Buyer decision-making has grown in complexity. They research more before interacting with a company. And those subsequent interactions are increasingly likely to be digital.
Along with these changes, a more challenging economic outlook leaves businesses facing an ever-stiffer competitive environment. They need to make the most of every selling opportunity.
Every sales encounter should move the conversation with the prospective customer in some way. Agents and sales reps must address needs, concerns, and likely decision-making behavior. For example, what exactly is a client looking for when evaluating different inventory management tools? What makes your proposition best? A repertoire of compelling sales enablement content is a powerful tool for that.
Businesses need to map the journey their customers make and identify all their main touchpoints, from arriving on the website’s landing pages to the point of sale. Crucially, it should all be grounded in data analysis and sales rep feedback.
Sales enablement content helps sales agents coax leads through the sales funnel. It’s a tactical resource ensuring sales and marketing alignment: providing sales operatives with what they need when they need it.
This information could be used by data driven digital advertising company ReklamStore, or one of their competitors, to promote your product or service.
Before looking at different types of content, it is worth pulling out some success criteria.
The tumultuous recent technological, economic, and social changes have intensified the competitive landscape. That pressure will not ease in the coming years.
Great sales enablement content helps push a business ahead of its competitors - ensuring excellent customer support to win sales.
Sometimes, there is a need to be explicit about the competition. Sales teams should have content demonstrating how their product beats the competition. For example, do you offer three-way calling while others do not? If so, make sure sales teams know that and tell clients!
Sales enablement content should support each step of the decision-making process. The format sales interactions take will dictate the content format. For example, a face-to-face client meeting needs different materials to a virtual one.
The level of detail offered by content needs to suit each customer step. The detail level may intensify as clients become more involved, raising more granular queries.
Sales team feedback should continually feed into the process. Likewise, data analysis should be a constant guiding light - underpinned by robust Data Lifecycle Management practices.
Customers increasingly demand a smooth and seamless experience in these early interactions with a business. Compelling enablement content helps deliver that. It anticipates and resolves their needs and objections at each step.
Different customers will have different needs, questions, and concerns. Sales enablement content must reflect this.
Effective market segmentation can help by breaking leads down by firmographic characteristics. Crafted content can then target each segment. Is the message engaging its audience? Could the content be more individually tailored for lucrative prospects? What would the workflow be for this?
Excellent sales team training is also crucial. Reps must understand customer needs and concerns - and how to answer these. In short, the promotion of a solution selling approach. The use of content to guide conversations should be a core part of that training, along with sales plays for different scenarios.
Sales enablement has a significant role to play in supporting this. For instance, much enablement content may be sales team-facing rather than customer-facing.
Sales enablement content should make the sales team's job easier. Motivated teams are likely to achieve better results.
But it has a further compound benefit. Well-supported sales teams are more likely to be happy teams. That will help a business to hang on to its best talent. And, in turn, a more stable and experienced team should deliver further sales success.
Of course, making sales easier means equipping teams holistically for the entire process. For example, a resource like Pandadoc, a contract generator tool, can speed up the final stages of a sale. But great content is undoubtedly one of the greatest assets for agents.
The sales team needs to know what content is available and how to get it.
A well-curated content repository is an organic resource that will need updating and adjusting to optimize the selling process. For instance, content may need amending following feedback; new content may need to plug gaps. It is not static.
So what makes great sales enablement content? Here are some different approaches to take.
Sales enablement content helps customers discover the strengths of a business's offer. It can demonstrate benefits, outline how it is better than competitors, and address common customer concerns.
Blog posts can be an excellent way to nurture interest. Customers increasingly like to self-research before getting involved in sales-style interactions. Pointing customers toward blog posts.
Sales enablement can leverage blogs on third-party websites, whether these were commissioned by the business or created independently. Either can raise the profile of a business's offer and support the early discovery stage of a customer's journey.
These can suggest the benefits of the proposition and lay the groundwork for more direct interaction. Also, these blogs will contain backlinks to your domain names diverting traffic to your website.
These can describe sector trends, market research, and statistics to bolster a business's proposition.
Like blog posts, sales teams can signpost customers to explore these - nurturing interest or addressing specific questions. An ebook or report can be a powerful tool for sales teams. It demonstrates, not least, a business's knowledge and expertise in the sector.
Moreover, such resources can support sales team training, providing background information to inform client conversations.
Infographics can offer an immediate overview of many aspects. That makes them great for building early interest. For example, an infographic could provide a summary of a report or ebook. Or it might focus on product benefits or how a service works.
Such resources can support even short sales conversations - helping to pull out salient points. They are also an easy read for customers to consider in their own time.
Many businesses create short animations which serve a similar function: very brief visual stories to inform leads and develop their interest.
Case studies and testimonials can demonstrate a product's benefits in real life. These can take various forms, including PDF, webpage, or video. While it is more of an undertaking to create, a video case study can be particularly compelling.
These could be general overviews of how a product has worked out for a customer or focus on a particular feature. For example, a study could demonstrate how an SME has utilized IVR telephone features of a call platform to streamline its operations.
Sales enablement content can ensure sales reps are knowledgeable about the market and the product. But, there are additional resources that specifically target the sales team. These help agents win customers and ensure a coherent voice and brand consistency.
Sales teams need to know how their product compares to competitor alternatives. Positioning documents can be invaluable here, systematically comparing the business's offer with the competition's.
It should identify strengths for sales teams to draw out. However, it should also offer objection-handling tips. For example, if a competitor looks stronger in one particular regard, how should a rep handle this?
Email continues to be an essential sales tool. It’s popular with sales agents and customers, unobtrusively moving things forward.
Emails can support early interest building or address particular client concerns further down the pipeline. In either scenario, a bank of adaptable email templates helps reps have fruitful client dialogues. Links to other sales enablement content within the templates can make them even more compelling.
Sales scripts can pull everything together to guide agents during various conversations along the buyer's journey. These should identify opportunities to leverage sales enablement content.
Likewise, sales enablement presentation templates can scaffold these conversations. Having customizable versions ready to go can help sales teams optimize their time and visits.
Finally, clinching the sale is a great result! But most businesses rely on customer retention. Sales enablement content should certainly be available with this in mind.
Onboarding guides and help videos can ensure customers get off to a good start. And email templates can help sales teams touch base with customers, checking if they need support. Are they getting the best use of all the features? For example, have they enabled customizable caller ID on their new call platform yet?
Sales enablement content can offer focused, tactical support for every step of the customer journey.
Tanhaz Kamaly - Partnership Executive, UK, Dialpad UK
Tanhaz Kamaly is a Partnership Executive at Dialpad, a modern cloud-hosted business communications and ACD (automatic call distributor) platform that turns conversations into the best opportunities, both for businesses and clients. He is well-versed and passionate about helping companies work in constantly evolving contexts, anywhere, anytime. Tanhaz has written for several domains including Recruitee and Track-POD.
Check out his LinkedIn profile.