It’s not that sales reps don’t want to use all the playbooks, case studies and other sales enablement content their marketing team develops to help them close more deals. They just might not have enough time to go looking through it when they’re at their desks.
Sales teams work in real time -- they are often on the road, on their way to customers or talking to potential customers. When they need answers, they need them right away, and those answers should be as easy to access as reaching for their smartphone and asking a voice-enabled assistant to retrieve them.
Traditionally, a lot of sales enablement materials were organized and stored in folders designated for the sales team in a shared drive on the corporate network. Of course, the world has changed a lot in the way people get at content and consume it. In their personal lives, for example, sales people are probably skimming headlines on social media, texting their family, watching videos while they’re waiting in line for coffee or listening to their favourite podcasts while jogging.
What if a truly creative and innovative marketing team took these behaviours and mapped their sales enablement content accordingly? The one thing that wouldn’t change is the valuable data that forms the basis for great sales enablement content, such as what they pull from marketing automation technologies like Marketing Cloud.
While some of the ideas that follow are more mobile user-friendly, they don’t necessarily require more time, effort and expense than developing sales enablement content “the old fashioned way.” The results, however, could prove a lot more compelling to sales people at the moment they need it the most.
A lot of marketers have been trying to achieve a more personalized experience with what they send to customers and prospects, which has become far easier thanks to the kind of behavioural data they get in Marketing Cloud. The same thinking can work when they’re sending out internal forms of communication to reps.
Imagine this: at the start of each week, every rep gets their own newsletter that brings together the most helpful content based on:
Expect a higher click-through rate -- and more closed deals -- the more fine-tuned you can make the content of each newsletter.
Hopefully you reps are already on social media, and that they’re following your company’s accounts. If so, they’re probably already used to seeing posts that end with hashtags related to a particular topic, an event that’s taking place or some other theme.
Busy reps won’t always have the the time to check out everything the company posts, of course. That’s why you could provide them a list of hashtags that almost act as a code word for sales enablement content.
There is some content, for instance, that might be relevant to customers but could also be useful from a sales enablement perspective, like a research report from an industry analyst firm. End your promotion of such posts with hashtags like #SES, which in your case could stand for “sales enablement success.” Or make a hashtag with your firm’s initials followed by the word “Win,” to suggest it’s content sales could use to win their next deal.
Be creative and fun with these hashtags, and don’t over-use them. This is not about deceiving customers, either. In fact, a hashtag like #samepage might be a way of showing (if someone asks) that you’re trying to ensure your sales team is focused on the same issues that are top of mind for your customers.
Sales reps can make great use of key messages like value propositions, which are a way to articulate why a particular product or service will meet a burning customer need. The only challenge is that some value propositions are long and hard to remember, or worded in a way that aren’t always easy to memorize or make your own.
Try this: Using nothing fancier than your smartphone’s camera, talk to the team behind the development of the product or service. Have them make an elevator-style pitch about the value they see in what they’ve created, and how sales can convey that message to dubious customers and prospects. These don’t have to be more than a minute or two long, but they can easily be shared via a private link on a video streaming service.
Maybe you organize your case studies by industry sector, or by product category. It doesn’t really matter, because at a critical juncture when a customer asks who else has already bought something, the rep doesn’t want to go digging around.
Instead, develop a list of simple text cues -- like “CSP” for “case study, please,” followed or preceded by the name of the reference customer they want. Have someone in marketing compile a list of short links they can easily use to respond to such requests (making sure you set expectations about how quickly you can get back to them, of course). Or they could use emojis that represent particular kinds of companies or industries as cues.
A chatbot may be another way to automate the distribution of case studies and other sales enablement assets on a 24/7 basis. Of course, sales reps could also just keep their own list of links bookmarked on their phone, but don’t underestimate the value of knowing precisely when a rep is using a case study or other asset to try and win more business.
You can learn a lot from the data inside Marketing Cloud, and also a CRM like Sales Cloud -- as long as someone takes the effort to do so.
Just like the way people get hooked on podcasts that teach them about how to be healthier or give them insight into news and trends, marketers could earn a lot of fans among reps with a regular podcast that sums up the most recent insights about what’s leading to a higher win rate. New episodes can be updated on a recurring day of the week or month so it becomes part of their routine, and the format can be as long as it makes sense for the listener.
A mobile-first sales enablement approach brings first-class content to your audience wherever they are. And it empowers them to achieve more than they might have ever thought possible.