Qualifying a lead is a multi-step process, and on average, it takes a minimum of six to eight touches. During this time, sales reps evaluate a prospect across four important aspects: budget, authority, need and timeframe (BANT). A prospect who checks all these vital criteria is deemed worthy of persuasion.
And this is merely the beginning of the sales process. Once a lead has been qualified, they move through four stages of engagement before being converted into paying customers. These stages are popularly called AIDA: awareness, interest, decision and action. There's also a fifth step (satisfaction) which happens after the transaction is complete.
Creating awareness, generating interest and building a desire to buy does not come easy. To build a successful sales team, it's important to not only train your sales team but also equip them with sales enablement content that can trigger the right response from a lead. [ ]
Identify the assets required
The first step in the process of creating sales enablement content is building a requirements sheet. Salespeople require a unique list of assets at each stage of the sales process. For instance, assets presented during the Awareness stage would mostly deal with information about your business, the founders, investors, products and services, and so on. In the Interest stage, assets mostly deal with product demonstrations. Decision is generated through testimonials and peer reviews that validate your legitimacy and remove any hurdles that prevent your lead from converting.
Types of sales enablement content to consider:
Once you identify the objectives of each of the different stages of the sales process, building assets to fit your agenda becomes easy.
Create sales enablement content assets
The success of the content creation process is determined by how engaged your customers are during sales outreach. A tool like Lucidpress streamlines the creation of various content assets — like brochures, sales proposals and case studies — with consistent branding. You might also create interactive content like videos and slideshows that are proven to offer high engagement and message retention among viewers.
The question, however, is what kind of content you must create to build better engagement for your brand. Here are a few tips to take note of.
Sales and content marketing need to work together on sales enablement
Sales enablement is a joint effort between the sales and marketing teams. To create the most effective content, marketing needs to be in tune with sales and understand what types of collateral they need most.
Getting together on a regular basis (may we suggest a monthly sync?) to chat about aligning goals will ensure that sales is clear about what they need and that they’re not missing out on any content that’s already available and could be useful for their prospects.
Measure client dropout rate
In any sales process, only a small fraction of the qualified leads you reach out to eventually become paying customers. The rest of the leads drop out at various stages of sales. Identify the dropout rate at each stage of the sales process. The stage where the most clients choose to part ways is the one where your content needs more attention.
You don't have to use your existing sales enablement content as a benchmark if you don't want to. In fact, it's fine to start from scratch to build new content. Hold an internal meeting with all stakeholders (sales, marketing, and product managers) to build a list of features and ideas that could deliver maximum value. This brainstorming session could also include benchmarking your content against the competition's. This will give your team a good idea of what's missing and how your content could be made more engaging for prospective customers.
Build a sales enablement content library
The next step is to translate the ideas from your team meetings into actual assets. It's worth remembering that too much information can clutter your sales deck, so new assets should be organized into a content library instead.
If you plan to use content management or knowledge management tools to handle this, make sure you pick a service that features a "learning path" or curriculum. This will help you organize your content into distinct folders for every stage of the sales cycle, which can be handy during the testing process. As we'll see in the next steps, it's vital to experiment with various combinations of content assets and compare the conversion rates.
Make content customizable
If you need to really make the most of your sales enablement content — and who doesn’t? — you’d do well to invest your energy in making templates. Templated content allows anyone to create a customized piece of collateral to meet their specific prospect’s needs.
Instead of a sales rep making a content request from the creative team, they’d simply pull from a library of sales enablement templates that had been designed for this purpose. They’d find a template for a brochure, or whatever piece they need, and then fill in customizable text and image fields to make it personalized for their prospect.
Templated design saves both the sales and marketing teams time, and it can make sure content is as targeted and effective as possible.
The next step is to test the effectiveness of your content assets on the conversion rate. The ideal way to do this is to build a handful of different content assets that could be pitched to clients in the same stage of the sales process. For instance, one deck could focus on charts and graphs, while another could use videos and interactive graphics to sell the product.
Make sure that every sales rep pitches at least one client with each of the various assets. Have the performance metrics of the original deck in hand before carrying out this experiment.
At the end of this stage, build an aggregated report of how each of your content assets performed and how they all compare against the original deck.
Secondary multivariate testing
Once you've identified the content that performs best from among those tested, the next step is to experiment with more assets of the same kind. For instance, if videos and interactive graphics worked best, then you could work on creating new decks that feature such content. The idea is to find the sweet spot that maximizes engagement and conversion. Once you have a handful of different assets ready, experiment one more time with a new bunch of leads to find the highest performing content deck.
Rinse and repeat
Creating highly engaging sales enablement content is a never-ending process. Once the best performing deck has been identified, the next step would be to look at other stages of the sales cycle where dropout rates are high and repeating the process. Doing this for each of the sales stages will help build a content library that converts higher than ever before.