Content Enablement for Sales
In an earlier post on the TOPO blog, Sales Enablement Best Practices: Sales Process is the Foundation, author Robert Koehler describes the TOPO Sales Enablement framework. One of the key elements of the framework is content enablement, which will be the focus of this post along with the different types of sales content.
The objective of content enablement is to provide sales the ability to deliver relevant content at every step of the sales process. TOPO research has found that sales leaders rank effective content enablement as their highest priority, over mainstays such as training and coaching, but rate their content enablement execution as “average”. Their self-evaluation is also likely inflated as TOPO also found that less than 25% of companies map their sales content to their overall sales process. And mapping sales content to the sales process is the key to content enablement success.
A well-defined, step-by-step sales process is the foundational element. The process includes
a series of sequential steps, each with specific plays that guide sales reps through first touch to close. Once the process is defined, content should be mapped to every play in the sales process.
Within each play, organizations should provide their sales reps with three core pieces of content:
- Core content – standardized content delivered every time a play is executed
- Roadblock content – content designed to overcome common buyer roadblocks
- Key question content – content that answers common customer questions
The TOPO content mapping tool focuses on these key pieces of content. This tool should be used for every play in the sales process. When organizations perform this exercise, they often find that the majority of the required content exists in the organization today and just needs to be repurposed for sales. For example, many of the answers to buyer questions have already been answered by sales reps and are hidden in an email response they co-created with product marketing.
There are five steps to ensure sales can and will use the content in their process:
- Train – Train sales team on the buying process stages, how to identify them, and what content to use in each situation
- Provide content management – Allow sales to easily find and leverage content
- Enable tracking – Understand what works/doesn’t work
- Elicit feedback – Meet monthly on content success rates
- Optimize – Based on feedback and metrics, optimize content assets over time
By providing a sales team with easy to access and functional pieces of content, leaders can enable them to have higher engagement with customers. It is key to use sales team’s feedback and experience to build this content to ensure that content is relatable and helpful in the field. Most importantly, maintain and manage this content and this mapping process on a regular basis to reflect changes in process, product, messaging, and feedback from the field.
About the Author:
Craig Rosenberg is the co-founder and Chief Analyst at TOPO.