This annual report from CSO Insights takes an in-depth look at top sales enablement trends and how the right approach can be a game-changer for business results.
When it comes to your sales force, time is money, quite literally. So your sales content needs to be as effective and engaging as possible, while taking up the least amount of your reps’ time.
Here are 10 tips for sales enablement leaders to create better quality sales content for reps.
1. Do a sales content audit
Creating better sales content starts with improving upon the content library you’ve already created. Sales content isn’t just something you can set and forget.
Are there outdated pieces that could use a refresh? Is there anything that’s inaccurate that should be retired from your library? If you answered yes to either of those questions, it’s time to clean out your content closet – the last thing you want is your sales rep using a PowerPoint deck from 2007.
2. Identify content gaps
Performing a content audit not only provides insight into the content you have, it also helps identify content you may be missing and any gaps that need to be filled.
For example, maybe you have a wealth of product-oriented content, but are lacking in content that helps reps brush up on your sales methodology.
3. Map content to the buyer’s journey
CSO Insights’ Tamara Schenk says, “make the customer’s journey your design point.” Using your findings from your content audit, develop a map that shows where each content asset is most relevant throughout the buyer’s journey.
By viewing content through this lens, you can see your content library from first-touch all the way through to proposal. Ask yourself, do you have an equal amount of content for each stage of the journey? Maybe you have a lot of deep-dive, product-related content, but not enough engaging, top-of-the-funnel content for the initial sales conversations. This exercise will help highlight content gaps along the buyer’s journey.
4. Create different content for different reps
When it comes to sales training, one size doesn’t always fit all. If your organization has reps segmented into teams based on who, what or how they sell, your content should be tailored to those roles.
Take into account specific industries or vertical markets your reps may be selling to, as well as inside sales versus fields reps or strategic account reps. For instance, strategic account reps often take on enterprise deals where they are seen as advisors or partners to their customers, and their training should support this.
5. Incorporate video into your strategy
Your sales team will retain information at a much higher rate when they can see it and hear it. According to Forrester Research, one minute of video is equivalent to 1.8 million written words.
Video allows you to pack in more information into short, engaging segments.
“Sales reps are the perfect candidates for video-based training. Video is engaging enough to capture their attention and communicate a lot in a short amount of time. It’s quick. It’s easy. It’s on-demand. And it caters to their on-the-go lifestyle." -Greg Flynn, CEO, Brainshark
6. Track how content is being used
Sales enablement leaders should track which pieces of content their reps are using and sharing, as well as how much of the content is being viewed by prospects and customers.
Use those findings to create content that’s more useful for both reps and prospects. For example, if you find that a certain piece of content has high engagement rates, continue to create and reinvent content within that same realm. If you find that a video or presentation has low engagement, reassess whether you should continue to create similar pieces.
7. Listen in on sales calls
Sales reps are one of your best resources when it comes to creating better sales content. Listen to their conversations with sales prospects. Are there areas where they could improve with additional training content? Or aspects of your competitors they could be more knowledgeable about? Maybe there are areas where content would help strengthen their conversations with prospects.
8. Empower your reps as content creators
Of course, you should be using your resident subject matter experts to help create sales content. However, everyone on your team has the potential to be content creators.
With a peer learning program, you can empower reps to create their own content so critical knowledge can be transferred from ‘A’ players to ‘B’ players. Then use rep-created content for sales coaching. Have reps record an elevator pitch, select the best submissions and use them as training content for present and future reps.
9. Deliver just-in-time learning to fill an immediate need
Let’s face it – sales training takes reps away from interacting with prospects and closing deals. By providing just-in-time learning, you can help reps fill an immediate need or lack of knowledge while consuming only a small amount of their time.
For example, let’s say your rep is receiving the same objection over and over again. Instead of subjecting them to a 30-minute presentation on objection handling, provide them with a 1-minute presentation on the objection they are encountering.
10. Assess content effectiveness with quizzes
Quizzes and assessments provide a way to gauge whether your content is resonating with reps. If reps are constantly scoring poorly on a particular course, it’s probably time to revisit that piece of content to make it more engaging or easier to understand.
Ready to put your reps on the path to sales mastery? Download our free eBook.