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.
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The Sell to Win Playbook collects 55 of the best expert sales tips we’ve ever published. Download it today!
4. Slide Decks
If you’re not familiar with the medium, a slide deck is a slideshow presentation that showcases the features and benefits of specific product and/or service. There’s no set length for slide decks; they can be as long as is necessary to convey information.
Slide decks work well for sales enablement because they deliver information in concise ways and allow prospects to flip through them at their own speed.
One of the easiest ways to create a slide deck is to take an informative blog post, ebook, or whitepaper, and distill its most compelling facts, stats, and other details down to a few slides. If possible, include graphs, charts, and images to keep viewers engaged.
A key advantage of a slide deck is the amount of information you can pack into a single, shareable document. We recently created a “Making the Case for Nutshell” slide deck that our trial users can use to help get buy-in from the rest of their team. It contains an overview of our product, pricing information, and key differences between Nutshell and other leading CRMs. Check it out here if you’re curious.
5. Sales Scripts
Sales scripts are an important type of sales enablement content, but they must be used properly. We do NOT recommend that you read them line by line to your prospects. Instead, sales scripts should act as a guide to your conversations with potential customers, helping you stay on message as you have a natural conversation.
With that in mind, we suggest creating sales outlines rather than full scripts, i.e. a document that includes the major points you need to address but nothing else.
For more guidance on sales scripts, check out the following resources:
The Ultimate Guide to Cold Calling
Four Phone Script Lessons From “Mr. Inside Sales” That Will Double Your Close Rate
How to Write a Sales Call Script in 2019 (+7 Killer Examples)
6. Social Proof
Finally, we have social proof. This category of sales enablement content includes customer testimonials, reviews, and endorsements. While your company can’t create these materials out of thin air, you can invest the effort into collecting them and using them to entice purchases from new prospects.
Scan through review sites like Capterra, Yelp, Google Reviews, and others to find raving customers. Scour social media sites and collect posts from users that shine a positive light on your company’s products and team (like we do with our #madprops twitter list). Then showcase them on your website and in emails.
2 Sales Enablement Content Creation Tips
Now that we’ve covered a few of the more popular kinds of sales enablement content, we want to give you a couple of tips regarding the creation of these materials. Keep these two things in mind both before and during the content creation process:
1. Understand Your Audience
Just like every other aspect of the selling process, sales enablement content is much more effective when those crafting it have a deep understanding of their target audience.
How can you expect to effectively sell to someone if you don’t know what they like and dislike, the goals they’re trying to achieve, and the challenges they face on a regular basis? The answer is you can’t. This is vital information!
Before you even think about creating sales enablement content, make sure you know who your company’s ideal customers are and exactly how the products you sell will help them.
2. Check Your Current Content
In all likelihood, your company already has a library of content that could be used for sales enablement purposes. We suggest you start with these materials rather than immediately crafting new ones. It might save you a lot of time and effort.
See if your company already has case studies, informative blog posts, and other materials for you to use. If you to, read through the content and make updates when needed.
This process should give you a content base to begin with and build from. Analyze it, spot any and all content holes, and then fill them (if necessary) with new sales enabling pieces. This is the easiest way to get started with sales enablement content.
Boost Sales With Sales Enablement Content
Sales enablement content, when created and used correctly, will help you close more deals. We encourage you to evaluate the content your company already has to see if any of it can be used for your purposes. Then create new pieces to supplement what you already have.
When creating new materials, we suggest you stick with the six types we mentioned in this article, at least initially. We’ve listed them again for your convenience:
1. Informational Blog Posts
3. Case Studies
4. Slide Decks
5. Sales Scripts
6. Social Proof
Begin with these six content types and you’ll be off to a great start as you begin to craft revenue-boosting sales enablement content. Good luck!