conversation.
The best way for sellers to connect with today’s more educated buyers is to come prepared with compelling content that convinces them to move to the next stage of the buyer’s journey. That’s where sales enablement content comes into play.
What Is Sales Enablement Content & Why It’s Important
Sales enablement content allows your reps to effectively engage with prospects, move them down the sales funnel, and ultimately convert them into paying customers. For sales enablement content to be effective, it needs to have a clear goal and be mapped to each stage so that reps are prepared for any type of conversation. When paired with a robust sales content management system, you can streamline the enablement process and equip your reps with the right content at the right time.
Sales enablement content is proven to benefit seller confidence, prospect engagement, and bottom-line revenue. Here are just a few of the ways content can support your business:
- Improve the sales process: A recent Gartner study found that buyers travel through 57% of the buyer’s journey before their first meaningful interaction with a seller. As a result, content has become the center of the modern sales cycle, rewarding sellers who engage their target audience with valuable insights and subject matter expertise. Without insightful content to demonstrate their knowledge and value, sales reps risk losing buyers to better-equipped competitors.
- Improve sales and marketing alignment: Harvard Business Review reported that misalignment between sales and marketing is estimated to cost businesses more than $1 trillion each year. A sales enablement content strategy creates alignment between sales and marketing by providing them with a framework for consistent messaging no matter what stage in the buying process a prospect is.
- Increase seller performance: Sales content boosts seller confidence by preparing them for any challenges. With more confidence, sellers are more focused on listening and can provide the right content and be better prepared to present their solutions.
With sales enablement content being so critical to a seller’s success, it’s important to dig a little deeper into the strategy and execution.
What Is a Sales Enablement Content Strategy?
A sales enablement content strategy is essential for equipping your sales team for success. It requires teams (content marketing, sales, customer success, product) to come together to define why content needs to be created, what content needs to be created, and how to measure the success of it. Ultimately, sales enablement content should boost your sales reps confidence, pique buyer interest, and help guide sellers through conversations.
Top 8 Effective Types of Sales Enablement Content
Sales enablement content is customer-centric and value-driven. Its primary focus should be to empower your salespeople to have productive and personalized conversations with prospects all the way through closing. Sales enablement content takes many shapes and forms and here are the top content types all sales enablement leaders should be focusing on:
Case studies are a powerful tool and should be a part of your sales enablement content strategy. They allow sales reps to directly tie a problem with a solution and create more engaging conversations between reps and prospects. On top of that, case studies demonstrate the value you bring. They provide social proof and testimonials, demonstrate expertise, help close deals, and strengthen customer relationships. When nearly 90% of buyers read product reviews, it’s vital that you showcase your value.
Sales pitch / sales script
Sales pitches are another great asset for sales team members. This type of content serves multiple purposes: keeps messaging consistent, helps with objection handling, and boosts sellers’ confidence.
These are particularly useful for in-person events. One-pagers are great for breaking down what your company does, how they do it, and what challenges you solve. It’s a great way to get a conversation going with potential buyers because one-pagers, although brief, can spark interest by showcasing your strongest use case.
Ebooks / whitepapers
This type of content is unique in that it allows you to dive into a particular topic or set of challenges within an industry. You can then position your product and the solutions it provides to the set of challenges your buyer has. It’s a great way to build authority on a topic and show your expertise, as well as support your lead generation efforts.
There will be times on a sales call where the prospect will mention a competitor. Sales reps need to be prepared to speak to not only competitors’ capabilities but also how it relates to their product.
Blog posts are great for sales reps to easily engage potential prospects and even continue an initial conversation. Reps can quickly create email templates with drip sequences and use blog content to support a buying decision.
Interactive content is any type of material that conveys its message by encouraging user participation. Because of it, the content experience evolves from passive consumption to active engagement. Types of interactive content include: animated infographics, lookbooks, and quizzes.
Video demos can also easily support all steps in the customer journey, from initial explainer productions for top-of-funnel leads to product tutorials for new customers. HubSpot recently reported that “65.3% of salespeople said product demos were the most effective sales enablement content.”
6 Steps to Develop an Effective Sales Enablement Content Strategy
Here are the steps you can take to get your sales enablement content strategy underway. While this list is by no means exhaustive, it’s a great starting point for businesses of any size.
Step 1: Audit existing content
By conducting this crucial first step, you’ll have a better idea of what content works for your sales team and for which buyer persona. On the flipside, you’ll be able to dig into what content isn’t working and why. This will inform your team of any sales enablement content gaps, what to double down on, and what content pieces to retire. This should be the first step to your content creation process.
Step 2: Gather feedback from your sales team
Your sales reps have key insights into what content resonates with prospects, and just as important what doesn’t. Is your sales team continually getting objections from prospects? Is the messaging confusing? Take time to understand what your sales team needs and how they can best be supported.
Step 3: Create relevant content that benefits sales and marketing
Remember that sales and marketing will need the same information necessary to fill those gaps, but will use that information in different ways. Marketing material should be designed to get the attention of potential customers. Sales enablement content should be designed to help salespeople convert prospects and close deals.
Step 4: Align content to customer journey
Sales enablement content should cover each aspect of the buyer’s journey, from initial contact to closing the deal. Focus on the top of the funnel, middle funnel, and bottom of the funnel so that you are equipped to have sales conversations at any stage in the buying process and efficiently address pain points.
Step 5: Manage your content
A content library can be a terrifying thing, especially if it’s full to bursting with hundreds or thousands of pieces of collateral. Untangling a gnarly content library or content management system may seem impossible, but all content overhauls should begin with one crucial step: getting your sales and marketing content “container” under control.
This means reps shouldn’t be relying on their personal folders or drives to store assets, nor should they be returning to the same content pieces they’ve been deploying to prospects for years. Marketing should have a single source of truth where they can host new content pieces and replace anything outdated, and reps should have easy access to this content. While a strong content management platform can be a great tool in this scenario, think about how it can also perform other functions, such as tracking content engagement or providing sales plays for your reps.
Step 6: Measure the success of your strategy and continue to optimize
As a last step, be sure to measure the effectiveness of your strategy. This will help your reps understand what content they should be using and in what stage of the buyer journey.
Find out how you can create a comprehensive strategy for your organization with our Definitive Guide to Sales Enablement.
How to Measure Content Effectiveness and Performance
When measuring the effectiveness of your sales enablement content, you need to consider three key areas:
- Internal engagement
- External engagement
- Impact on revenue
For every asset you upload, you should regularly review:
- Internal views
- Internal downloads or pitches
Low views might suggest you need to “relaunch” an asset to heighten visibility (perhaps via a sales play). Poor ratings, on the other hand, may indicate the need for a fresh start.
By regularly reviewing these sales enablement metrics, you’ll have a clear understanding of how core assets are performing and whether new campaigns are being utilized, allowing you to make smarter decisions on where to invest your time and how to package and deliver content for optimal sales consumption.
Keep in mind these key areas as you assess content performance:
- Do reps have what they need?
- Is the content up to date?
- Do reps find it?
- What gets used?
- What gets pitched?
- How is it being modified?
- Does it engage customers?
- Does it generate revenue?
Your sales enablement platform should allow you to see how buyers interact with content that has been sent or “pitched” via email, social, or other channels to buyers. You’ll want to look at:
- External downloads
- External views
- Total viewing time
- Viewing time per asset
- Viewing time per page/slide of multi-page asset
By investing in a solution that captures this type of data, you’ll be able to see what your salespeople need and get a deeper understanding of what resonates with your customers.
Impact on revenue
The final category is the most difficult to measure for many businesses: impact of sales content on revenue. Attribution is one of the biggest challenges when it comes to understanding what piece of content moved a prospect further down the funnel or ultimately converted.
However, modern sales enablement platforms are making it easier than ever for marketers to prove impact and increase win rates. There are two ways you can approach this:
- Influence (revenue, pipeline)
- Correlation (content consumption)
Looking at both the influenced revenue and performance correlation, you should have a deeper understanding of exactly how your sales assets are empowering reps to elevate customer conversations and drive revenue.
Execute Your Sales Enablement Content Strategy With Highspot
It’s apparent that a sales enablement content strategy is vital to the success of not only your sales team but also your marketing team. An effective strategy helps close deals, bridges the gap between sales and marketing, improves customer experience, and minimizes content chaos.
Once your content is created, with Highspot, you can upload, organize, and merchandise it within a single sales enablement platform that sellers can easily navigate. Sales teams can quickly personalize and share content with buyers, and marketers can track key metrics on internal and external performance—enabling you to elevate and optimize your content strategy.
Look no further than Highspot to help you take your sales enablement content strategy to the next level. Request a demo today!