Many people still look dazed and confused when you mention the term “sales enablement”. It’s one of those business topics that seems to get a lot of press, but a lot of people still don’t fully understand what it is and why it’s important.
Put simply, sales enablement is anything that facilitates the buying and selling process. It’s anything that removes friction from the process and accelerates the deal through the funnel toward closing.
How Sales Enablement Content Supports The Sales Process
Sales enablement content are resources that helps the prospect take the next step toward making a buying decision. Such resources can be presented in a variety of modes, styles and formats - written, video or graphic.
Examples include blog articles, eBooks, whitepapers, case studies, videos, webinars, presentation decks and infographics. No matter what their format, each should be designed to support the sales process.
Here are some ways sales enablement content can help:
1. Build Credibility
Establishing trust and credibility is one of the first hurdles a salesperson must clear with a new prospect.
Before you can properly qualify a potential prospect, you first need to earn the right to have a conversation. Today’s decision-makers are busier than ever.
They don’t pick up the phone and talk to just anyone. They want to “pick the brains” and learn from people who can help them solve their biggest business challenges.
They don’t want to be sold. They want to be educated.
They don’t want to engage in meaningless chatter with salespeople. They want to talk to subject matter experts who can help drive their business forward.
Publishing content online that positions your business and your sales team as thought leaders will open doors to decision-makers and set the stage for a productive first call or meeting.
2. Answer Questions About Your Solution
Even with trust and credibility established a salesperson may only get a few minutes to engage with a new prospect.
There’s typically not enough time in the first call or meeting to communicate everything you want to about your solution. In these cases, it’s critical that your sales team have resources they can share to help fill in the blanks. If your prospect is sincerely interested in learning how you can help them, they’re going to have a bunch of questions. You should have content created that anticipates and answers those questions before they’re ever even asked.
3. Overcome Objections
Prospects can come up with a million reasons why they can’t or won’t buy from you — everything from “It’s too expensive” to “It won’t work with our systems”.
It’s the job of the salesperson to address these concerns.
Words from a salesperson can be cheap and easy. But written resources that document the answers to a prospect’s objections can carry a lot more weight. Such content demonstrates that they are not the first to raise these concerns and you’ve already proven that they can be adequately addressed.
4. Outline Next Steps
Every business decision-maker hates uncertainty. No one likes to be in the dark about what the future holds. That includes what the future buying/selling process looks like.
If I do want to explore buying from you, what are the next steps?
How long will it take?
What information do you need from me in order to produce a proposal?
How much of my time is required?
What about other people on my team?
Sometimes the salesperson that wins the deal is the one who’s the easiest to do business with. Buying guides and roadmaps outline the next best steps the prospect should take as they consider your solution. They can make the process seem much more manageable. Making a decision is no longer a giant scary leap into the unknown. Instead, it’s several easy steps that naturally lead to a final decision.
5. Breath Life Into “Old Dead Leads” and Nurture “Not-Ready-To-Buy-Yet” Leads
Sometimes your next best opportunity — the deal you’re most likely to close this month — isn’t a lead that was generated by marketing’s most recent campaign.
Instead, it will come from the leads that were generated last month, last quarter, or even last year.
Our CRMs are littered with “old dead leads” that went no where when they were first generated. They were passed to sales for follow-up, but they never responded to their calls or emails.
Just because there wasn’t ever a response doesn’t mean there won’t ever be an interest. Continued communication with these prospects is critical. And your communication needs to be more than “how about now?”
Instead, periodically put fresh relevant content in front of them that continues to tell your story about how you can help. Continue to position your company and sales team as subject matter experts and thought leaders. If you do, those prospects will eventually reemerge. And often the sales cycle on those can move very quickly.
Sales enablement resources and content can help accomplish these objectives. They help you remove friction from the buying/selling process and accelerate your deals through the funnel.
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