What is a sales enablement strategy?

The goal of a sales enablement strategy is to align marketing and sales – often easier said than done.

In the past, marketing would drum up interest (top and middle of funnel) and sales would close (bottom of funnel). But as B2B content marketing has become more integral to the entire customer journey, marketing and sales have had to work more closely on creating content for the bottom of the funnel too.

A sales enablement strategy ensures that sales are receiving the content they need from marketing to get prospects over the line. And also that marketing are receiving the customer insight they need to create great content for sales.

What are some examples of sales enablement content?

Sales enablement content is typically shared with prospects directly by sales reps or marketing automation. Common examples of sales enablement content include:

  • Product info / datasheets
  • Demo videos
  • Competitor / product comparisons
  • Case studies & testimonials
  • Product ratings / reviews

Because we’re dealing with the bottom of the funnel, there is likely to be much more of a product focus. However, you still need to keep the customer in mind. Ultimately, the goal of sales enablement content is to identify and resolve any final questions the customer has about your offering.

If you want to create a sales enablement strategy for your business, follow the seven steps below.

1 – Create a combined sales and marketing project team

Sales enablement is a joint enterprise so it will require a mix of sales and marketing staff.

If marketing try to go it alone, they will end up having to make a lot assumptions about the sales process and the customers’ mindset. And sales are likely to be less experienced in the finer points of B2B content marketing and content creation.

A joint team is more likely to get buy-in from both departments and better able to champion the worth of the strategy in both camps.

2 – Perform a content audit of all existing content that can be used / repurposed

Most business already have a wealth of sales enablement content that has been produced over the years. All of this content should be audited and a centralised repository created.

The content should then be ranked from:

  • Usable – fine as it is
  • Almost there – needs a bit of work (for instance, old content that is no longer aligned with the brand guidelines but is otherwise valid)
  • Repurposable – contains some interesting information but won’t be usable on its own
  • Not usable

3 – Align existing content with the customer journey and identify gaps

The next step is to match the content that exists with the buyer journey. A lot of organisations have their own specific buyer journey diagram (every path-to-purchase is different). If you don’t have one you regularly use, here’s one I use all the time:

Source

Once you’ve assigned all of your usable content to the appropriate stages in the user journey you’ll be able to see where the gaps are and what content you need to produce.

4 – Produce new content where required and ensure consistency of old content

Produce new content to fill all of the gaps in your customer journey, answering the questions asked in the diagram that I’ve posted above.

This is also a good time to make sure that all of your existing content is consistent in terms of creative execution. Sales enablement content is gathered over many years and as a result the look and feel can be inconsistent. Establish consistent creative standards across all content to enhance the experience for the end-user.

5 – Make it easy-to-access and have your sales stakeholders deliver training in how to use it

If you have a central CRM or shared Drive place all of the assets on there, clearly indexed and labelled up in a way that your sales team will quickly understand. Once this is done, have the sales representatives in your project team deliver training on how to use it.

The easier you make it to find and use the more likely sales are to use it. Sales is a high-pressure environment and if there’s any friction whatsoever the content will get ignored.

6 – Regroup the project team quarterly to review feedback and required updates

As your products and services evolve your sales enablement content will need to be updated. On top of this, feedback should be gathered from sales on a regular basis on how the sales enablement content is performing and whether improvements can be made.

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