In a recent workshop I did with a new client, that age-old content marketing question came up: “How salesy should the content be?”.
The short answer is that it depends on the type of content you’re creating – awareness stage content should always have a much more subtle sales message than purchase stage content.
However, all content can be sales enablement content, as long as you use it to full effect.
What exactly is sales enablement content?
Sales enablement content is any piece of content that a salesperson can use throughout the sales process to help entice prospective customers to make purchases (or sign up to a service).
It’s not just your slide decks and case studies, but also the blog posts and whitepapers you create as part of your wider content marketing efforts.
Your salespeople will have contact with leads at different stages of the buyer journey and it’s crucial that they’re pushing the right content, at the right time.
That’s the advantage salespeople have over content marketers – they can have a direct conversation with leads and send them the exact piece of content (in theory anyway) which is designed to nudge them onto the next stage… or over the conversion line.
What’s the key element of successful sales enablement?
Salespeople and content marketers need one another in order to be successful. Salespeople need the content marketing team to create assets which they know will resonate with buyers – while the content team needs sales to feed back on what’s landing and what’s missing.
It’s a symbiotic relationship – or at least it should be – and more and more businesses are seeing the benefits of actively aligning their sales and content teams.
That’s why, whenever we’re in the strategy & planning phase of onboarding a new client, we’ll directly ask about the current alignment between content and sales. We want to be able to use all those incredible insights that the sales team harbour – and then give them back in the form of great sales enablement content.
Alignment also helps with consistency of key messaging – you want to be saying the same things so that buyers come away from content and sales conversations with clarity.
What’s a good starting point for creating sales enablement content?
We always start by looking at a client’s existing sales enablement content – everything from previous whitepapers to slide decks and beyond.
This gives us a good idea about the consistency of key messaging (objective eyes are always best here) and is usually a good indicator of engagement and return on investment. But it’s still important to crunch the numbers and dig into the data to get a complete picture of the success rates.
Then and only then can you start thinking about planning and creating some new sales enablement content, which is aligned to the buyer’s journey (this may need to be mapped).
How we can help
Here at Q Content, we’ve worked with clients in various scenarios: some with huge lead-generated lists, where pieces of sales enablement content work across a number of prospective clients; or other times where we’ve created sales enablement content specifically directed at a small number of ‘big ticket’ prospects. While your strategy may differ, content within your sales story can still be incredibly powerful.
We’ve had great success in creating sales enablement content which helps convert – something that’s bound to put a smile on the faces of your sales team!
There’s much more to sales enablement content than I’ve touched on above, which is very much a ‘starter for 10’. To continue the conversation, comment below or feel free to drop me a message!