Crafting Sales Content to Empower Rep Success
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For sellers to stay ahead of the competition and consistently achieve their goals, they need access to the most timely, relevant, and impactful content. However, simply making assets available is not enough to ensure success. Rather, reps need to understand how to use these resources most effectively and when to deploy them in the sales process to maximize performance.
By providing reps with digestible and meaningful content, enablement can arm reps with tools to effectively connect with customers. When reps are equipped with relevant materials to provide buyers with the necessary information at the right time, buyers feel listened to and prioritized, which ultimately leads to long-term customer retention.
“Each piece of content that you create needs to have not just a purpose, we’re all creating content for a purpose to be consumed, but we really need to start thinking about how that content is going to move the sales process along,” said Michelle Kanan, SPR lead for strategic accounts at Amazon Web Services.
To create the most effective and successful sales content, organizations can keep the following tips in mind.
Create Content that Resonates
A primary goal of content is to deliver a meaningful message that resonates with both buyers and reps. Before customers receive content, sales reps need to understand the purpose behind the information they are delivering and how it can help provide value to customers. In doing so, customers will be more likely to reciprocate the excitement of reps, making content more meaningful.
To create content that resonates, enablement can benefit from thinking through the information that buyers need to know at different points in their journey in order to move forward. Customers no longer rely on reps to teach them everything about the product or service. Instead, customers often go online and learn as much as they can before they engage with the sales rep. Therefore, reps can go beyond explaining the product or service and instead dive into how it will help their customers solve a problem.
“It’s knowing what challenges we actually help our customers solve,” said Matthew Miersen, senior manager of Americas sales enablement at Veritas Technologies. “It’s how we plug in to get them from current state to where they want to be.”
By mapping out where content best fits in the sales cycle, enablement can optimize the effectiveness of content. When content is delivered at the optimal time within the sales cycle, customers and reps can leverage the information to make a bigger impact on the buying experience.
“We want to make sure that when we create content, we are doing so not just thoughtfully, but that we are actually thinking about where it is going to live within our sales cycle,” said Kanan. “How are we going to train reps to use it the proper way instead of leaving it up to how each individual rep wants to think about it?”
Collaborate With Reps to Build Content Strategies
To build the best sales content strategies, enablement can benefit from collaboration with reps to learn what they need to connect with customers. When it comes to reps, enablement can ask guiding questions to gain insight into the possible gaps in content and how to best fill those gaps. Some of these questions might include:
- What kind of content is needed?
- What are the topics reps need to talk to their customers about?
- What do reps need that they do not have right now?
In answering these questions, enablement and marketing teams can gain insights into what to develop to make the most impact. Before content can be activated, it’s important to define the needs that content is trying to meet. With this information in mind, enablement teams can translate the information into how sellers can use it to be most effective.
“The role of enablement, a lot of times, is to translate what the information is into how the sellers need it to be most effective with it,” said Miersen.
By fostering discussion and collaboration among reps, organizations can gain insight into best practices and reps’ experiences with the content. In learning what is working and what needs improvements, enablement can more accurately map content to the buyer’s journey and provide clear guidance to ensure reps know what good looks like in activating the content with buyers.
Measure the Effectiveness of Content
Utilizing quantitative and qualitative data is essential to adequately measure the effectiveness of content in real-time to refine the strategy continuously.
In terms of quantitative data, enablement can benefit from leveraging tools to analyze who is using the content, where it is being used, and how it is influencing results. With that data, organizations can gain clarity around what content is resonating with customers, what content is used the most, and what content is perhaps not used at all in order to make decisions about what to stop, start, and continue.
In fact, utilizing data effectively to improve content fosters positive impacts for organizations, as those that are highly effective in doing so report win rates that are 10 percentage points higher than those who are only effective.
Similarly, qualitative data gathered through feedback can help give context to the quantitative numbers and detail how and why certain assets are used or ignored. By making an effort to ask reps for insights about their experiences with content and how they feel customers are digesting it, enablement can have an opportunity to refine content to better fit the needs of reps and customers, or adjust how that content is delivered to reps to ensure it lands effectively.
“We want to make sure that we are maintaining a really strong connection to the sales force and getting their feedback,” said Tieg Herman, director of product marketing and sales enablement at Deluxe Corporation. “Did this work? Did the buyers appreciate that perspective? Did they get value out of that perspective? And if the answer isn’t yes, then we refine and make sure that we’re always pursuing creating value for our clients.”
Content has the unique ability to empower reps and customers with the right information to drive understanding around how a product or service can deliver value. By creating content that resonates, listening to rep needs, and measuring the effectiveness of content to identify gaps and foster improvements, enablement can arm reps with meaningful content that will prepare them for success in every customer-facing interaction.