Product marketers are responsible for a wide range of tasks, that without them, many teams would be left scrambling. One team that relies heavily on product marketers is the sales team. Oftentimes, product marketers are responsible for creating sales enablement materials to aid sales teams in sharpening their skills and beating the competition. But, that’s not to say that there aren’t often challenges in the process of creating and sharing sales enablement materials. It’s no secret that it’s often a challenge to get sales teams to adopt the resources being made for them. So we turned to product marketing experts and got their best tips for getting sales to use their sales enablement resources.
Focus on Building Strong Relationships
When Product Marketing and Sales aren’t getting along, simple tasks can hit a major roadblock. It’s important that product marketing is building trustworthy relationships with the sales team and keeping a consistent line of open communication. If you’re continuously communicating with sales, you’ll get a better understanding of what they need to succeed, and they’ll better understand which materials are available to them.
“Simply asking your sales team, “Hey, what do you need? What questions are customers asking? How can I better arm you for your conversations?” is mutually beneficial because you’ll get insight into what reps need, and what they’ll actually use.” - Annum Munir, Product Marketing Manager at Google Cloud
Make The Resources Consumable & Visually Appealing
Creating high-quality sales enablement materials isn’t an easy task. There are many types of materials you can create, both internally and externally facing, ranging from one-pagers, to sales scripts, to battlecards. One key differentiator that will capture the interest of your sales team and their prospects is making the content easy to digest as well as visually appealing. If the resources can be quickly consumed and quickly leveraged, they’re even more beneficial to your sales team because they don’t need to dedicate a lot of time to learning the new material. It also helps if you make the design easy to navigate and add an extra touch of graphic design - no matter how minimal it may be!
“One specific tip that I’d give is to make your sales enablement resources as visually appealing and consumable as your outward-facing marketing content. Putting in that extra bit of design work can go a long way.” - Ben Austin, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Carbon Black
Treat Your Sales Team as Your Customer
One approach you can take is treating your sales team as if they’re a customer of Product Marketing. This might sound crazy, but the sales team really is a consumer of what Product Marketing is producing. So, if you’re able to approach the relationship similar to the way you would approach relationships with your customers, you may have a better success rate of sales enablement material adoption. This ties into many of the tips mentioned in this article, because if you can build strong relationships, truly listen to your sales team, and provide them with valuable sales enablement materials, you’ll see success.
“In reality, the sales teams are a customer of product marketing. They are consumers of the content you are providing to them. You have to have conversations with them and understand what’s working and what’s not working. If you have the tools to help you deliver assets faster and help understand the content they’re actually consuming, even better. Shameless plug, but we love Crayon’s dynamic Sales Battlecards feature. It's so easy to update and deploy out to our sales teams. It’s super powerful and saves us so much time.” - Scott Heimgartner, Director of Product Marketing at Maropost
Share Intel Updates Through Multiple Channels
It’s important that you alert your sales team when you have a new resource, because you want them to use it. Your sales team is eager to have as many resources as possible that will help them be better at their jobs and close more deals. Depending on who you’re communicating to, and the type of material you’ve created, you may want to utilize multiple communication channels. That way, you’re sure you’re effectively communicating with your sales team and stakeholders, and you’re providing flexibility.
“We share real-time updates in Slack, including the latest intel we’re seeing from Crayon. For larger updates, we’ll join their weekly deal review meetings, or send intel through email. We also use Google Docs to house the latest breaking intel and in-depth competitor-specific profiles, since Google Docs are widely used across teams at our company. This allows our stakeholders to comment, tag, and share, without creating a whole new process for them.” - Clara Gray, Product Marketing Manager at Flatiron Health
Over Communicate Where Resources Live
You want to make it as easy as possible for your team to find the resources you’re creating. If they can’t find it, then either the resource won’t get used, or you’ll just get asked time and time again where the resource lives or even if the resource exists! In addition to using multiple channels to share intel updates, make sure you over-communicate to your team what resources they have at their fingertips so that they can easily locate them. Better yet, integrate your sales enablement resources in the systems your sales team use every day, such as their CRM or sales enablement platform.
“Sometimes it’s just a matter of overcommunication. Repeatedly telling teams what they have access to, and where they can easily find it. “Easily” is the keyword here (such as storing resources in Highspot)). If they can’t find it quickly and easily, and even potentially offline, they won’t find it. Ease of use is not on the salesperson, it’s on product marketing and sales enablement. You’ll quickly learn that you could give them gold bullion, but if it’s not easy to find, people won’t use it.” - Alex Kevork, Vice President, Employer Integrated Segment & Product Marketing Strategy at Monster
If you follow these tips from the experts, you’ll likely see an increase in the adoption and use of your sales enablement materials. If you improve the relationship between Product Marketing and Sales, you may even find new ways to enable your team and help them win more deals.
What tips do you have for getting your sales team to use your enablement materials? Let us know in the comments below!