Today, sales leaders struggle to train and guide their reps without overwhelming their inboxes or taking away from their field time. This problem compounds when the team onboards new reps or adds more complex products to the mix.
To counter this, sales leaders turn to the idea of creating sales enablement content specifically to aid reps and shorten the sales cycle.
This approach is one of the best ways to support your sales team and drive more revenue. But without a consistent strategy around your buyer persona profiles, product benefits, and use cases, your sales enablement efforts will fall flat.
In this article, we’ll walk through what sales enablement content is, why you need it, and how to create high-performing sales enablement collateral that helps your team do their jobs better.
But what is sales enablement content, and why do you need it?
Sales enablement content is any helpful or valuable content relevant to a new sales rep, their sales manager, or a senior sales leader. You use such collateral to educate your sales department on the buying process, the market, the product, or the customer profile.
Sales enablement content differs from marketing content in that the latter focuses on building awareness in a potential customer, while sales enablement content is about influencing consideration and driving conversions.
You can give your sales reps collateral at different points, such as:
- Before they make contact with a potential customer (e.g., a list of client names);
- During their first contact with a lead (e.g., a cheat sheet presenting key metrics);
- In the middle of the sales pipeline (e.g., a demo video); or
- After reaching someone important (e.g., a data-packed infographic).
Sales enablement content is about influencing consideration and driving conversions.
Sales enablement content is about influencing consideration and driving conversions.
Content marketers typically handle the sales content creation process, but more and more companies are creating dedicated sales enablement teams to handle that process. As a sales manager or executive, assess your team or company’s content creation capacity and decide whether to craft your content in-house or outsource it.
Types of sales collateral for your content strategy
Sales teams use different types of sales collateral, but there are a few that have become more popular over time. In no particular order, these are:
- Sales decks
- Sales playbooks
- Sales talk tracks
- Email templates
- Sales battle cards
- Persona documents
- Competitor comparisons
- Datasheets and product documents
Let’s look at each in turn.
The one-pager (or one-page sheet) is a sales tool that summarizes your marketing message into an easily digestible, visually exciting, and interactive format.
While other sales content such as white papers, e-books, or case studies may offer more detailed and descriptive information about a product, service, or industry, a one-pager is designed for quick consumption.
Beyond a succinctly-written executive summary, a one-pager includes the following sections:
- · Statistics: Numbers convey credibility and help your customer make a more informed decision.
- · Benefits: Customers buy benefits and outcomes, not features. A compelling one-pager outlines the clear benefits to your customer of buying your product - and the adverse outcome of not buying it.
- · Features: Once a potential customer is sold on the “why,” you can then describe “how” your product works and what they can expect. Highlight any features that are better than the competition.
- · Support: Customers want to know they can still reach you after the sale. This section describes the kind of after-sales support they can expect from you and the period during which they can get it.
#2 Sales decks
Sales decks help you show people what your products look like, how they work, and why you’re the right company for them to buy from.
Sales reps typically use decks as a closing tool, but they can also use them to sway potential customers who aren’t ready to buy now but might do so later. Sales decks can also educate other stakeholders within the target company who may not be directly engaged with your sales team.
Here are 5 tips to help you craft better sales decks:
- Make each sales deck relevant to the buyer persona: Your product overview should directly relate to your customer’s needs and not just be a generic set of slides.
- Get to the point: Skip the long, winding intro and get to the point. Customers want to know how your product will solve their problems, not listen to the history of your company.
- Keep a consistent look: A sales presentation is an opportunity to solidify your company’s branding in the customer’s mind. Use a consistent set of fonts, colors, and graphics throughout each slide.
- Heavy on visuals, light on text: You want customers listening to your sales reps, not reading slides during the presentation. Include more graphics and limit the text on each slide.
- Stick to the 10-minute rule: Human brains tune out after about 10 minutes of the same activity. Keep your sales presentations to 10 minutes or less — or switch every 10 minutes.
#3 Sales playbooks
Sales playbooks map out exactly what your sales reps should say and do during each step of the sales funnel. Think of them as a collection of critical sales steps in your sales cycle. They serve as an excellent resource to ensure that your team consistently sells with precision.
Sales playbooks include things like:
- Outreach templates: Step-by-step guides on how to reach out to prospects.
- Sales process diagrams: Things your reps need to know about the entire sales process.
- Qualification checklists: Instructions on how to select prospects with high buying intent.
- Sales scripts: The exact words to say at each stage of the sales process.
#4 Sales talk tracks
A sales talk track gives your team a blueprint of how a sales conversation should progress. Each rep can use them when talking to a potential customer to ask the right questions, evaluate answers, and identify pain points.
Here are 3 tips to improve your sales scripts:
- Personalize the call: Refer to each potential customer by name.
- Ask open-ended questions: Leave room for the customer to explain the problem in their own words.
- Handle objections: For example, if the client says they’re not ready to buy just yet, the salesperson should know which resources to direct them to while they make their decision.
There’s a right and wrong way for a salesperson to talk to a customer, and each can have significant effects on your close rates and revenue.
#5 Email templates
Emails offer the chance to reach customers at different points in their journey - whether they are trying to make decisions or simply want to learn more. A well-designed email template can amplify brand awareness and drive purchase consideration.
You can create a set of email templates for your sales reps to send to each customer depending on their buying stage, such as:
- Product info
- Discount offer
- Sales reminder
- Webinar invitation
- Payment follow-up
Remember that your headline, body copy, and CTAs can significantly impact your open rates, click through rates, and close rates so test and tweak each email template to maximize impact.
#6 Sales battle cards
Sales battle cards are printed cards packed with strategies to help sales reps prepare for pitches or demos and share relevant competitive intel. Battle cards are another way to visually anchor sales reps and keep them focused on the things that matter.
#7 Buyer persona documents
A buyer persona document provides information on a potential customer’s preferences, needs, and desires. Sales staff can use persona documents to understand their clients more deeply and tailor their pitches to them.
#8 Competitive battles cards
You can increase your sales reps’ effectiveness by giving them competitor information they can refer to when speaking to a customer. The goal, naturally, is to show how much better your product is by comparison.
To accomplish this, you can:
- Create an online report of the average price per unit of your competitors
- Create visualizations of the benefits and features of your product compared to the competition - perhaps as an infographic; or
- Create a comparison table with point-by-point comparisons of features, pricing, distribution channels, and capabilities.
You can also add in things like your company culture, testimonials, and strategic partnerships
#9 Datasheets and product documents
Product sheets are a useful tool in a B2B sales rep’s toolbox. They provide information in an easily digestible, visually oriented format that allows prospects to review your products’ most important features quickly.
You can also customize product sheets for each type of customer. If you have different products targeting different personas such as ‘VPs,’ ‘Technical Leads,’ and ‘Developers,’ for example, you could adapt your product sheet for each segment through language, graphics, and messaging. Tailoring your sales content this way makes your team’s pitches more effective.
How to build a sales enablement program
A robust sales enablement program empowers your team with all the tools they need to succeed. However, it has to be built on your company’s strategic objectives for it to be effective.
Here’s how you can start building a sales enablement program in just 4 steps:
- Analyze your business needs
- Source input from different departments
- Create high-impact content
- Track usage, measure impact and iterate
Let’s briefly explore each point
#1 Analyze your business needs
To kickstart your sales enablement content strategy, analyze your business needs to determine where the gaps are and how sales enablement material would fill them.
The results of your analysis will vary depending on the type of business you are in, the products you’re selling, and your yearly or quarterly goals.
#2 Source input from different departments
Different departments in your company can tell you the problems they’re facing and the type of content they need to solve those problems.
For example, the Customer Retention team might need sales collateral to help prevent churn, while your SDRs may need email templates or sales talk tracks.
Collecting this information helps you plan a content creation roadmap that prioritizes every team’s needs.
#3 Create high-impact content
After you’ve analyzed and prioritized your company’s sales content needs, it’s time to create the content. For this phase, you might need:
- Copywriters for email copy and sales scripts
- Designers for presentations and product sheets
- Voice and speech coaches for sales call training
- Animators and video editors for sales videos, etc.
These are resources you can source from your marketing department or hire on a freelance basis.
Once you’ve identified winning content, double down on it.
#4 Track usage, measure business impact and iterate
After creating sales enablement material, it’s essential to track its usage and impact and use that information to make it better. To track usage, you can ask each sales rep questions such as:
- When you do demos, what content do you use the most?
- When you are sharing collateral, what content could you use more of?
- What would make our Sales Enablement Hub easier to use?
You can also track metrics like email open rates, content downloads, viewing time per asset, and social media engagement.
Tracking business impact is a bit more complicated. The key challenge here is attribution — figuring out what type of content or approach might have contributed most to your bottom line or your reps’ performance.
For example, did your new email template increase your close rate? Or was it the new sales talk track your SDRs are using to follow up with each lead? Was the recently organized sales training responsible for improved results? Or was it because you assembled a dedicated sales enablement team?
Once you’ve identified the winning content and approach, double down on it and decide whether to improve the duds or cull them from your sales enablement strategy.
An effective sales enablement strategy arms sales teams with the content they need to succeed. Implementing a sales enablement process can increase revenue, drive more efficient prospecting, integrate the sales and marketing department better, and support a continuous learning culture.
You can produce different kinds of effective sales enablement content depending on your business needs, revenue priorities, and available capacity. From email templates and sales scripts to presentations and product sheets, each piece of sales content you create goes a long way toward helping your team sell more and sell better.
And if you use a CRM system, it’s even easier.
A platform like Salesforce helps sales teams store and track customer data, while a sales enablement tool like Momentum seamlessly syncs data from Salesforce to each sales rep via Slack — and vice versa. Here’s what that looks like:
To see the power of Momentum’s sales enablement solution in action sign up for free today)