According to Spotio dot com blog, in 2019, Google searches for “sales enablement” increased by over 51%, a telltale of an ongoing discussion on the collaboration between humans and automation tools in making sales.
Sales enablement exists at the intersection of marketing and sales, fostering collaboration between humans and automation tools in the digital world. Sales enablement provides easy access to relevant content when needed.
These content and tools allow the sales team to expedite sales activities and close deals much more smoothly.
As for the content, which is the bedrock of marketing in the B2B industry — matching content to the buyer’s journey and personality is key.
If sales enablement sits right under your duties, this piece offers you a step-by-step guide in creating content to support your sales team.
What are the benefits of sales enablement?
Let’s not look at it from a proof of concept angle but a proof of value. The proof of value is exactly what sales enablement helps you achieve.
From my experience — the following of the reasons to use sales enablement.
Win more sales than your competitors
The CSO Insights 4th Annual Study found that companies with sales enablement content and technology in place won 15% more sales than the companies without a sales enablement process in place.
If yours is an organization with ambitious goals, then you already understand that a 15% sales win over your competition is a huge competitive advantage.
Use the following strategy to have a sales-enabled process for your sales team.
Sales ready team
In the B2B environment, sales don’t occur by a single click after an idle Google search for an item.
B2B buyers are ardent researchers who take their time studying the product, the offer, the alternatives, among other things, before making a purchase.
FocusVision found in a recent study that an average B2B buyer consumes at least 13 pieces of content. That’s alongside many interactions they will be having with your sales representatives.
With sales enablement at the core of your sales strategy, you arm your reps against any possibilities, questions, and actions.
Product details, messaging, onboarding: whatever your prospects’ demands are, a sales enablement strategy helps your sales conduct transactions at the speed of light.
As technology helps smoothen the relationship between your customers and sales reps, it also serves to acquire key insights into customers’ behavior.
Data capturing helps guide your next moves and prepares your sales team for quick customer onboarding all the more.
As you’ll learn when we move further, some tools are designed to help you keep tabs on how your customers behave.
Steps to create content to support your sales team
Some benefits of sales enablement have been listed, but we cannot glorify it enough since the benefit of this post is not to sell you on sales enablement but to show you that there are steps to creating the kind of content your sales reps need to thrive.
Read on for seven steps to create content to support your sales team.
Cross-pollination of ideas between content marketing and sales teams
No doubt, when it comes to buyers’ journeys, content marketers come with a lot of ideas on what to target towards each customer in different stages of their buyer’s journey.
However, most sales journeys aren’t as straightforward as we often think. If we are to follow the classical wisdom of content marketing: we’ll get TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU content ready.
Alas, these are pieces of content created based on keyword data, the result of which doesn’t always match with what’s obtainable in the sales field.
But with insights from the sales team who have had experience talking to customers for some time, real-life pain points, preferences, and personas can be identified, and content addressing those can be created.
Even as some or most of your content will be useful, cross-pollination of ideas between your content marketing and sales team can unlock untold sales riches.
Collect customer’s interaction studies using Tech
From what questions a group of customers asks to which form of content they enjoy in each buying stage, the use of technologies can help you uncover many customers’ behavior.
Although it primarily exists to make interaction easier and faster, the adoption of technology can also be beneficial in building an accurate and robust database about customers.
Tools like Zendesk and HelpCrunch can be quite useful at gathering pieces of information like this as they have built-in functions to track and store customer interactions.
Aside from the proper profiling of customers that you can get when you interact with your sales reps, bringing out this data can be of assistance for you in creating made-to-order content that will shore up your sales enablement game.
Listen to sales calls.
It doesn’t all end with high-end technologies; there is still an enormous difference between when two people interact over the phone and when they engage over the Internet.
As you already know, communication is more than just words. When you listen to a verbal conversation between two humans, you can pinpoint in their voices hesitation, frustration, happiness, enthusiasm, among other things.
Knowing these things can be useful in building great positioning and adding a more humane angle to your content.
Empower your sales to be content creators
Understandably, people are talented in different areas, content creators may not do the work of sales reps, and sales reps may not do well in creating content.
But it’s within the capability of almost everyone to create fairly clear content.
Part of what you can do to help your content team create great content that sales reps need is to train reps to be able to put down a basic content outline.
By doing this, your marketing team can take this basic content and develop it into what good content should be.
Be big on repurposing.
If you worked on the steps above, by now, you’d have a lot of helpful and relevant content for your diverse customers.
One thing about customers is, whether they are reaching out on social media or through a live chat on your website, they always crave the same thing: rapid, relevant response.
But as much as you now have reliably relevant content for sets of your customers, they can also be confined to a particular type of content given the type of platform they are interacting on.
A blog post can be repurposed to a LinkedIn post, a LinkedIn post can be turned into a Twitter thread, and whitepapers can be repurposed to a Youtube on Facebook video.
What’s indeed important is that repurposing will make your content useful across diverse platforms.
Focus on SEO
While your sales team is in charge of continuous discussion with your customers, do not forget that many of them tend to try and make an independent search on search engines.
This is where the opportunity to establish yourself as an absolute authority in your industry comes from.
Think of Content Marketing Institute and how they rank for anything relating to content marketing. Think of Hubspot and its ability to rank for keywords such as CRM, Sales, etc.
That your sales team is busy with customers doesn’t mean they can curb customer’s insatiable appetite for independent research. According to Google, 51% of shoppers say they use Google to research a purchase they plan to make.
If your company wasn’t blogging before now, then it’s time you started.
While this is not necessarily an easy thing to do, the entire SEO effort it takes to rank on Google these days can be summarized into three steps. Let me show you all those three.
Build a healthy website
Google gets 95% of their entire global search, and it’s hellbent on building a mature web culture.
If you want to succeed at ranking on Google, the first and the most important step you’ll take is to create a great website for your business.
Ideally, this would be a website that’s fast, mobile-friendly, and user-friendly.
Find long-tail keywords
This refers to keywords with lower search volumes and lower entry barriers.
For example, top bloggers who have been online for years dominate the search ranking for short-tail keywords like “how to start a blog.” Many timely updates have solidified that position to their content, lots of backlinks, and overall domain authority.
For newbies like myself, that’s a no-go area, but finding long-tail keywords like “start a sports blog” gives me a fighting chance. And that’s where you should start from.
In fact, a post I wrote on starting a sports blog made it to the first page of SERPs in less than a month. And that’s because of its lesser competition.
Find short-tail keywords that represent your content core and create outstanding content around them.
Backlinks are the most important off-site trust signal for Google. They are considered a vote of confidence from other sites, and the more links a page has, the more traffic it typically receives, all things being equal. This is not changing anytime soon.
Diversify your content forms
You already know that as audiences differ in their buying stage, so do they in their content preferences.
When one customer is looking for a how-to guide regarding a white paper or blog post, another one needs a short video that quickly explains or demonstrates how concepts work.
We can go on citing findings to establish the virtue of each form of content, like the preference of some for video content or some for white papers, which would not matter here.
Common sense shows that some consumers are never the same, so white papers, blog posts, video content, PDFs, Twitter threads, podcast sessions, any of these could have been salient to any customer.
The bottom line is that you should diversify as much as your budget allows.
With search for sales enablement surging on Google, some people must have learned the benefits and decided to go after it.
In the modern world, it isn’t just the best that wins, the quickest, too. The longer you have to keep your customers waiting to figure something out, the higher your chances of losing them to your competitor.
That’s the gap sales enablement has come to fill, but it isn’t the high-end tools that are more important but the content you serve through it.
Therefore, half of what’s unique about this is the ability to bring your sales and marketing team together for collaboration on what’s best served to customers.
Image Credit: julia volk; pexels; thank you!