Organizations lose more than $2 million every year from underused marketing materials. They don't realize that actively aligning Marketing with Sales can result in a 67% rise in organizations' ability to close deals.
What Is Sales Enablement?
HubSpot defines sales enablement well: "Sales enablement is the iterative process of providing your business's sales team with the resources they need to close more deals. These resources may include content, tools, knowledge, and information to effectively sell your product or service to customers."
When the sales team is armed with content that answers prospects' questions, educates them, and breaks down barriers, Sales can foster a more efficient sales process and spend more time actually consulting with prospects.
Sales enablement content can take many forms. But regardless of the format, sales enablement content should...
- Educate leads about your processes, your company, the results they might achieve by signing on for your services, etc.
- Overcome leads' common objections
- Prime leads to become great customers once they do sign on the dotted line
- Provide crucial information that leads can forward to other decision-makers in their company
Five Kinds of Content You Need for Sales Enablement
To equip the sales team to streamline the sales process and close more deals, the marketing team needs to create a variety of content types that meet leads' needs and answer their questions throughout their journeys.
Here are five foundational content types you need in your sales enablement playbook.
1. Guest Posts
Guest posts are a great way to reach people at the top of the funnel. Those people are looking for more information, shopping around, and they are most likely performing Google searches and looking at publications they trust.
When you publish content on those sites, potential customers are exposed to your brand and link your company to the credibility of the publication. Expand your reach with such content, and you begin to enable Sales from the top of the funnel.
The sales team can also use guest posts in conversations with leads who have already been in touch with your company. Guest posts offer insights to showcase your company's expertise, and they show leads that your brand can be trusted. After all, you have been published in reputable industry publications that trusted you to share your expertise with their audiences.
2. Blog Posts
Blog content is a versatile tool that can help you educate your audience, build trust, and close sales. A common time for potential customers to engage with your content on their own is in the middle of the funnel; they are looking for resources to help them meet their specific needs. When you publish educational, helpful blog content, you can provide value to that audience, build trust, and establish a relationship.
During sales conversations, blog content can also help salespeople answer leads' questions and break down barriers. But for that to work, the marketing team must have a pulse on questions and objections the sales team is hearing; it can then create content that addresses them. And the blog itself needs to be easily searchable so the sales team can easily find the content it needs for each unique sales conversation.
3. Whitepapers, Research, and Reports
Ungated copies of whitepapers, research, and reports are perfect to share when leads are in need of more education. Such content types can dig down into a topic and make potential customers feel like they're also becoming experts. And because a whitepaper is a longer read, it can give your company a reputation for generosity—for going the extra mile and providing tons of value.
Although the marketing team needs to create whitepapers that a broader audience will find valuable, it should also keep in mind the sales team's needs and what in-depth materials it could use in its efforts. Sales can then send leads a full whitepaper (or even just snippets of the most valuable information) for each individual lead to provide value and build trust and a collaborative relationship.
4. Case Studies
Leads need education, yes, but at some point they'll want to talk about tangible results—not just broader industry insights or information on your packages. That's where case studies come in.
Case studies show leads what the client experience might be like and illustrate the kinds of results prospects might have if they sign on to work with your company. The marketing team should keep in touch with the sales team to learn what types of results leads are asking for. When the sales team is able to send leads real-life results that actual clients have gotten, it's easier for them to illustrate value and make leads excited to work with your company.
Here's an example of a case study our team uses a lot in sales conversations.
5. Email Drip Campaigns
Email drip campaigns are great options for leads who haven't gotten on the phone yet. Such campaigns can also be used to re-engage leads who have gone dark, or those who have said they're not ready quite yet.
However, don't use drip campaigns as "checking in" emails. Always provide value.
At our company, we have a dedicated sales development representative who continually sends content to leads and keeps in touch with them to nurture them to the point that they can be passed off to the sales team. Email is the primary way she engages with those leads and sends them educational content that's highly relevant to their unique needs.
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Sales and marketing teams are often on different clocks; their working days are different, and they have different ways of connecting with potential customers. However, they have a lot to offer each other for nurturing leads through the funnel.
Embrace the content types in this article, and you'll be well on your way to ensuring your sales team has the sales enablement content it needs to close more business.
More Resources on Sales Enablement Content
You may like these other MarketingProfs articles related to Content:
- How Being Strategic About Content Development Can Boost Results and Save Time and Money: Ahava Leibtag on Marketing Smarts [Podcast]
- Five Serious Content Marketing Mistakes You Need to Avoid
- Your First New Content Marketing Tool for 2023 Should Be Your Sales Team
- How to Create a B2B Marketing Podcast in 2023—And Why You Should
- Eight Graphic Design Trends That Will Dominate 2023 [Infographic]
- A Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content: Ann Handley on Marketing Smarts [Podcast]