If you want to maintain a steady flow of leads to send over to your sales team, you're going to need the right kind of sales enablement materials. Sales enablement is all about creating and managing the resources required by the sales team. This includes creating new sales materials, improving on existing sales content, developing sales strategies involving content creation, and training sales teams to use sales collateral. The sales enablement team falls somewhere on the border between sales and marketing. They can be seen as the liaison between these departments.
What Sales Enablement is Not
Sales enablement is not tasked with providing product training, coaching the sales staff, on-boarding new sales team members, or any other miscellaneous sales related activity. Unfortunately, many organizations use the sales enablement role to serve as a catch-all for the tasks no other department wants to take on. This is a misuse of sales enablement and a detriment to the success of any sales team.
Types of Content
As the person or department located between sales and marketing, it's the job of sales enablement to deliver the materials needed by the sales department. This includes case studies, infographics, slide decks, videos, and any other promotional materials used to enables sales personnel to do their jobs. Sales enablement will take input from the sales team and collaborate with the marketing team to create these resources. Once created, they return to the sales team and present these new tools into the work flow. Companies with larger budgets will often create a sales enablement department that includes staff trained in sales and marketing.
Long-format content like case studies are great for customers looking for educational materials. These resources offer lots of information and focus on the benefits and use scenarios of your products and services. Case studies are such a valuable component to the buying process that customers will often exchange their contact information for access to case studies. This makes them a great product to offer on your website as a way to get new leads into your sales funnel. However, a case study can be too long and verbose for people seeking quick answers. For them, an infographic is probably just right.
When you need to communicate a point quickly, and to a diverse audience, an infographic is a great choice. Rather than present facts and figures in charts, graphs, and text, an infographic can be colorful and entertaining. These are great for websites and social media because they tend to be clicked frequently and shared easily. An infographic is a great way to cast a wide net and get people started thinking about your products and services, but they don't typically lead to immediate sales. More information and content is needed to make an informed buying decision.
Shared slide decks are great for presentations. Sure, some people will stumble onto them when they're researching your products and services, but slides don't land sales on their own. They can, however, bring in more leads. The sales team can also use slide decks to win over a potential client with a great presentation.
Videos are an often overlooked piece of content for sales enablement. However, there are many ways that video can make sales enablement a little easier. - Sales enablement can introduce content to the sales team and train them on its proper use - Sales enablement can create informative videos to share with customers and leads - Video content ranks well in search engines - but that's starting to get into the marketing side of the equation As you can see, sales enablement walks a fine line between sales and marketing. Its role is to develop and promote the marketing materials used by the sales team. For this reason it is easy for sales enablement to be co-opted by either of these two departments and assigned tasks they don't want to do. Instead, sales enablement should develop a plan to use marketing materials to help the sales team succeed. References: - Salesforce Blog: Sales Insight: Understanding the Sales Enablement Paradox - Demand Metric: eWorkshop: Sales Enablement Benchmark Study Results Photo Credit: dandeluca via Flickr.