Contrary to common belief, marketers are not the only people involved in content creation. According to the Miller Heiman Group, marketing only creates about 39% of the content salespeople need. To illustrate, other people involved include Salespeople (18%), Product Management (16%), and Sales Enablement (16%).
Content examples for every 3 steps of the Sales funnel:
1. Top of the funnel (Tofu): blog, chats
2. Middle of the funnel (Mofu): white papers, case studies
3. Bottom of the funnel (Bofu): surveys, templated follow-up emails
As has been noted, content is a key element of a Sales Enablement strategy. Therefore, analyzing and optimizing content regularly is a must for every organization. In fact, this ensures a successful Sales Enablement strategy that achieves marketing and sales alignment.
Undeniably, marketing teams can help sales focus on selling by creating assertive content is real. Correspondingly, here are a few things to keep in mind while creating a content-based Sales Enablement strategy.
The role of content in Sales Enablement
What is Sales Enablement content?
In Sales Enablement much like in Content Marketing, efforts go beyond sales collateral and product-specific information. Content is anything that answers specific questions prospects may have. Moreover, it provides an valuable answer that is not available elsewhere.
Additionally, digital content is remarkably diverse and accompanies potential customers throughout their journey. It helps sales qualify leads and encourage people towards conversion. To demonstrate, a few examples of sales enablement content :
- White papers
- Sales presentations
- Product demos
- Best practices
- Case studies
- Product reviews
- Customer success stories
If you think about it for a second, this article is also content, as it reeled you into our website and might make you curious to find out what kind of product we provide.
What is the role of content?
Content is so essential to Sales Enablement, that it deserves its category within the strategy. Miller Heiman Group’s CEO, Byron Matthews says that “the modern buyer has become better at buying faster than the seller has gotten better at selling”.
In other words, sales need to adapt their approach so they can meet a prospect’s needs at any given point of the process. Customers are eager for content and will try and find it on their own. Therefore, to stay a step ahead, a company relies heavily on the type and the quality of their content.
As can be seen, 2018 CSO Insights points out : companies that have a clear content strategy have a 55% win rate as compared to 43% for organizations that don’t.
Sales enablement: adapting your content
Above all, content must be adapted to the customer’s journey. To demonstrate, you would not show the same type of content to a prospect who has never heard of your company as you would to a prospect who is practically ready to sign a deal.
Given these points, the funnel model is a good way to visualize the buyer’s journey. Indeed, engaging a prospect at the top, the middle or the bottom of the funnel requires different types of content.
Top of the funnel
Firstly, at the beginning of the prospect’s journey, the idea is to attract their attention, with an inbound strategy. To acquire an audience at this stage implies using SEO-optimized content for example. In other words, you’re taking the first step in qualifying leads for Sales through content that might interest them.
Quality content must address the prospect’s intent or purpose. After all, the goal is to draw them into their journey. For instance, to sell a Sales Enablement tool, you should create content related to the topic.
At this stage, you can establish KPIs that reveal the most effectiv content categories. With this in mind, salespeople gain an edge when addressing potential customers. Moreover, marketing can also adjust and create content accordingly. For example, there are many subtopics surrounding Sales Enablement that can also be relevant.
Once you define key topics , you can create SEO-optimized content. Most important, this content should also work for Sales, so prospects are engaged to keep digging for information. In the same fashion, here are two ideas :
- Add live chats on a blog to encourage further questions.
- Include a calendar to book product demos.
- Include a calendar to book meeting with a sales representative.
Middle of the funnel
At the present time, prospects are aware of the company and are in a consideration stage. On this occasion, they compare competitors and look for reviews and success stories. In other words, middle of the funnel requires more in-depth content to reel prospects further down the funnel.
At this stage, content can be both available online and sent directly to prospects. In addition, content must be more specific and in-depth providing insights on your product or service. For example, appropriate content for the middle of the funnel includes :
- Video demos
- White papers
- Case studies
- Customer success stories.
Besides, such content is essentially created by Sales. Indeed, they hold the most relevant information regarding product-specific topics. However, marketing is involved and even owns this content to convey the brand image correctly. Middle-of-the-funnel content should reflect the brand’s image and message to maintain the established credibility.
Bottom of the funnel
At this point, conversion is just around the corner and sales representatives play a key role in achieving it. Nevertheless, they need the most specific- yet still properly branded- content. Indeed, this backs up their sales speech and makes it more convincing. To list, here a two ideas of appropriate content for bottom of the funnel :
- Prospect specific sales collateral
- Expected results presentation
- ROI oriented analysis
Point often overlooked, you should keep your prospect in mind even after they’ve signed that deal. After all, your prospects from yesterday should become the customers that will recommend you tomorrow. With this purpose in mind, you can provide them with content such as :
- Templated follow-up emails