Sales enablement is the practice of arming your sales team with the knowledge, skills, and assets they need to win more deals. The Marketing team has a unique opportunity to drive more revenue for the business by enabling sales with the content and trainings that they may not have the time or expertise to create themselves. No one item will be the silver bullet that helps your team close every deal, but by building a portfolio of sales enablement materials, your team will have everything they need throughout the sales process to set them up for success.
Here are 12 key types of sales enablement materials to build out your library.
Sales Enablement Materials for External Use
1. Sales Presentations
Kick off your sales enablement materials with an overview presentation sales can use to introduce your company and solution. This is likely to be one of the most used pieces of sales enablement content you can create, since it would be used with every single sales opportunity. Beyond the initial overview deck, consider other steps in the sales process or other detailed questions that can come up, and create presentations that address each common situation.
Tip: Modularize your sales presentations to make it easy for sales to find and customize the slides they need. A master sales deck can do the trick here, or create separate presentations for each topic to make it easier to update and distribute.
2. Case Studies & Customer-Centric Content
Case studies, testimonials, and even online reviews are an incredible asset to help sales win more deals. Whether written or video, feedback from your customers goes a long way in telling the story of how and why your solution is the best.
Tip: Reuse and repurpose customer-centric content! One case study can turn into multiple quotes to be used across your website, fodder for multiple social media posts, and can be integrated into the many other types of assets mentioned here.
3. Thought Leadership Content
Thought leadership content in the form of blog posts, ebooks, videos, and more, are great for sales to engage with customers both pre- and post-sale. Content about challenges your prospects face, trends in the industry, and the company’s approach to innovation and solving for the customer’s pain, are helpful at every stage of the buying process. First, this content helps attract buyers to your company, then it can tee up an open and productive sales conversation, it can re-engage prospects who have become unresponsive, and finally it can build loyalty among your customer base.
Tip: Encourage your sales team to subscribe to your own blog. That way they’ll get all of the latest content automatically, and it can serve as a reminder to share out the new articles with relevant prospects and customers.
4. Product Deep-Dive Content
One pagers on features and benefits, spec sheets, or even product pages on the website can help fill the need for deep-dive product content. Particularly if you have a technical product or a large product suite or if you are in a commoditized industry, deep-dive product content can be a key sales need. Help documentation may support this effort as well - whether accessed just by the sales team to address questions or to expose to prospects before a sale.
Tip: Streamline the updating of this content as much as possible, since details are likely to change frequently. Webpages are easier to keep updated than PDFs, and if content is already being updated by a technical support team, piggyback on their efforts whenever possible.
5. Post-Sales Materials
Customers want to know that, after the sale, they will have a positive experience that delivers on the sales rep’s promises. It can be helpful, then, to offer visibility into the post-sales process in your sales enablement materials. You can detail the onboarding process, share worksheets or timelines that customers typically use, or even introduce prospects to their future account manager. Post-sales materials can help assure and excite prospects while also helping set proper expectations.
Tip: Leverage your customer success team to figure out what details should be covered in these materials - what questions often come up from new customers? What surprises them? What gets them most excited? Those are great areas to highlight.
6. Email Templates
Sales email templates allow you to streamline, standardize, and support every step of the sales process. Preparing emails that sales executives can customize and send in different situations makes their process easier but also ensures that they’re taking advantage of all of the other materials you create. If you are crafting the emails, you can incorporate the most effective messaging as well as relevant content assets.
Tip: Regularly review metrics on your email template usage and success rates - seeing which templates are sent most, which ones have the highest response rates, and which ones are correlated to increased win rates. This can help you optimize the templates and encourage sales teams to use the most effective emails.
7. Third Party Industry Research
Third party content - industry research but also third party blog content, news articles, etc. - can fill a similar role to your own thought leadership and case studies. Specifically look for content that validates your approach, your leadership, or the problem you’re solving in the industry. Materials like this are great to leverage in follow up emails to prospects, initial prospecting emails to capture attention, or even sales conversations.
Tip: In addition to sharing the articles themselves, look for industry statistics that sales reps can mention on the phone to provide third party validation about industry trends.
Sales Enablement Materials for Internal Use
Competitor battlecards are one of the more popular sales enablement materials businesses create today. Competitor battlecards provide an overview of a specific competitor’s company, products, and services and provide guidelines on how to win a deal against that competitor. The most effective battlecards are easy to consume, up-to-date with the latest competitive intelligence, and tailored to the sales process.
Tip: Make sure that all data in your battlecards is up-to-date and validated beyond sales rumors because misinformation about competitors is worse than a lack of information.
9. Sales Trainings
Not all sales enablement can be delivered in downloadable content. Interactive sales trainings can be a great avenue for instilling the knowledge behind each of the other content pieces - whether about the product, competitors, customers, or even sales skills themselves.
Tip: Partner with the best teacher in each area for the best trainings: perhaps a sales manager for sales skills, a product manager for product details, a competitive intelligence professional for competitor details, a user experience or marketing researcher on customer details.
10. Sales Scripts
Scripts for the sales team to use on calls are helpful for getting them up to speed, whether for new messaging, new products, new audiences, or all of the above. New sales team members in particular can benefit from sales scripts, since they will not yet have the context or experience delivering your specific pitch or sales process. Be sure to incorporate what questions to ask - not just what to say - to set up each rep for an interactive conversation.
Tip: Share recorded videos of your top sales executives delivering these scripts on calls. Video and audio recordings are great for getting the right soundbites ingrained in their vocabulary, and can be consumed over and over on an employee’s commute.
11. Pricing Calculator / Comparisons
Providing a quick reference or deep dive tool around pricing can help your sales team feel comfortable addressing pricing conversations when they arise. If your pricing is simple, offer a quick reference guide with best practices on how to talk about pricing and which packages are best for which types of customers. If your pricing is complicated, consider offering an interactive spreadsheet where they can reliably calculate correct pricing for each sales situation.
Tip: Decide if this is truly an internal-only tool or if it can be shared externally, and make this very clear with the sales team. You wouldn’t want the wrong pricing information to get into the wrong hands and ruin a sale - or worse, many sales.
12. Win / Loss Data
Win / loss analysis can be incredibly helpful at a high level - how the business overall is winning and losing deals - but also on an individual level. Sharing back win / loss data, both quantitative and qualitative, can help a sales rep get more perspective and awareness about areas where they excel and those where they struggle. Quantitative win / loss data can be drawn from a CRM system, and qualitative win / loss data can be drawn from prospect interviews and surveys. In either case, look for the trends and use those takeaways to inform coaching plans.
Tip: Consider sharing win / loss trends in small group sessions to encourage discussion and sharing of ideas between sales reps. You will likely find that each person has their own strengths and weaknesses, and they can be best equipped to provide effective ideas or coaching to their peers.
A comprehensive sales enablement approach that incorporates different types of assets and trainings is key to best enabling your sales team to win. If you’re just starting out, start with one of these items and then fill in the gaps over time. If you have a robust sales enablement program already, look for where your sales team continues to struggle and identify the gaps you can fill with these sales enablement materials.