3 Secrets of Better Sales Content
Many companies find that their teams work in silos. Instead of collaborating, they operate in parallel. But the pace of change means these companies can end up off the mark if they don’t work across teams, toward common goals.
This is a common problem when it comes to creating sales content. Marketers don’t collaborate with sales and end up creating content that is ineffective and goes unused. The result: wasted time, energy, and money—and lost sales.
That’s why it’s critical for sales enablement leaders to work closely with sales and marketing teams. For sales enablement to work, sellers must be included in the conversation. Breaking down silos and figuring out how to aim toward the same target is critical.
That was one of the main points participants drove home during a recent webinar, From Rookie to Powerhouse: Transforming Sellers with Enablement. Deniz Olcay, Sr. Director of Product Marketing, Allego; Jessica Peck, Sales Content Manager, Allego; Shawn Fowler, VP, Sales Enablement, Attentive; and Greg Larsen, VP Global RevOps, Straker each stressed how important it is for marketing and sales to be aligned and offered suggestions for how sales enablement can help organizations.
1. Make Sure Sales and Marketing Are Aligned
“Sales enablement is where the rubber hits the road. It’s where go-to-market strategy turns into execution and partnership with the sales team. So, it’s really important for marketing and sales teams to be 100% aligned,” Olcay said
It’s easy to assume all those stakeholders are on the same page and have the same goals. But you know the saying about assuming things. Therefore, it’s important to confirm everyone agrees on the goals, go-to-market strategy, and what’s expected from your sales teams, he said.
This is where relationship building comes into play, Peck added. It can take some effort—and may mean stepping out of your comfort zone—to reach out to different teams. You need to navigate everyone’s competing priorities and figure out how to work together to find common success. If you can do it, though, people will understand one another better, be more willing to collaborate, and reps will sell more.
“Building relationships is so important and valuable,” Peck said. For sales enablement professionals, “you understand your sales leaders and you talk to your reps all the time, so you have those relationships. But then you’re also meeting with different departments in your company, having conversations, and understanding their priorities.”
Larsen agreed, adding that Revenue Operations (RevOps) should also be included in the conversations and aligned to what is happening. For example, if your company acquires a company, sales teams must be educated on all the new features and technology the acquisition brings with it or risk losing deals.
“That’s where RevOps, product marketing, and sales all need to be on the same page,” he said. “The offering is changing and evolving regularly, and if sales is on the forefront of deals and they don’t know what new capabilities or value have been added, they could lose out on those deals.”
2. Understand the Sales Math
As marketing collaborates with sales, they must be strategic when it comes to creating content, warned Fowler. Marketing may get lots of great ideas, but doing them all not only isn’t feasible, but it’s also difficult for reps to absorb it.
Enablement, marketing, and operations must work together to prioritize which content to create. And that means deciding what you’re not going to do, he said.
“For me, it all comes down to the sales math. Enablement and operations must work together to figure out where the gaps are and what you need to do to fill the gaps. And identify what’s working and determine what you need to do to maximize that,” Fowler said.
Items to include in the sales math equation: sales rep ramp time and sales productivity. If you’re hiring a lot, you want to understand what your ramp times are by role, what you would like them to be, and how to reduce that ramp.
When it comes to sales productivity, look at the team’s quarterly number, then look at the bookings created that quarter and divide it by the reps you have. Then you must decide how to maintain that number or increase it.
“I look at those two things and determine the levers we have to pull to reduce our ramp time or increase sales productivity,” Fowler said. “Then I’ll have conversations with the other sales leaders in the organization to figure out the most important things for us to do. Because the reality is it’s better to do one or two things really well per quarter than to do a bunch of things and not do them well.”
3. Create Sales Content Reps Will Use
Once you know what type of content to create and how much, the challenge is creating content sales reps will use—content that helps move deals along. That means marketing must understand reps’ needs and the problems they’re facing, Larsen said.
“First, you have to understand the gaps: What’s missing? Where am I lacking support in delivering value to the prospect or client? Second, is understanding how content needs to be delivered in different ways. Some people are very visual. Some people prefer audio. Some want technical details and want to hear from the developer,” he said.
Buyers want to see a lot more detail, so it’s important to understand what they want and give sales content in various formats based on buyers’ preferences, Larsen said.
Peck and Fowler also advise getting feedback from sales reps and sales leaders throughout the content development process. What assets do they need? What do they hope to get from using the content?
“I want to get details and clarity on the importance of the content being created,” Peck said. “Then as it is being created, take time to get feedback throughout that process. Am I on the right track? Is this the right approach?”
Remember to also create content that sales can personalize, Olcay and Fowler stressed.
“Marketing must make sure they have essential content required for success at each stage of the sale process. At the same time, though, sellers must be able to personalize the content and make it relevant for their buyer,” Olcay said.
Collaboration Is Key
For sales enablement to work, marketers must include sellers in the conversation. Talk with your top sales performers, identify gaps, determine their needs, and tap their knowledge. Only then will you be able to create content they will use and will help advance deals.
Watch From Rookie to Powerhouse: Transforming Sellers with Enablement and get the secret to transforming your sales reps from rookies to big-league players.