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Best Content Collateral for B2B Sales Enablement

Posted by IndustrySelect on Wednesday, April 21, 2021

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Sales enablement is when marketing resources are used to directly support sales. As the name suggests, it's the process of using marketing strategy and content to further the goal of closing a sale. Let's see how this process works on the inside.

Working Together

Traditionally in companies, marketing and sales are seen as separate entities that work independently (commonly known as “siloed”). This structure treats the customer experience as two separate processes. In reality, it's a continuation of the same journey. As a result, the practice of siloing is not only full of gaps but also redundant. Many points are repeated while others are left unaddressed.

Keeping sales and marketing separate was easier to manage from an internal perspective. But prospects don't care about your company's structure. They need a seamless transition from the marketing to sales experience.

By intertwining sales and marketing, the prospect can fluidly move from the information-gathering stage to the purchase stage with minimum inefficiency. This calls for greater cooperation between departments and possibly even internal realignment to create a unified marketing-sales division.

Change in Strategy

In order to draw in a prospect, marketing has to provide something to capture their attention. To lead a prospect to a sale, marketing needs to have a strategy. This is where content becomes a critical part of the sales pipeline. Rather than scattershot marketing, a hallmark of the mid-20th century, you can create and rapidly roll out targeted campaigns. These speak directly to a prospect in a way that they can easily understand.

Studies show that the most effective content is easy to understand. While the marketing department may be proud of a complex infographic, it can also create information overload. Think of content in terms of appetizers rather than an entree. Every time the prospect brings up a pain point, there should be specific content that speaks to that concern. This enables sales to connect with the prospect through the immediate identification of existing problems.

What to Use (And Not Use) for Sales Enablement Content

The type of content you can use is as diverse as the prospects it aims to serve. Successful customer case studies are perhaps the best resource. They deliver examples of real-world uses that have a significant impact on decision-making. The use of CRM and data tracking can help your marketing and sales teams identify past scenarios that stand out as prime candidates for case study examples.

They can include quantifiable information about product performance, increases in revenue, overall savings and boosts to productivity. You can also easily present these case studies as videos, providing critical information about companies experiencing similar pain points.

A word about case studies and data in general: Their use should be geared towards what the prospect needs to know and what the sales team needs to explain. Simply tossing out piles of data in hopes that they will impress a prospect is not an appropriate tactic. If content does not complement the prospect's journey, it will have a distracting effect that may harm the possibility of closing a deal. Every piece of content has to support a conversation, as content alone (in most cases) cannot make a sale.

Use What You Already Have

Another point to be aware of is that sales enablement does not have to be a tremendous burden on marketing teams. Just because you have used the content before does not mean that you cannot repurpose it. If there is proof in your company’s internal data on how a particular solution improved performance, you can use that information to bolster content (obviously, any proprietary information would need to be cleared by management). Likewise, if there are existing public documents or datasets that are relevant, you can combine or transform them into the content your prospect needs. This includes articles, blogs, videos, photos and even podcasts.

Working for the Same Goal

With sales enablement, teamwork is the name of the game. Marketing and sales are both parts of the same funnel but operating at opposite ends of it. Sales should have no reservations about asking for specific content to help in their process. They know better than anyone what a prospect is looking for and what will help lead them from "thinking about it" to "doing it."

Marketing and sales teams that need a head start on gathering data for content can visit IndustrySelect. Once there, they can get access to current information on the entire manufacturing sector. Collaboration software lets marketing and sales teams work together, share notes and create reports without doubling their efforts. Try a free demo today and start enabling sales.

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