Bridging the gap between marketing and sales means smarter approaches when dealing with potential customers. That’s why you need a sales enablement content strategy.
Demands for a good sales enablement strategy are always on the rise, as more businesses understand the need for providing their commercial teams with more valuable information to make smarter sales.
Besides that, having a sales enablement content strategy helps define the purpose of your creations and how they allow you to reach your goals. Both marketing and sales teams can benefit from this, as they’ll all become able to deliver better results. Sadly, few businesses understand the value of this.
Such a strategy allows you to deliver the right piece of content to your potential customers to draw them closer to conversion. For that to work, marketing and sales need to work together towards the same goals.
In this article, we will see:
- What is sales enablement?
- Why is a sales enablement content strategy important?
- How can I build a sales enablement content strategy for my business?
What is sales enablement?
Sales enablement is the term used to refer to the process of providing the best information to the sales team that might help sell more effectively. Such data allows for more strategic approaches, smarter ways to engage a potential buyer, and understanding the customer’s cycle better.
To generate the benefits this strategy is capable of, your sales enablement strategy needs the right focus: the buyer. For instance, say you’re working on a B2B marketing plan.
It involves understanding the people the sales team will engage with, their needs, motivations, and fears. Sales enablement is all about offering the right tools for the salespeople to close more deals.
We cannot talk about sales enablement and ignore the importance of good content. Salespeople need content to engage with potential buyers in effective ways, depending on how close they are to convert. Also, the way your customers use your content can even inform you about their needs.
Measuring the right data is essential to a good sales enablement strategy. It involves tracking the metrics related to sales cycles, reached quotas, and average deal size. You also need to consider the goals of your business and the numbers that help you understand your success.
To summarize, you can consider the following principles of a sales enablement strategy.
Commitment to the process
In order to work properly, a sales enablement strategy needs commitment. That means building a working structure based on the best practices this approach requires. It’s also a continuous process that requires constant improvement as it evolves through time.
Top-down team involvement
Working with sales enablement can be a big change for a business, depending on how far behind it is in terms of strategy. A top-down approach helps to set the priorities right with the rest of the sales team, so everyone gets their priorities aligned.
Success metrics measurement
What goals do you have? A good sales enablement strategy can help you reach them, but that requires measuring the right metrics. Keep in mind what your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are, like traffic generated, lead generation, average deal size, attainment, time to close, and others.
Bite-sized and timely content
You must learn your potential customer’s needs and expectations to provide just the right content for that state of mind. This means an approach focused on bite-sized and timely content, instead of long and large presentations that won’t keep their attention.
Why is a sales enablement content strategy important?
Being able to sell more effectively is important for any business. Be mindful that your competitors are always looking for ways to optimize their sales strategies, which requires you to always look for the best approach to stay ahead. That includes thinking of a good sales enablement content strategy.
Leveraging the right content to bring the right audience to your business is nothing new. However, things get much more interesting when you’re able to use the information those people provide you to help your sales staff.
There are several types of content your business can use to affect positively your audience as it becomes closer to conversion. Those will allow you to provide value to your public and solidify your presence as an authority in your field.
How can I build a sales enablement content strategy for my business?
Now that you understand the importance of a good sales enablement content strategy, the next step involves learning how to do that the right way. Your success depends on how well you’re able to align your content to your target audience’s expectations to get information for a good sale.
Check out the right steps towards how to build a strong sales enablement content strategy for your business.
1. Establish a sales flowchart
Following a process is fundamental to the success of any initiative, which includes your sales enablement content strategy. The first step you need to take is to establish a sales flowchart.
A sales flowchart helps you to make sure your entire team follows the same process towards your goals and optimizes each step. Consult your salespeople and try to figure out a way to merge their processes into one that’s satisfying.
Since we’re also talking about content, it’s imperative that each step in your flowchart is clear about what they represent and the buyer’s consideration stage. This piece of information will help you plan the right content for each step.
Be mindful that such a flowchart should not be unchangeable. As time goes by and your strategy evolves, you need to adapt your structure to make sure it’s always able to generate good results.
2. Audit your existing content
Before you start creating new content, make sure to take a step back and audit what you already have and what your sales team is using. This should be your starting point when working with a sales enablement content strategy.
Since this is an approach that focuses on integration, interact with your salespeople and ask what pieces of content can deliver better results. Make notes of the type of content and where they fit in the buyer’s journey.
This is also the time to learn what isn’t working. Ask the sales team what gaps they see that could be filled with the right content.
3. Use your current content to build new ones
Aside from creating original content, you can also improve your sales enablement strategy by using what you already have. Your sales team probably has several pieces of content they use and have mild success with.
Also, the sales team probably has the right internal knowledge to help you see what they can use successfully in each stage of the buyer’s journey.
Understanding your potential customer’s decision process is essential to create the right content to steer them in your direction. For instance, if you’re looking to sell an integrated cloud solution, it’s smart to offer video demonstrations or work with solution finders for sales enablement.
4. Choose the right types of content
About a sales enablement strategy, it’s important to choose the right type of content. After all, it’s directly responsible for the success (or failure) of your approach. Picking the correct structure is as important as the content itself.
The right decision depends on what’s important to the audience you want to convert. For instance, if you know your potential buyer needs numbers as proof that your solution works, you can offer a case study from a successful implementation.
Common examples of content that work well with sales enablement strategies include:
- blog posts;
- case studies and e-books;
- customer testimonials;
- segmented e-mail marketing campaigns;
- interactive content, such as the ones you can create with ION.
5. Set your content production team
Make sure you assign the right people to create the content that’ll be used in your sales enablement strategy. This staff needs to understand what’s important in each stage of the buyer’s journey, as well as the right formats to use each time.
For instance, if you wish to work with interactive marketing, this means bringing along people who understand what is necessary for it to work. These people also need to know how to use the right tools for the job.
For this team to work productively, keep everybody up to speed on your goals and strategies. Marketing and sales need to be in sync.
6. Determine the rate of content production
Another decisive step of a good content marketing strategy involves deciding on a rate of production. You need to account for the number of your staff and the demand the strategy requires to make a decision.
Also, as your potential consumers identify the content they desire, it becomes clearer to you which of those can be used as a reference for future production. Make sure to learn with your audience’s preferences to always improve.
Those two aspects of your sales enablement content strategy need to work in harmony so that your results can be successful.
7. Measure your outcomes
To be sure that your sales enablement content strategy is working, you need to measure results. Do that constantly to correct what’s wrong in your lows and learn from your success in the highs.
Try to understand what each piece of content could do in terms of results. See how the choice of type and approach influences how close you can get to your goals. This is a fundamental learning opportunity for the future.
Also, make sure to report these results appropriately among your marketing and sales teams. Everyone must be on the same page about your successes (and failures).
Now that you know the value of a good sales enablement content strategy, it’s time to work with one. No content strategy can work well alone since marketing and sales must always be in sync with the right goals and approaches. That way, you’ll always have the right content to steer your audience towards conversion.
Would you like to learn more about this subject? Check out our blog post on how to become an expert on sales enablement strategy.