The more revenue that your content can generate, the more valuable it will be to your business.
Most of the time, this revenue-generating power comes through lead generation, search engine rankings, and social media engagement. However, an often overlooked use case for content is to leverage it as part of your sales enablement strategy.
Like other sales enablement tools, your content can help your equip sales reps to improve their sales effectiveness and, thus, bring in more revenue:
- Giving sales reps helpful, educational information to distribute in their one-to-one communications with prospects and customers
- Training new reps on the company, market, and key problems your business solves
- Testing messaging with the market to see what resonates, and trickling that information down to sales
By investing in high quality content, you’re providing a valuable, revenue-generating tool for your sales team — one they’ll thank you for. Here are five key sales enablement benefits that come from content marketing.
1. Higher quality leads
Ultimately, salespeople want one thing from marketing: great leads. Great leads help them drive revenue, which drives both their bottom line and that of the business.
Fortunately, creating and posting high quality content helps to improve lead quality:
- By using highly targeted keywords and helpful content, your content attracts leads that are better aligned with the problems your products and services solve and, thus, more likely to make a purchase
- By educating buyers from the beginning of their buyer’s journey, they’re more informed when they talk to sales reps, leading them to be more decisive in the conversations
The higher your lead quality, the more deals your salespeople can close and win. This makes high quality leads the number one benefit of sales enablement that content marketing can provide.
2. More tools for prospecting and nurturing leads
Your sales process is designed to drive your prospects from awareness of certain problems or pain points all the way to a purchasing decision. Best case scenario, that decision would be to purchase your product or service.
But how each prospect progresses along that buyer’s journey is different. While you can make some generalizations, each one comes to the table differently. This requires the sales rep to think on their feet and, often, get creative with how they go about closing the deal.
The more tools your rep has in their belt, the more effective they’ll be at closing and winning deals.
Your marketing content should already be focused on addressing key questions that arise in the sales process. So the more content your marketing team produces, the more tools your reps will have to leverage in their prospect conversations.
3. Resources for use during sales training
One of the KPIs of your sales enablement strategy is an increase in sales effectiveness, both in terms of individual reps and the team as a whole.
While there are any number of core competencies you want to make sure reps are proficient in as they start selling, one key — and often under-prioritized — competency is a deep understanding of your company, your customers, and the problems you solve.
Since you’re already delving into the key problems your audience solves when you write your marketing content, it can double as training content for your reps.
The more you can deepen your reps’ understanding of your business, the more effective they’ll be at responding to prospects objections, problems, and questions as you move them along the path to a purchasing decision.
4. Aligning sales and marketing through mutual value
One of the things that I discovered soon after starting my career as a marketer is that in many organizations, sales and marketing are often misaligned. In the worst cases, there’s animosity between the two teams.
This is bizarre to me, simply because in my mind — and in my experience — marketing and sales organizations work best when they function as one team: the revenue team.
The better you can align marketing and sales, it will be to the benefit of not only both teams individually, but the business as a whole. Content marketing is one way the marketing team can help provide some of that value to sales reps.
If your marketing team can provide content that sales reps can actually use in their communications, they’ll be able to build a mutual trust. Plus, if reps are effectively leveraging that content, they’re going to close more deals and bring in more revenue, which only boosts the marketing team’s numbers.
5. A “help-first” sales force
One of the things you’ll likely find as you dig into your metrics is that the top performers on your sales team are the ones who are the at identifying and responding to customer problems.
They know when a customer’s problem is best solved by your product or service. Even more importantly, they know which prospects won’t benefit from a purchase at this point.
But what’s interesting is that when you help out prospects who aren’t ready to buy — whether it’s by providing them with a piece of content or pointing them to another resource — that’s one step toward building a long-term relationship with that person.
So whether their situation changes and they’re ready to buy, or they move on to another role to a company that needs your product and service right now, a positive relationship will only benefit your business in the long run.
Your sales enablement program should be designed to train reps to be a “help-first” sales force. Content marketing can play a vital role in building this by helping reps understand and respond to problems in a variety of ways.