Sales enablement collateral can quickly become outdated, especially in industries with constantly evolving trends and technology. A sales enablement collateral refresh can help improve the effectiveness of your assets by equipping your sales team with easy-to-use, visually-appealing assets tailored to your target audience's needs.
Your target audience's pain points and needs are constantly changing too, and refreshing your collateral can ensure it resonates with your customer. The last thing any seller wants is for buyers to be confused during the process. A refresh can help align sales content with the company's brand while adding authority to the teams' expertise and solution proposals, thus improving the customer experience and driving closed-won deals.
The first step in a refresh is to conduct a sales enablement content audit. Before we get into the audit, here are some valuable components to consider.
Before the Sales Enablement Content Audit
For starters, take a look at your business' data. Does your company data back up solution claims?
Quantitative CRM data is ideal, but if you don't have any, qualitative data is a great place to start. Customer testimonials, for example, offer qualitative proof of what your product or service claims to solve. If the data's there, pay special attention to critical points, such as where deal stages drop off. If you're losing a lot of prospects at a particular stage, the answer may fall within the specific collateral (or lack thereof).
Some other questions to consider before you begin a content audit are:
- What collateral do prospects see first? Are those materials effectively speaking to your brand and solution?
- Likewise, what materials are seeing the most use? Are they being used often because they're successful, or does the data reveal that they aren't converting or driving results the way you want them to?
- Can you clearly define your products and product families? Is a new product clearly part of a new family that does X, and your brand does Y?
Look at each family holistically to better connect the dots with regard to how each product relates. If there are holes in your product hierarchy, consider a brand positioning workshop before you start your content audit.
Brand Positioning Workshop
A brand positioning workshop can help you structure the overall hierarchy of your brand. One key output of such a workshop is a foundational internal positioning document for each core solution family, including:
- Positioning statement
- Messaging pillars
- Unique selling propositions
- Proof points and bold claims
- Elevator pitch
If you don't have any of these things, don't fret. You'll create and define them in your brand positioning workshop. If you already have them, it's time to begin your sales enablement collateral refresh, starting with a content audit.
Performing Your Content Audit
What collateral are you currently working with? Taking stock of your existing sales content will make clear what you have, what you need, and what you should update.
Start by creating a spreadsheet to list all your existing sales collateral, including case studies, sales decks, videos, one-sheeters - everything! Link to each piece in the spreadsheet, and be sure to include every piece of content that is relevant.
For example, perhaps you have some customer testimonials written down or recorded and kept in various spots. Put those all into a customer testimonials document, and then add it to the spreadsheet.
Maybe you have a few one-sheeters created by individual sales reps in ad hoc fashion. Make sure you include those, too. Include anything that could be considered sales enablement content or a component of such.
Once your content audit is complete, begin creating your sales enablement content strategy.
Create a Cohesive Sales Enablement Content Strategy
Look at your target audience as a first step in your content strategy plan.
Understanding your target audience is paramount to effective selling. By analyzing who your target customers are, you'll be able to better create exceptional content that speaks to their needs and desires.
Identify audience demographics and then research your customer pain points. Analyze their buying behavior and outline their communication preferences. After reviewing your buyer personas, any market research you have, and feedback from your customers and sales reps, you'll be able to pinpoint your target audience confidently.
Based on your products, services, and target audience, choose what content you'll include in your sales collateral and factor those into your plan. Your business' content strategy should consist of a plan to update your existing collateral, create new assets, and promote everything to your sales team.
Some critical components of a content strategy are:
- A timeline for creating and updating your sales collateral
- Guidelines to assist in maintaining consistency across your brand voice and messaging
- A list of key themes and messages that align with your sales objectives and your target audience's needs
- A plan to distribute the collateral to your team and assist them in leveraging it
Begin Updating Your Collateral
Your sales strategy is your touchpoint for ensuring that all content stays current, aesthetically pleasing, and easy to digest. Each new and existing piece should align with your brand voice and messaging.
When updating your collateral, remember to:
- Ensure that all your data and information are accurate and up to date
- Simplify your messaging to make it easy for sales reps and customers to understand and remember the important points
- Add calls to action to drive prospects to next steps along the buyer's journey
- Use visuals, such as infographics and videos, to make your content more engaging
Depending on what your content audit reveals, updating your collateral could require a lot of time and resources. But it's worth it! Once you've updated and created your collateral, make sure you test its effectiveness.
Test Your Collateral
Testing, reviewing, and refining your collateral should be done regularly, especially to account for new products or a change in brand positioning.
Test new collateral with your sales team and collect their feedback. The process will help you point out key areas for improvement and clarify your content to better meet the needs of your target audience and your sales team. Some steps you might take to test and refine your collateral include:
- Speaking with your sales team on what works and what doesn't
- Analyzing your data and metrics to calculate the effectiveness of your updated or new material
- Refining and streamlining your messaging and visual offerings to align with your target audience's pain points and needs
Train and Support Your Team
Once you've built some incredible sales enablement collateral, it's time to use it to train and support your sales team. Make sure you offer detailed and engaging instructions on how to present and utilize the new material.
Offer workshops or training sessions to help your reps understand and feel confident using the new materials. Make sure that everyone has access to the new materials and provide updated versions for any enhanced collateral. Streamline their sales process by removing or archiving outdated pieces of content so that there's no room for confusion.
Measure the Results of Your Collateral
To ensure your sales content is doing what it’s supposed to do, measure its impact on your team, with prospects, and the health of your overall pipeline. Take a look at data and metrics, such as:
- Increased conversion rates
- Shorter sales cycles
- Improved win rates
These numbers will help you determine the effectiveness of your new content. Solicit feedback from your sales reps and customers, too, as it provides a proven way to identify where you may still need to improve.
Quick Wins to Start Your Refresh
Say your sales enablement collateral is in desperate need of a complete overhaul. Even if that’s the case, sales can't stop, right? Let's look at some quick wins to help you better prioritize the first pieces of content for your team to start building.
A pitch deck is an excellent place to start as it tells a whole story. It helps sales teams effectively communicate to prospects and customers in a clear, engaging way. A pitch deck could include the following:
- Company overview
- Problem statement
- Target market
- Product or service solution
- Market and sales strategy
- Competitive landscape
- Sales and marketing plan
If you have limited time and budget, choose to build a pitch deck first.
Case Studies: Case studies are a creative way to highlight the value of your product or service. They offer real-world examples of how your solution has solved for your customers, showcasing the benefits of buying your product or service to potential customers.
Product Demos: Use product demos to show your customers how your product or service works. Using hands-on demonstrations, your customers will better understand the benefits of working with you. Lean on customer pain points to ensure your demos solve the needs of your target audience. Then, focus on the most compelling benefits or features in your demos.
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) provide a great way to offer quick answers to your customers' commonly-asked questions. Make sure your FAQs and answers are easy to find, clear, and concise.
Some other quick wins include battlecards, sales presentations, high-value blogs, testimonials, and further social proof. Having a strong understanding of your target audience will help you determine the best place to start when creating your quick wins.
Partner with SalesOps Experts to Build an Effective System
Refreshing your sales collateral maintains brand consistency, improves the customer experience, and increases sales efficiency. It'll help you stay competitive in a growing market. Ultimately, it'll get your sales team to win more deals.
As business owners and leaders, we often grow too close to our products, so it can take time to determine where our sales enablement collateral falls short. New Breed's SalesOps experts can help by looking at content from a fresh perspective and offering an objective lens to identify new opportunities.
Reach out to our team to learn how partnering with New Breed can help you set yourself up for success.
Al is the Director of Marketing for New Breed. He has spent the last 15+ years as a B2B and SaaS marketer, and he is passionate about helping companies leverage the digital space to reach and engage their audiences effectively and efficiently.
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