The internet is bursting with sales content. Every company seems hellbent on producing more of it, the faster the better.
But if you're like most people, you probably consider content creation to be a marketing activity, not a sales one—a tactic for generating leads, not closing them. We're about to change your mind on that front.
In this article we’ll talk about sales enablement content: what it is, why it's important, the six kinds your company needs (with real examples of sales enablement content that Nutshell uses every day), and some valuable tips on how to create your own.
The truth is, content creation isn't just for marketing professionals. Salespeople can and should be creating content, too. So without further ado, let's dive in and talk all things sales enablement content.
What Is Sales Enablement Content?
Sales enablement content is any piece of content that a seller can use throughout the sales process to help entice prospective customers to make purchases.
For example, case studies are considered a kind of sales enablement content because a sales rep can use them to prove to potential buyers that the products he or she is selling do, in fact, provide value to others.
There are plenty of other types of sales enablement content, many of which we'll discuss later in this article. But first, it's important to know why sales enablement content is worth having.
The Benefits of Sales Enablement Content
Doesn't it take a lot of work to create sales enablement content? Wouldn't it make more sense to focus all of your time and energy on simply contacting more prospects and selling to them, rather than crafting various materials that may or may not prove effective?
The answer to the first question is “yes.” Yes, it often does take a significant amount of effort to create effective sales enablement content. But it's worth it.
While you could devote the time it would take to creating sales enablement content to selling as you always have, your results will likely be similar to what you're currently achieving. But once you create a few sales enablement pieces, your closing rate will rise.
This is because sales enablement content is designed to showcase the features and benefits of the specific products you sell, define how your product helps specific buyer personas, and entice more sales.
6 Kinds of Sales Enablement Content
At this point, we know what sales enablement content is and why it's important for salespeople to have it in their selling arsenal. Now, let's dig deeper into the kinds of sales enablement content pieces you can create for your company and why each one is valuable.
1. Informational Blog Posts
Blog posts are the quintessential content marketing medium. But specific kinds of blog posts can also double as sales enablement content.
Your company may already have informational blog post that explain the benefits of your company's products to potential customers. As a seller, you can share those posts with leads who are nearing the end of your sales funnel in order to help facilitate purchases.
Blog posts can be a very effective form of sales enablement content because they're easy to share and contain a wealth of information when written properly. For us, blog posts comparing Nutshell’s benefits and features to those of our competitors have been a very effective driver of new customers.
Whitepapers are in-depth reports on a topic that your company has credibility on. Like blog posts, they provide valuable information regarding your company's products and services and/or a specific challenge that your products and services help remedy.
Whitepapers, though, have the added advantage of being more longform, well-researched, and authoritative, and are therefore considered more valuable by most potential customers. That's why 71% of B2B buyers have recently used whitepapers to research their buying decisions.
Also, because whitepapers need to be downloaded, they can act as lead generation materials as well as sales enablement content pieces.
We're big fans of any and all sales and marketing materials that serve multiple purposes!
3. Case Studies
When it comes to sales enablement content, few materials can match the power of a well-written case study.
In fact, a Hawkeye study found that 71% of B2B buyers in the awareness stage and 77% in the evaluation stage cite testimonials and case studies as the most influential types of content!
When a prospect reads a case study, two things generally happen:
- They realize they're not the only one dealing with their specific problem. The subject of the case study reassures them that not only is their challenge common, it's solvable.
- They understand that your company's product is a viable solution to the problem they face. After all, if a similar customer was able to use your offerings to overcome their challenges, why can't your current prospect do the same thing?
To craft a case study for sales enablement purposes, look for your company's biggest fans, the folks who absolutely love and rave about your products. Then, contact them and ask if they're willing to be interviewed about their experiences.
Once you find a willing candidate, simply follow this tried-and-true case study format:
- Start by introducing your case study subject.
- State the problem your case study subject was trying to solve.
- Outline your case study subject's attempts to remedy the issue.
- Present your company's product as the solution to the stated problem.
- Finally, list the results your product has helped your case study subject achieve.
Stick to the general outline and your case studies will be highly effective for sales enablement. For specific examples of this format in action, check out Nutshell’s customer case studies with Superfine! Art Fairs and McSweeney’s Publishing.