Are You Leveraging Your Content for Sales Enablement?
May 24, 2016 | Kaleigh Moore
You probably have an amazing marketing department that is constantly creating interesting, value-packed content that moves leads down the sales funnel, right? Of course you do.
But it’s possible that you may be undervaluing the impact your content can have when it’s more integrated with your sales team’s actions – and that has to change.
Why? Because when your sales team is able to leverage your content and learn key insights with the engagement data that comes from it (what role they are, what they’re interested in, company size), your content becomes even more powerful as a sales tool.
With this data, sales teams are able to optimize and scale their SQLs (sales qualified leads) by determining which MQLs (marketing qualified leads) are Super MQLS – all before sales vetting and call attempt. This data also allows the right follow-up information to be sent to the right people at the right time.
In this post, we’ll look at what content for sales enablement really is, as well as examples that showcase how both marketing and sales team can use it to more effectively drive sales.
What Is Content for Sales Enablement?
First things first: Let’s get on the same page about content for sales enablement. Different companies define it in different ways, but for the most part, it’s just what it sounds like – content that enables sales.
According to a survey from DemandMetric, marketers define sales enablement content as:
- Print materials and assets (like whitepapers, brochures, etc.)
- Value-packed blog posts
- Case studies/testimonials
- Onboarding/training (like a drip email campaign)
- Interactive content (like a interactive calculator as a lead gen tool)
And what’s more: Three-fourths see it as valuable, essential material. 75% of marketers said sales enablement content makes a moderate to significant contribution to the sales process. So it makes sense that both the marketing and sales team should have an open dialogue around this content.
To really maximize sales enablement content, you need your content to be doing the work for you. While case studies and testimonials are definitely helpful for bottom-of-the-funnel leads, using interactive content to pose questions and receive opinions is really what will take your MQLs to the next level, and drastically scale your sales efforts in the process.
Let’s explore what this type of sales enablement content looks like in action.
Examples of Interactive Sales Enablement Content
Now that we understand what sales enablement content is, let’s look at an example and break down why it’s so effective. First, we’ll look at two assessments.
Maybe you’re wondering, “How does an assessment like this one enable sales?”
First of all, an assessment is a piece of content that feels individualized to a specific issue for the user – it helps tease out a pain point that preps them for a simple, easy solution.
Beyond this, it’s a great tool for the sales department because it moves buyers a little bit further down the funnel as they work through the assessment.
The more the leads think about the specific obstacles they are facing, the more they become aware of how much they need something to address it.
It gets better: Often, sales has a series of questions they ask every prospect to grade how good the prospect is. Having specific content like assessments, roi calculators, and product pickers starts capturing that critical information as part of your content-enabled campaigns, pre-sales.
With this data, that initial vetting effort from sales is minimized or skipped completely, allowing the team to focus their effort on “super MQLS,” spending more time closing deals, and less sorting through unqualified leads.
Sales works more higher qualified leads, and marketing improves its scoring efforts and creates customized nurture streams to further leads through the funnel – all leading to greater efficiency, and increased revenue.
Lastly, well designed sales-enablement content provides a richer experience for prospects. Positioning assessments, polls, or quizzes to allow the lead to learn something about themselves or their organization in process is a much less “salesy” experience. There’s no person on the other end making a pitch – the customer just works through the discovery process in a low-intensity, low-commitment context.
Which Big Data Blueprint Is Right for You?
Pentaho, a big data integration and analytics solution, used a product picker assessment that asks lower-funnel prospects specific questions about their current data process and problem points.
This assessment bucketed users into four product groups/ sales use cases. The lead data went directly to their Marketo and Salesforce databases that allowed sales to follow up with powerful insights to the organization’s needs.
325 of the leads created through the content were qualified to Sales Accepted Leads with the data received. Over $200k in pipeline was directly attributed to the interactive assessment.
Realize Real Results
Blackbaud, a marketing platform for non-profits, has seen content for sales enablement produce amazing results.
They launched a microsite called Realize Real Results, which included different types of content (including interactive calculators and assessments.) The microsite was promoted across various marketing channels over the course of one month.
Sales reps were able to use the data from the calculators as talking points during discovery calls, creating a more informed conversation. For leads that have not used the calculator, they were invited to put in their own metrics right on the call and see the results in real-time.
- 52% click rate on landing page
- 56% lead conversion
- 500 qualified leads
- 133% Q1 quota attainment
- $600k add’l Q1 sales
Pretty impressive, right? The content for sales enablement deployed here produced real, tangible ROI – and allowed both the marketing and sales teams to work together to outpace their goals.
Where Sales and Marketing Unite
As you can probably see, content marketing and sales enablement are the place where the marketing and sales teams need to overlap and work together.
It’s no longer enough to just create great content and put it out in the world – it needs to relate back to a larger sales strategy and produce valuable customer data that both teams can put to good use.
Ask yourself: Are your marketing and sales team effectively collaborating in the content department? If not, it may be time to re-evaluate your approach.