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Battlecards 101: 5 Ways to Drive Sales Adoption of Battlecards

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Lauren Kersanske on Fri, Aug 7, 2020

This post is part two in our Battlecards 101 Series. Click here to read part one. 

Imagine that you spent hours upon hours building an informative and detailed battlecard for your sales team. Now imagine that once you hit publish, the sales team barely uses it. If you’re a product marketer or are responsible for creating content for sales teams, you probably don’t have to imagine it—the unfortunate reality is that many sales teams often don’t use the content that’s produced for them by their marketing teams. In fact, according to a study done by Content Marketing Institute and LinkedIn, 80% of content created by marketing goes unused by sales. There are a variety of reasons why sales content goes unused, including misalignment between sales and marketing, sales being unable to find the content they need, or simply—bad content.

Creating battlecards is no simple task, so putting the work into creating and maintaining them isn’t worth it if sales isn’t leveraging them in competitive deals. You need to drive the adoption of your competitive battlecards. Driving adoption means not only getting your sales team to use your battlecards once, but to drive repeat usage of the battlecards, to help your sales team win more competitive deals. 

Here are five ways you can get your sales team to adopt your battlecards. If you haven’t created any battlecards yet and would like to know how, check out our post about building competitive battlecards in our Battlecards 101 series, to get started.

Run a Pilot

Sometimes introducing battlecards to the whole sales team at once is not the answer, especially if you have a large sales organization. When your battlecards are ready to be rolled-out, instead of pushing it to the entire sales team, consider running a pilot with one specific sales team or select reps.Win more competitive deals with these customizable Battlecard Templates

Here are the steps to running an effective battlecard pilot:

  • Choose the right test group: Select a sales team (or sales reps) that consistently hit quota and have longer tenure. A strong team will likely leverage your battlecard correctly and give more helpful feedback.
  • Measure quantitative success: The best way to quantitatively measure battlecard effectiveness is competitive win rate. Measure the competitive win rate of the pilot team and see if it increases/decreases or stays flat. 
  • Gather qualitative feedback: Besides win rate, you’ll also want to gather feedback early and often from the pilot team on the battlecards. It will be super useful in your roll-out to the rest of the organization.

Once you wrap up your pilot, implement any changes based on the results, and then roll-out your battlecards to the rest of the sales organization via deep-dive training. As an added bonus, get one of the pilot sales reps to conduct the training with you, so they can share their first-hand experience with the rest of the sales org. Having a sales rep share their experience will lend major credibility to your battlecards.

Integrate with Sales Team Workflow

How often do you get an email and/or Slack from a sales rep asking where a piece of content lives? Not being able to find sales enablement content is a common problem for sales reps, and it’s a massive hindrance to productivity—in fact, sales reps often spend only 37% percent of their time on selling, with the rest of that going to non-revenue generating activities such as creating and searching for content.

Make sure your battlecards are integrated with the workflow of sales. This could be making battlecards accessible via CRM, Slack, or a sales enablement platform such as HighSpot. If sales can’t find your battlecards immediately, they will most certainly not adopt them. 

Hold Sales Trainings for Battlecards

After you create your battlecards, you need to teach your sales team how to actually use them. Sending an email linking your sales team to the battlecards simply won’t cut it, and it’s a surefire way to make sure that reps will never use them. 

Schedule a deep dive training specifically for battlecards with your sales team to go through each new battlecard, and explain how to leverage them on sales calls. Keep in mind that battlecards are extremely tactical, so keep the nature of your training the same. Go through each specific tile of your battlecard, explain what it is, and how to effectively leverage it on a call. Conducting a role-play exercise with a couple of sales reps using the battlecards can also be very useful in this scenario.

Gather Constant Feedback

If you aren’t gathering and incorporating feedback into your battlecards, then the usage of them will slowly drop off. Sales reps will often hear things in the field that won’t make it onto your battlecards, so giving them the ability to comment directly (not make a change themselves!) is extremely useful to making sure the battlecard is up to date. You’ll also want to gather feedback on whether or not a certain talking point or piece of information on the battlecard is actually effective—if something is not resonating with prospects, hearing that from sales reps will help you make the necessary changes. Showing sales reps that you value their feedback will go a long way in driving adoption of your battlecards.

Build Trust by Keeping Battlecards Up to Date

When sales reps leverage content from their marketing teams, they assume that everything in that document is accurate. Unfortunately, the manual nature of traditional battlecards means they become out of date very quickly and thus filled with inaccurate information. If a sales rep is using your battlecard on a call and says something inaccurate regarding a competitor AND gets called out on it—trust is not only broken with the prospect, but so is the trust they had in you. If a deal suffers because of an inaccurate battlecard, you can bet that sales will never use any content—battlecard or otherwise— from you again. 

Integrating your battlecards with competitive intelligence will help keep battlecards updated and in sync with market and competitor movements. The continuous updates will build trust with the sales team and ensure that they keep leveraging battlecards in competitive deals.

The adoption of battlecards is just as important as their creation—before you even put a sentence on a battlecard, you’ll want to have an adoption plan in place to ensure that your battlecards become a powerful tool for your sales organization. 

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Topics: Sales Enablement

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