Sales Enablement vs Content Marketing: why are both a must

On one hand, a great Sales Enablement strategy must think about content, as it is essential to help sales representatives move their prospect through the sales funnel. On the other hand, content marketing is also a core piece of every go-to-market team.
Both have very similar missions : creating high value content pieces for customers and prospects.
With Sales Enablement teams growing across organizations, confusion may arise : which team owns content creation?

In this article we will see how content marketing and Sales Enablement can empower each other and how the best strategy is to make the most of both.

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Sales Enablement and Content Marketing : Definitions

What is Sales Enablement?

Sales Enablement is the iterative process providing salespeople with the right sales collateral to improve their performance and have a positive impact on sales efficiency. Depending on the organization the subject can be owned by Marketing, Sales or has its dedicated person, team, or even department.

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is the process of designing and delivering assets such as eBooks, whitepapes or blogs with the aim of generating new leads for the organization. These assets can be distributed with an outbound strategy like prospecting or through an inbound effort such as posting them on social media or the company website.

A content marketing strategy enables businesses to empower their inbound and outbound lead generation efforts. Indeed, the goal is to build unique content pieces that adapt to the buyer’s journey.

Sales Enablement and Content Marketing : Differences

It is true, both Sales Enablement and Content Marketing have a focus on content. However, there are a few factors that make them different, starting with their target audience. Sales Enablement focuses on how content can be used by salespeople to engages with their prospects whereas content marketing aims to create assets directly for prospects and customers.

One on hand content marketing :

  • Content marketing teams report to the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer)
  • Content marketing teams ensure that sales representatives have the right assets
  • Content marketing teams create content for prospects and customers (eBooks, whitepapers)
  • Content marketing teams may handle a part of the assets used by Sales Enablement teams

On the other hand Sales Enablement :

  • Sales Enablement teams report to the CSO (Chief Sales Officer)
  • Sales Enablement teams ensure that assets are used in the right way by sales representatives
  • Sales Enablement teams manage assets created by marketing to share with their prospects
  • Sales Enablement teams manage the overall development of the content strategy for sales representatives

Differences aside, both Content Marketing and Sales Enablement are of great importance in any organization. So, how to leverage both at the same time ?

Sales Enablement and Content Marketing : The best of both worlds

How does content marketing integrate into Sales Enablement?

Content is one of the most important pillars of a successful Sales Enablement strategy. By content we are referring to both internal and external. Indeed, content for your teams (such as training material) is important, but content for your prospects and customers is key.

These pieces of content are essential for sales people as they push it to prospects and customers to ensure the move through the sales process. Nowadays, the content a company delivers is what the prospect will be left with to discuss and make their decision regarding a purchase. These assets are however rarely developed by Sales Enablement teams directly, as their role is to determine how to leverage salespeople with said content. Instead, content marketing teams are often in charge of creating these assets.

Through this process content marketing and sales enablement teams are linked. A Sales Enablement team without content is not able to equip sales representatives properly. In the same way, content marketing teams could not guarantee that content is accurately used by sales teams.
In other words, both teams collaborate to win the same race : content marketers develop the assets that will be used strategically by sales enablement teams to empower sales representatives.

How to build a great Content Sales Enablement strategy?

Below, a few tips to build a successful collaborative content strategy that involves both teams :

  • Align on goals : Both teams should participate in the discussion that establishes content strategy. Discussing this together ensures that marketers know how prioritize content creation and it guarantees that the sales enablement team will be provided with the assets they need.
  • Collaborate : Once both teams are aligned on goals, it is helpful to collaborate through the process. For example, sales enablement teams should share feedback for the content marketers develop.
  • Share knowledge : Both teams can learn a lot from each other, and this should always be encouraged. For example, marketers know best about the trends in terms of content. In counterpart, sales enablement teams can share their expertise on what works best for each stage of the sales process.
  • Track Data : Sales enablement and content marketing teams should always review performance together. It is important for both to grasp what works best in terms of engagement for the content they develop.

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