Boosting sales is every business owner’s dream. But it is getting harder and harder as competition is growing in just about any niche.
If you were looking for ways to increase your sales with content marketing, an SMB sales enablement strategy is something you need to create first.
What is Sales Enablement?
As the name suggests sales enablement is all about empowering your teams to generate more sales.
If you hire a salesperson, you always provide them with tools and resources helping them to do their work better and automate repetitive tasks.
Likewise, if you want your team to close more sales, it is in your best interest to provide them with tools and resources enabling them to do so.
As such sales enablement is anything that:
- Educates your teams to better target your target audience as well as communicate your selling points to the potential customers
- Visualizes your company’s value proposition and helps your team to explain it to the potential customers
- Enables your team to help your customers in a more efficient way (e.g. by sending a link to helpful article instead of typing a lengthy reply)
In other words, sales enablement includes creating (and updating) content, organizing resources to make it easier to quickly find a specific article, optimizing content for different decision makers, etc.
How Can Content Enable Sales
Content is the foundation of any content enablement strategy. It helps on both ends:
- Content educates your team
- Content educates your customers
With that in mind, sales enablement content:
- Answers popular niche questions
- Includes your sales and customer teams’ input (which is usually a missing step in most content strategies)
In a broader sense, sales enablement content strategy and customer-centric content strategy have a lot in common with the only difference that the latter doesn’t necessarily actively include your team.
Traditionally, sales enablement refers to a B2B strategy, but as the world is going through digital transformation and more and more businesses are selling products online, sales enablement content strategy is something that can help just about any business.
- Local businesses can use sales enablement content strategy to capture (and later re-engage) local leads
- Solopreneurs can use sales enablement strategy to streamline their customer support efforts
- Small businesses will benefit from sales enablement content by diversifying their organic rankings
Finally, sales enablement content is what runs behind any automated customer support software empowering your on-site chatbot to help your customers while your team is offline.
Sales Enablement Tools: Generate Leads from Your Content
1. vcita: Drive Visitors to Take Action
A business management app, vcita has a cool lead generation feature that allows your site visitors to book a virtual appointment with you right away.
- Create a call-to-action that would fit your business model best (e.g. register to your workshop, schedule a free consultation or request a demo)
- Receive an instant notification whenever a user gets in touch with your business.
- Allow your prospects to book meetings on your site any time, regardless of office hours or staff availability.
2. Finteza: Re-Engage Your Returning Visitors
Not all of your site visitors will feel like booking an appointment or subscribing to your list right away. But they may come back to your site intending to perform an action.
In fact, a returning visitor is much more likely to convert and buy more than the first-time visitor.
Do you know how to make your returning site visitors even more likely to convert?
Personalize their experience.
Finteza makes personalized marketing doable and affordable. In fact, using Finteza I never needed any technical skills to set up personalized experiences for web users based on their past engagements with my site.
Sales Enablement Tools: Create Content that Enables Sales
3. Text Optimizer: Predict Popular Questions on Any Topic
Text Optimizer is the semantic analysis tool helping you understand searching patterns of your target customers:
There are lots of niche question research tools and tactics out there but this site helps you to understand patterns behind those popular questions in any niche.
So instead of creating a separate piece of content to address each specific question, you can create long-form articles to address a group of questions.
Use this tool to:
- Understand your niche better (and address your customers’ needs)
- Structure your on-site FAQ section
The tool is also great at helping you optimize your content for search intent, i.e. meet your target readers’ expectations.
4. Agorapulse: Collect Questions from Your Customers on Social Media
Social listening is one of the most powerful ways to boost sales:
- You can address customers’ concerns right away (and win their trust)
- You can identify questions to answer in your content (and hence create sales enablement content for your teams to use in the future)
Agorapulse is one of the most productive social media listening tools out there: With it you can collect questions from multiple social media channels and assign them right away to your customer support, sales and/or content creation teams to answer and implement in their sales enablement tactics:
Sales Enablement Tools: Content Visualization Tools
5. Venngage: Visualize Your Selling Points
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I don’t thinkI necessarily agree with that. I am an SEO at heart and nothing is as good as text content in my mind.
Yet, visualizations are important for many reasons. They make concepts easier to understand and remember, data easier to summarize and complicated processes easier to follow.
Visualizations make great supplemental content your leads can take home and refer to when in need.
Venngage is a great visualization tool that makes it easy to create infographics, flowcharts and brochures. Simply pick a template and customize it to reflect your message and your brand.
Apart from Venngage, it is a good idea to use on-site visualization methods like polls and surveys.
6. InVideo: Create Videos
Just like images, videos are great for making words even more powerful. With videos you can make your selling point more memorable and your value proposition easier to grasp.
Plus, video content is quite easy to create. Invideo helps you create video content based on your own script (i.e. your text content). You can use your own images and voiceover but if you have none, you can choose any from InVideo gallery. Very handy and quick. Such a timesaver!
Sales Enablement Tools: Include Your Sales & Customer Teams into Your Content Strategy
7. Slack: Foster Cross-Team Collaboration
Cross-team collaboration is one of the fundamentals of an effective sales enablement strategy.
- Your sales team needs to know which content is being created to be able to use that content to close sales
- Likewise, your customer support team will find most of your brand-owned content useful as it will help them to assist your customers in a more efficient way
- Both your sales and customer support teams have lots of insight into your target customers’ needs and struggles, and that insight will make your brand-owned content more useful (and hence engaging)
Slack is one of the best ways to encourage cross-team communication and idea flowing. Simply set up rooms for your co-workers to participate in, and set up some content idea sharing and brainstorming sessions for everyone to contribute to:
8. Trello: Record and Organize Content (Ideas)
Productivity is only possible with structure. You cannot hope to make your content strategy work unless you make certain your content is well organized.
Structure will make existing content quick to find and content content gaps easy to identify.
No content organization method is perfect, so you may have to go through some tools and tactics but it is always a good idea to start with a free tool.
Trello is a nice tool to organize just about anything, including content. You can create separate columns to note your content ideas, as well as columns to record your existing and upcoming projects.
Finding the right content marketing platform is crucial for bridging the gap between multiple teams and empowering your content strategy. Fundamentally, the two features you are looking for here are:
- All-in-one content repository (i.e. well-structured content library)
- Content collaboration (making content accessible by all team members and enabling effective delegation)
While Trello and Slack are great free options for cross-team collaboration and managing content ideation and production, if you feel like you need more, Guru is a knowledge management platform that you may find amazing.
The platform allows you to build a wiki your whole company can use:
- Let your in-house and remote teams access all the internal information they need to confidently do their jobs. Making sure that brand-owned content assets are visible to all teams will speed up content production and ensure everyone is aligned throughout the process.
- Use Knowledge Alerts to keep co-workers current on real-time releases and updates
- Ensure all the information within wiki is up-to-date and correct by using multi-tier verification process
- Keep recordings of your internal meetings to allow new and existing employees to (re-)watch them any time
- Bridge the gap between different teams allowing everyone within a company to collaborate effectively. This will boost all team members’ productivity and supercharge your marketing efforts
10. Zoom: Create Your Video Knowledge Base
Finally, one of the most obvious choices for just about any company out there, Zoom can be used as a sales enablement tool on multiple levels:
- You can record internal meetings for your whole team to return to when they need answers
- Your sales people can record and share webinars to onboard clients
- Anyone can transcribe Zoom meetings to repurpose them as public content
- Remote teams can use Zoom to host regular meetings to keep everyone within a company updated on current and upcoming sales enablement content assets
Zoom also has an internal library that can be used to organize content assets.
Conclusion and takeaways
While most companies realize the power of content these days, not many of them use content beyond publishing it on their site. In fact, that content can be a useful asset for internal training or the sales process.
Furthermore, this is a two-way street. Your sales and customer content team can provide you with insights that can help boost your content marketing assets. Both of those teams know your customer best.
In essence, a sales enablement strategy is actually about making the sales process part of your content strategy:
- Encourage collaboration among your teams with tools like Slack and Trello while designating responsibilities.
- Make sure your content strategy (including content distribution tools and tactics as well as all multiple content assets etc.) is managed in one central knowledge management platform with Guru
- Create visual and video content to diversify your content and sales assets with tools like inVideo and Venngage
- Brainstorm content around customers’ questions with semantic analysis tools like Text Optimizer and social listening solutions like Agorapulse
- Optimize existing content by making it part of your sales funnel with tools like vcita and Finteza
More often than not, content marketing and sales teams are misaligned which results in missed opportunities and loss of productivity as sales people are forced to spend more than 30% of time trying to find and adapt sales content.
At the same time, sales reps seldom keep content creation teams informed of customers’ challenges and struggles which should be covered in on-site content that will drive traffic and leads.
Now that lots of teams are left to work from home and all the purchasing journeys are becoming too complicated, it is crucial to fix organizational silos and align sales and marketing strategies.
Creating content that informs both your target audience (throughout their entire buying cycle) and your sales reps is a critical aspect of supercharging your sales efforts as well as creating content that attracts and converts leads.
Whether you own a big company or manage a tiny team, try using the sales enablement tools above to better align your sales and marketing strategies and males sales part of your content strategy.
Hero photo by Mayer Maged on Unsplash