In a sales context, content can be anything from customer-facing collateral and assets like brochures, white papers, and presentations to internal-only content like FAQs, competitive battle cards, and sales playbooks. For sellers, content is the key to convincing buyers to progress to the next stage of the buying journey—it is the foundation for instrumental messaging, training, guidance, and direct engagement. On average, sales reps use more than 17 pieces of content throughout the sales process. Content-based sales enablement helps companies grow revenue, recognize revenue more quickly in the sales cycle, and retain more customers.
The other universal truth is that regardless of an organization’s sales or marketing maturity, they always have sales content somewhere, and too often it’s everywhere.
For sellers, finding the right content that is relevant, properly timed, and aligned to each stage in the buyer’s journey, is a very hard juggling act. Organizations without effective content management or a B2B copywriter often run into the same roadblocks. Content is scattered across multiple platforms and locations (think SharePoint sites, Dropbox folders, and Salesforce libraries) and as a result, sellers can’t find the appropriate content. Or all content is stored in one large, amorphous repository that is difficult to browse and search. Old gets mixed with new; reps rummage around in the bucket of content without being able to find the right assets and don’t know if they can trust what they find.
Sellers waste a lot of valuable selling time searching for content, in fact, research has shown that sales reps spend a full 40 percent of their time searching for or creating content. The result is that reps start trusting their own hard drives as the best source for sales content—and this is a recipe for disaster. This solution invariably leads to public-facing documents and content that are off-message, off-brand, and out-of-date. This, in turn, degrades the quality and effectiveness of sales interactions and pushes buyers towards competitors.
Another major pain point with sales content is understanding what content is actually being used and what content is most effective in driving prospect engagement.
Without visibility into how content is being used, marketing can’t evaluate which content reps prefer, how much content is being used, how content is modified, and how content is influencing revenue. Sales teams are also flying blind—without knowing what content they really need, and what best practices they should adopt. The result is a major disconnect between the sales and the marketing teams about how to prioritize content investment. Sales enablement provides a link between marketing and sales teams, not only housing the content that marketing produces but also provides guidance on how to best deliver content.
With a sales enablement tool collecting and reporting content usage and effectiveness, the sales and the marketing teams can better align and optimize their focus and investment in sales content.
Benefits of Sales Enablement Content
To say that today’s sales landscape is competitive is an understatement. Buyers are able to evaluate, research, and eliminate vendors before ever contacting a seller.
To elaborate, research shows that buyers travel through 57& of the buyer journey ahead of their first meaningful interaction with a seller. By the time a modern buyer does reach out, they expect a fast and personalized response that adds value and insight beyond what they have already researched on their own.
If not, they are likely to take their business elsewhere. Sales reps must execute at a high level to move deals forward quickly, or they risk losing out to better prepared competitors. And to add insult to injury, Forrester finds that business buyers remain unimpressed with the content that marketing and sales present to them: 60 percent say vendors give them too much content, and most say what they get is useless.
At the same time, sales cycles have become longer and more complex, causing sellers to shoulder ever-increasing administrative burdens resulting in less time spent in direct selling activities. On average, sales reps only spend a third of their day actually talking to prospects.
With less time available for selling, this makes it more difficult to provide meaningful interactions that are required to be successful when engaging today’s buyer.
All of this means that sellers must capitalize on every conversation and approach each exchange artfully, adeptly, and expeditiously. To do this, sellers need more than traditional sales training or sales readiness and more organizations are looking to sales enablement and hiring a B2B copywriter as the oath to modern selling. The Aberdeen Group found that 77 percent of organizations now practice some form of sales enablement. CSO Insights reports that the percentage of companies with a dedicated sales enablement person, program or function increased by 180 percent last year alone.
The key difference between sales enablement and traditional training and readiness is that it’s ongoing and it incorporates training on a continuous basis—alongside the right engagement content and assets at the point of buyer engagement.
How to Create Sales Enablement Content
Selecting a robust, innovative content management solution with exceptional sales enablement functionality is the fastest way to upgrade your go-to-market starting with content at the core. Utilizing a sales enablement platform with a built-in content management solution allows sellers to find, leverage, and pitch the correct content when they need it.
Content Repository Features
Sales enablement platforms save sales reps time by providing one content repository for all their content needs, cutting down on the amount of time they spend searching for and creating content. Patented AI and semantic search delivers highly accurate results so sellers spend time selling.
As previously mentioned, modern buyers travel through most of the buyer’s journey without interacting with a seller, preferring instead to conduct their own research and compiling a shortlist of vendors they engage with. This now requires sellers to be prepared to offer content that’s rich with valuable advice and expertise on the subject matter.
If sellers cannot locate the right content they require, or worse still, do not know it is available, they will lose prospects to better equipped competitors. For your sellers to deliver an effective sales meeting that clearly establishes their competence, knowledge, and insights into a buyer’s needs, they should offer content that communicates exactly the right solutions for the buyer.
Measuring the effectiveness of content is very important as it provides insight into whether a content strategy is properly aligned and in fact driving growth. Analytics that provide insight into buyer activity, such as email opens, content downloads, and time spent on content are key indicators of effectiveness. With this information, marketing and enablement teams can evaluate content messaging and effectiveness at each stage of the buyer’s journey to uncover what is ultimately influencing revenue.
With Highspot, the most effective and top recommended content by a B2B copywriter is automatically identified using AI, or managers can hand-curate their recommendations. Highspot automatically identifies the most effective and top recommended content based on historical customer engagement and revenue production data.
As a result, Highspot can guide users to effective content that is most relevant to their current scenario, based on sales stage and persona. This guarantees that the seller will have the right content in hand when she goes to pitch her prospect.
Content and Guidance
Today’s buyers expect sellers to be nimble and knowledgeable enough to send content that is valuable, personalized and aligned to their stage in the buyer’s journey, almost immediately.
To navigate this new set of expectations sellers need access to guidance that is easy to use, dynamic, digital and intuitive. This provides sellers with one location for the content and guidance throughout the sales cycle. Not only should content provide buyers value and new insights, but it must also map to their stage in the buyer’s journey —helping them progress through the purchase process.
With Highspot, sellers can find content that is aligned to their prospect’s opportunity record within the CRM. As a result, the content buyers receive is directly mapped to their stage in the sales cycle and aligns with important attributes such as buyer persona. This allows sales reps to quickly find the best content for each conversation, ensuring they stay aligned to the buyer’s stage in the purchase journey.
In today’s competitive sales landscape, adaptable, intelligent solutions that provide effective content management and ultimately drive seller enablement are a necessity.
As a result, it becomes easier for sellers to guide prospective buyers through the sales process quickly and methodically, allowing them to win more deals. With easier content discovery, higher quality engagements, and more analytics, sales enablement tools create drastic improvements for today’s seller effectiveness.