In her 2014 article, “Content is for Closers: How to Leverage Content for Sales Enablement,” Abaza called content an integral part of the sales process— and she ought to know. After all, she’s spent most of the past two decades consulting and directing global marketing efforts for über-successful companies.
The content to which Abaza refers isn’t necessarily the same materials consumers can access on the web. While there certainly is overlap between the two types of content, they serve different places along the buying journey. Content marketing materials are designed to generate leads, and sales enablement content is used to help close deals.
Why are sales enablement materials important for a sales team? As we discussed in a previous article, sales enablement provides sales teams with the tools and information they need to close more sales. Those tools can take on a variety of forms, but content falls toward the top of that list.
Without a strategy, however, teams can end up creating content with no goal and that ends up serving no good purpose. Thus, a sales enablement content strategy is important to successfully close more deals.
According to Abaza, too often content is considered an integral part of marketing strategies, but that ball drops when leads are handed off to sales teams. She’s not wrong. Even though 95% of buyers in one Demand Gen report chose a provider that offered them content through each phase of the buying journey, the American Marketing Association has found 90% of marketing deliverables are not used by sales teams.
Abaza suggests sales teams more easily can be brought on board with utilizing sales enablement content if they are involved in creating that strategy.
“A sales team armed with content — content inspired by their insights — is a sales team that can more effectively close deals,” she explained. “To make this happen you’ll need the right tools combined with the right processes for your company.”
What sorts of sales enablement content can teams create to help them close more deals?
What are sales enablement materials? The list is practically endless, but the following 10 are some of the most common forms of sales enablement content:
- Presentation decks
Customers are now more accustomed to digesting content presented digitally rather than physically, so it only makes sense to deliver it to them in their preferred medium. A well-crafted slide deck combines both digital presentation with visual storytelling elements to inform and persuade potential clients, transforming them into loyal customers.
- Case studies
Consumers want to choose products with demonstrated results, which makes case studies a useful sales enablement resource. These customer success stories describe the customer’s situation and the challenge presented to them, as well as the product solution and the technical results of choosing the company.
- Product data
It’s hard to know every possible question a customer might ask about a product or a company. Providing sales teams with any and all available product information is vital in ensuring they can directly and almost instantly answer any inquiry.
- Email templates
Providing sales teams with customizable email templates helps to standardize and streamline customer communications, while saving sales teams time they can otherwise use toward converting more leads.
- Blog content and news articles
Articles from authoritative sources make ideal sales enablement materials. Look for industry research, news articles and blog content that demonstrates thought leadership in the appropriate market. The content provides consumers with information that supports making a purchase that they can read and digest on their own time. It can also be provided to sales reps for use when engaging potential clients in conversation.
- Pricing comparisons
In addition to providing sales teams with specific details about the products they are selling, it’s important to make them aware of the competition. Similar sales enablement content can be provided to them that details pricing comparisons to competitor products in the market.
- Competitor battle cards
Companies don’t only compete on price. Competitor battle cards are a popular sales enablement material that provides an overview of a competitor’s company, products and services, as well as guidelines— talking points— to win a sale over that specific competitor.
- White papers
White papers and eBooks provide long-form content for consumers to learn details about a market, company or product, generally written by thought leaders in the industry. The content could include research, information or predictions on industry trends or an in-depth solution to a specific problem.
According to Forbes, 64% of marketing executives say word of mouth is still the most effective marketing tool, and the same can be said for sales enablement content. Customer testimonials are the next best thing to getting product advice from a friend or neighbor.
- Video shorts
The importance of video to a sales enablement strategy cannot be emphasized enough. After all, the average consumer is predicted to spend 100 minutes per day watching online videos in 2021. While almost any of the above sales enablement materials can be presented in video form, sales teams can also benefit from short product demonstration and explainer videos, lasting no more than about 2 minutes each.
What tools can help create great sales enablement content?
What are sales enablement tools? A variety of tech resources are available to help teams create effective sales enablement content, including:
The cloud-based PowerPoint alternative presentation maker features plenty of customizable presentation templates designed to help sales teams with onboarding and training, as well as sales presentations. Users of Beautiful.ai's presentation software need only add their content and watch as special artificial intelligence adjusts the design according to principles of designs recommended by the pros.
The sales enablement tool helps representatives organize, store and share content with ease by offering a centralized location to manage content, information and other resources. Sales teams can use Seismic to instantly access any relevant information and personalized content for any type of buyer interaction.
How can teams evaluate the efficacy of their sales enablement content? Attach helps salespeople to measure how their prospects and leads are interacting with the content shared with them. The tool offers insights into whether or not prospects are opening and reviewing content sent to them and if they are sharing it with others at their companies.
Video might be the sales enablement content of the future, but that doesn’t mean every sales team is prepared or equipped to produce their own short films. By utilizing Vyond’s online video animation software, teams can leverage the power of video without any production, filming or editing experience. Instead, users take advantage of a library of templates that can be combined and customized to create a cohesive video presentation.
The data-driven software helps sales enablement efforts by providing video and text-based training resources, as well as coaching and practice modules to help sales reps try out various pitches and selling strategies. Brainshark also provides in-depth performance analytics and AI-powered video scoring assessments to gain valuable insight into perceived emotions, filler words, rates of speech and other elements that impact the efficiency of sales efforts.