A Quick-Step Guide to Creating Sales Enablement Content [With Examples]
Sales enablement content is created with the purpose of persuading buyers to make a purchase. If you think about it, shouldn’t all types of B2B content do just that? The truth is generating an arsenal of high-impact sales enablement content is no longer a task that can be pushed to the bottom of your to-do list. In order for marketing to do their job effectively, they must also prioritize developing sales content that converts.
Unfortunately, 76% of content marketers forget about sales enablement and forgo it completely. But this causes a huge disadvantage for both the marketing and sales teams. According to G2, a disconnect between sales and marketing costs businesses $1 trillion annually in decreased sales productivity and wasted marketing initiatives. It’s time to break down the silos between sales and marketing to create effective sales enablement content that drives sales.
In this article, we’re digging deeper into sales enablement content, the role that marketing plays when it comes to creating it, and strategies and tips for how to best create it. Let’s start digging.
What is Sales Enablement Content?
First, it’s important to recognize the difference between sales enablement content and other types of marketing and sales content. Essentially, sales enablement content is created to drive sales. Whereas other forms of content may have the purpose of educating visitors on how to solve a particular pain point they're having or increasing your brand's online visibility for a particular search term.
Take, for example, a blog vs. an ROI guide. A blog’s purpose is typically to increase organic SEO and raise brand awareness. On the flip side, the ROI guide has the purpose of showcasing value to motivate buyers to make a purchase decision.
Plus, sales enablement content is produced specifically to:
- Support sales conversations
- Help sales reps overcome objections in the sales cycle
- Increase deal velocity by delighting buyers at each stage of your purchase journey
Now that you know a bit more about sales enablement content, let’s dive into the steps you can take to begin creating it.
1. Audit Existing Content
The first step to creating high-performing sales enablement content is to review all of the content your sales teams currently use. This audit will help you uncover:
- The types of content the sales reps find most useful
- Any areas in which content creation may be lacking
- Certain aspects of existing content that can be improved
Next, be sure to categorize all of your current sales and marketing content based on the three stages of the buyer’s journey: awareness, consideration, and decision. And if you have a documented buyer's journey with more granular stages, even better! This will help you to denote which pieces of content can be (or should be) used for sales enablement purposes. Typically, content created for the awareness stage is too top-of-the-funnel to serve as sales enablement content. But content that speaks to buyers in the consideration and decision stages — case studies, competitor analyses, etc. — can be considered sales enablement content.
Post-audit, you’ll gain a better understanding of the types of sales enablement content you should be creating and the information you need to ensure the content you create is a win for the sales team.
2. Align with Sales to Create Content that is Proven to Convert Leads into Customers
Start this process by aligning with the sales team. Have open conversations with them about which pieces of content motivate buyers to make a purchase. Discuss together to find out which pieces of content cause buyers to do the opposite and end up purchasing from a competitor.
Most importantly, discuss the feedback sales reps are receiving from buyers. Ask yourselves:
- What types of content are buyers looking for?
- What pain points do buyers have that we’re not addressing?
- What information do buyers find most helpful?
- What brought buyers to us in the first place?
By aligning with sales, marketers are better prepared to create content that not only helps salespeople convert prospects and close deals, but also provides buyers with the information they need to make a well-informed purchase decision. For example, maybe you don’t have case studies for each use case, or maybe buyers love how your competitor has a product overview video. It’s essential to take this feedback and leverage it to create the most effective and impactful sales enablement content.
3. Generate High-Quality, Educational Content for Each Stage of the Buyer’s Journey
Now that you have a better understanding of the type of sales enablement content you currently have and the types of content you need to generate, it’s time to get creative. In order to create effective sales enablement content, you need to create content for each stage of the buyer’s journey.
For the purpose of this blog (and because sales enablement content only falls into the latter stages of the buyer’s journey), we will only be focusing on the content that fits into the consideration and decision stages.
Let’s take a look at examples of sales enablement content in each stage listed below:
The consideration stage requires the creation of middle-of-funnel content. This stage is about the buyer determining their options. It’s likely that they’re looking at content from various B2B vendors in the market, not just yours. To make your content stand out, it’s important that you educate the buyer about your product’s value proposition. The best resources to do this include:
- Use Cases
- Case Studies
- Product comparison videos
Example of a Product Comparison
Take a look at this article detailing the differences between Wistia and YouTube. Inside, there are product comparison videos that explain the instances where Wistia is better than YouTube and vice versa. This article hits two nails with one hammer, offering not only written descriptions of the similarities and differences between the two video platforms, but also a visual aid to truly understand and get a granular view of these differing features. This will help buyers discern which platform fits their needs best.
Example of a Case Study
Case studies that showcase meaningful statistics and results are the perfect way to illustrate the effectiveness of your product or service to buyers. Plus, having enough case studies for each use case is essential to ensuring your sales team has the ability to convert leads from all buyer personas into customers.
Just as the name suggests, when buyers enter the decision stage, they are ready to purchase. It’s usually in this stage that buyers need strong and influential pieces of content that motivate them to purchase the product. These include:
- Free trial
- Consultation offer
- Coupon or discount
Example of a Datasheet
The following datasheet highlights the relationship between Pliant, an IT orchestration and automation platform, and F5, a multi-cloud security and application delivery organization. This datasheet explains how Pliant and F5’s joint customers can automate their deployment of robust, secure, application-ready infrastructures and also details the key features and benefits of this solution.
View the datasheet here.
Example of a Free Trial Offer
Free trials are the ultimate way to enable potential customers to see if your product is right for their use case and needs. Take a look at the example of Canva Pro below. Canva offers a paid version of its design platform that offers more features and storage capabilities. By offering a free trial, users can explore these features and determine whether or not the Pro version is a worthwhile solution for their needs.
4. Track the Results with a Sales Enablement Platform
Finally, it’s important to get a granular look at the data pinpointing the efficacy of certain sales enablement content. It’s one thing to get feedback from sales reps, but it’s even more effective to track performance analytics with sales enablement software.
For example, using sales enablement technology, you can regularly monitor and track the performance of sales content at every stage of the buyer’s journey. These analytics will better inform you about:
- Which pieces of content yield the highest conversion
- Which pieces of content are most ignored by buyers
- How long buyers typically view or engage with a particular piece of content
- Which follow-up materials are best to offer buyers in their decision stage
Leveraging these insights will help you make data-driven decisions about which sales enablement content you should generate next. Overall, these analytical tools are crucial to ensuring the success of your sales enablement initiatives.