Sales enablement and marketing go hand in hand. They need each other.It’s a symbiotic relationship.
Kind of like the goby fish and the pistol shrimp. The shrimp is blind but can dig holes for protection.
The goby has incredible eyesight but is terrible at hiding from danger.
The goby signals to the shrimp when it’s safe to move throughout the ocean bed and leads them both to another safe location. The shrimp provides a secure spot to hide and sleep when they’re not moving.Win-win.
And so it is with sales enablement content creation.
Marketing (shrimp) work on digging up and creating useful information they can give to sales, while sales (goby fish) are always busy moving your business forward by closing more deals.
Again…it’s a win-win.
And statistics bear this out, too.
Almost 95% of recent purchasers said the solution provider they chose “provided them with ample content to help navigate through each stage of the buying process.”
B2B organizations that have closely aligned sales and marketing operations achieved 24% faster three-year revenue growth and 27% faster three-year profit growth.
But to make it work, you’ll need to understand what marketing actually does for the sales team.
Marketing’s Role in Sales Enablement
Marketing is probably churning out excellent content to reel strangers into your blog, social media accounts, and email list.
That’s important work to get more qualified leads into your sales team’s pipeline.
But what about content made FOR the sales team?
Because while marketing is bringing in more leads, they’re not closing sales. That’s why you have an entire sales department.
The thing is…
Sales needs good content to help them sell better.
This content falls into three general categories:
- Content for Lead Generation
- Content for Sales Conversions
- Content for Internal Sales Support
The first is clearly the domain of marketing – it’s the blog articles, downloadable guides, and social media posts that grow your brand awareness and attract leads.
The second will get the best results when sales and marketing team up to create together.
Marketing can bring their top of funnel knowledge, understanding of your brand, and creative resources, while sales can bring their bottom of funnel knowledge and in-depth product expertise to create content that’s attractive, informative, and persuasive.
The third will mostly be the domain of your sales teams and support staff – resources on the latest strategies and tactics, video tutorials on how to use your sales tools, data and FAQ sheets on your products and services.
However, if your marketing team is large enough to have some extra capacity, their knowledge of effective content creation can definitely help make often-dry-and-boring sales support materials that much more engaging (and potentially useful as sales conversion content).
All that being said, what are some specific types of sales enablement content your teams should create?
9 Types of Sales Enablement Content
Sales enablement content comes in many forms. Below we list just a few you should know about.
But before you read them, an important reminder about salespeople…
They’re extremely busy.
And oftentimes they’ll forget that you’ve created content for them to use in their jobs.
So beyond creating content for your sales team, we also recommend making it a point to prominently display some of this content, share it often, create a knowledge database, and generally harp on the fact that content exists for them to use.
Otherwise, they may never use the content you’ve already created.
OK, with that caveat out of the way…
Let’s dive in.
1. Case Studies
Case studies can go both ways in terms of sales enablement content.
It can inform a salesperson of an important customer story and it can persuade a prospect to jump off the fence and turn into a customer.
For salespeople, especially new reps, think of case studies like this:
A well-researched, in-depth case study helps sales reps deeply understand your target market. It shows them, through a real-world example, what their wants, needs, and preferences are, often in their own words.
Salespeople gain an intimate portrait of the struggles and challenges customers face that they get to alleviate.
For customers, case studies can be thought of this way:
Proof that your brand was able to step up and solve their problems when no one else could.
Case studies are relatable. Prospects can see themselves in the customers discussed. And stories are the most powerful sales tools. They’re memorable, and they humanize often dry and boring topics like your solution’s specs and features.
And going along with that, case studies highlight your major selling points. Most importantly, they allow other customers to tell potential customers why they chose you over anyone else, in their own words.
We could go on, but you get the point.
Case studies are one of the most important and powerful pieces of sales enablement content you can create.
2. White Papers
White papers (and you can lump ebooks into this category) are an excellent tool for showcasing the nitty-gritty details of your products and services.
You do have to be careful with this content type, however…
It’s very easy to spend hours and hours writing content you think is great, only to find out that either no one wants it, or the leads being generated from the white paper are no good.
This is another reason why it’s important for marketing to work closely with sales.
Sales reps will help you identify the content that prospects want to consume.
In turn, marketing can create content that drives higher-quality leads.
Also, if a sales rep ever needs to brush up on specific statistics or other hard-data, or need to use it for a drip campaign or sales pitch, they can refer to the white papers you’ve created.
3. Blog Posts
Blog posts are the quintessential content marketing material.
They can be used at any stage of the buyer’s journey.
At the awareness stage, blog posts can educate prospects on their problems and potential solutions. Helping them better understand where they’re at and what they need to do next.
At the consideration stage, blog posts help prospects weigh their options, see a variety of solutions, and get to know the pros and cons, benefits and drawbacks of each.
At the decision stage, blog posts help solidify the right decision for prospects to make. Helping them remain confident in what they ultimately end up doing.
For marketing to create this stellar content, where should they turn?
To sales reps, of course!
Sales reps will be able to tell them the major objections they hear from customers. The questions they often have before buying. The points at which customers are confused and need clarification.
And once those blog posts are created, sales teams can turn around and use them to close deals.
We already discussed how blog posts can be used at different stages of the buyer’s journey and you don’t need to wait for customers to find the blog posts on their own. Sales reps can provide blog posts when necessary.
4. Product Sheets
Product sheets, also called data sheets, are an essential piece of sales enablement content.
It typically lists all of the important features and benefits of your product.There are many different kinds of product sheets.
Some are all about the specs.Others will heavily talk about safety.
Some may even discuss who the product is for and why it’s so important to have. Or how to use it and what exactly it does.
The type of product sheet you use will depend on the type of product you’re selling.
Regardless, its purpose is to give a prospect a solid understanding of the most important info about your product, perfect for the first meeting or follow-ups.
5. Sales Scripts
Sales scripts are a mainstay in any well-functioning company.
They’re really just a prescribed set of talking points that sales reps can use at any stage of the sales funnel.
One of the best parts of sales scripts is they lift up struggling salespeople who don’t have the skills or knowledge to talk freely about the product yet. Which is really what sales enablement is all about:
Empowering every salesperson with the resources needed to succeed, no matter their starting skill level.
When creating sales scripts, make sure that the information on the script matches the information already provided to the prospect so there’s no mismatch in messaging.
Which is another key point.The goal should be to have a consistent message throughout the entire funnel and between all sales professionals.
A final tip for making the most of sales scripts is this:
Do not read them word-for-word.
It makes you look and sound robotic and unprofessional.
Instead, allow the script to guide the conversation. Use it to find the right flow, cadence, voice, and tone when selling.
When making and improving your scripts, make sure to consistently ask for feedback from the sales team. As with most of the content on this list, speaking with your sales reps about talking points that come up with customers will help you produce the best end product.
6. Competitor Comparisons
Knowing everything about your product and business is the best starting point for salespeople.But it’s insufficient.
The next step is to understand everything, or as much as possible, about your competitors’ product and business.
This type of knowledge helps salespeople anticipate objections.
It gives salespeople an understanding of what other products in the market their prospects have already seen, and what to say to differentiate your product from theirs.
And competitor comparisons will help salespeople see their products own strengths and weaknesses, knowing what to play up and use as a sales tool and what to avoid.
The document should be a summary of all this.It’s not meant to be too in-depth.
The goal is to make an easy-to-reference sheet a sales rep can whip out and use anytime.
While product sheets are focused squarely on a single product and the important technical points surrounding it, one-pagers are focused on your brand generally.
It’s often used to give a high-level overview of your brand and business, the benefits of working with you, and the ways your products and services solve specific pain points.
It certainly can be focused on a single product, but again, in a more general way than a product sheet.
Ideally, one-pagers are created with a lot of help from the sales team. And then are stored in easy-to-access locations like a cloud folder. This way they can be sent to decision-makers when needed.
8. Social Media Content
Social media is as much a sales tool today as phone or email.And to consistently generate qualified leads, a lot of sales enablement marketing material should be created for all your social media accounts.
This can come in the form of suggested LinkedIn stories or Twitter messages.Interesting videos. Articles and stats.Infographics that summarize a bunch of compelling research.
The goal should be to build your brand’s authority online while pulling people into your website, or your email list, or to pick up the phone and call a sales rep.
9. On-boarding Content
Onboarding content for new sales reps is vital.
This is your chance to fully inundate them into your company culture, your processes, and your organizational goals.
This is also a time you can bring them up to speed on the sales enablement process.
You can educate them on how to use the materials you’ve created to the best of their ability.
And you can train them on how to use the proper approach when working with prospects.
Your company’s mission, values, sales strategies, etc. should all be included in your onboarding content.
Amazing Sales Enablement Content Isn’t Complete Without This…
Most of the content we listed in this post are text-based.
Your prospects need to read them or have you explain them in your own words.
But here’s the thing…
Most people prefer visual content.
They’d rather watch than read.
But you’re not a video editor and neither are your sales reps.
And you shouldn’t need to hire one to quickly create visual content marketing your customers will enjoy interacting with.
That’s why we suggest using a tool like CloudApp.
It’s been ranked by G2 Crowd as one of the top sales enablement tools.
Using this software, your marketing department (and sales team) can:
Ultimately, CloudApp will allow you to present your products in the best light, solve customer issues while forming a human connection, and effectively communicate – turning prospects into customers.
Discover how CloudApp creates better sales enablement content today.