How to empower your sales team to close with content

Amber Whiteman

06 December 2017

The content team at Metia produce thousands of pieces of content each year, in over 40 languages. In the relentless need to feed corporate appetites for more content, sometimes it is easy to lose sight of the objectives driving the production process.

Whether with new or existing clients, it is good to get back to first principles and confirm the objectives of every item or each bill of materials. Based on recent conversations, I collected these thoughts to help marketers better support their colleagues in sales.

Why is content increasingly critical?

The sales process is growing more complicated. Customers are engaging with businesses through a diverse range of touchpoints and platforms. Salespeople are no longer in control; buyers are. It’s essential that marketers provide their sales teams with the necessary tools and assets to maintain meaningful conversations with their prospects and customers—and adapt to the new way that customers are buying.

Purchasers don’t want to feel pressured into a sale or hear pushy pitches. They want to form a relationship and gain a sense of trust that will ultimately translate into a purchase. Effectively utilizing sales enablement tools can help your sales teams to engage better and deliver the positive impression your customers are seeking.

What is sales enablement?

It’s a collection of tools, technologies, and processes that grow productivity, increase revenue, and directly impact a sales team’s ability to close a deal.

The objective of sales enablement is to provide a foundation of resources that salespeople can use to successfully engage the buyer from initial buying signals to taking another step along the buyer’s journey. Of course, how you make this happen is more complex.

Types of sales enablement tools

Sales activities include making sales calls, pursuing opportunities, managing major accounts, and targeting prospects. Empowering sales teams to sell efficiently requires various types of content to help them build relationships and close effectively. Below are examples that marketers, in partnership with the sales department, should create to empower their sales teams:

  • Training docs -- One of the biggest assets a sales team can have is knowledge. To maintain credibility, businesses must regularly be educating them on the best ways to position and sell products, services, and benefits.
  • Buyer personas -- Successful teams have a deep understanding of their customers. Equip your sales team with comprehensive knowledge about a buyer’s motivations, needs, and pain points.
  • Competitor research -- Sales teams should be aware of what the competition is offering and how their brand differentiates itself. Create a summary of this information so they’re prepared to answer questions that arise about how you differ from your competitors and why customers should choose your company.
  • Sales scripts -- One of the secrets to developing consistent sales results is professional sales scripts. Word choice is crucial. Using the right words will help your salespeople to overcome objections. This enables them to better lead prospects down the desired purchasing path.
  • Marketing collateral -- Collateral is a vital and integral component to the buying process. After identifying prospects, your sales teams need to engage them with relevant and appropriate content to add value, context, and solutions. This will require many pieces of marketing collateral: presentation decks, product one-sheets, and videos are only a few of the essential assets you will need. They should provide a fast and easy way for prospects to view what services the brand provides and whether the product or services can solve their needs. These sales aids are intended to make the sales effort easier and more effective.
  • Lead generation assets -- Attracting and converting qualified leads on a regular basis is key. Inbound lead-generation campaigns save time for sales teams and identify qualified leads that are initiating a relationship with you. Your products and services can be discovered through targeted banner ads or cleverly crafted call-to-action messages. These communications should attract your audience to read the latest blog, download an e-book or white paper, learn from a notable case study, or get something of value that will compel them to reach out or provide personal information to access it.

Organize sales content

Once you have a range of sales enablement tools, it’s important to maintain a precisely targeted content library. If you can make it easy for your salespeople to find and access marketing content quickly, it gives them more time to focus on selling. Most companies already have high-quality sales content on their website. Centralize all existing sales content in one searchable, organized, robust repository so the sales teams have the power to drive targeted and informative collateral for your customers.

Organize by themes that address pain points, by case studies featuring customer challenges, by brand story overview, or by product benefits and features. Keep in mind that business needs evolve over time. Content that was relevant to buyers a few years ago may not perform as well today. Keep your content library up to date to ensure sales team success.

Personalized content experience

It is equally important for sales teams to personalize those assets. One of the most useful ways that sales teams can boost engagement throughout the buyer’s journey is by being able to tailor these resources in real time during conversations with their prospects.

Supplying your sales team with approved key messaging that is customizable ensures consistency while allowing them to make changes on the fly. For example, standardized templates like prospect interaction emails (initial outreach, follow-up, and check-ins) that leave space for customization directly from their inbox can dramatically increase productivity.

Sales enablement tools will boost your sales efficiency. The right tools will allow them to understand their customers and the competitive landscape, overcome objections, and provide solutions that your customers are looking for. Building a predictable and repeatable sales process helps make selling easier—and your customers will appreciate the value you offer.