When contemplating sales enablement, many business leaders immediately think of training and coaching. In reality, however, a successful enablement initiative also requires effective use of technology and for salespeople to be provided with the right content at the right time, in order to carry out their role to the best of their ability.
Essentially, this means that your sales collateral - the materials you produce to assist your sales team - can go a long way towards deciding how successful your enablement strategy is. In this article, we explore the different types of collateral that empower reps and allow them to boost their sales performance.
1. Video Content
Video now accounts for almost three quarters of all online traffic and can be of great use to salespeople, helping them to convey information to a potential customer quickly and concisely. Generally speaking, short videos work best, with those under 90 seconds in length producing superior retention rates.
Ideally, video content should be created by marketing professionals, rather than salespeople, who are less likely to have the necessary skills. Unfortunately, in the CSO Insights 2016 Sales Enablement Optimization Study, it was found that, on average, marketing creates less than 40 percent of collateral.
2. Case Studies and Testimonials
Case studies and client testimonials can be invaluable to sales staff, because they allow them to provide the people they talk to with tangible evidence of the ways in which your business has helped other clients or customers in the past. This, in turn, can make your products or services a more attractive proposition.
With a case study, a potential customer is able to read about the work you have done, or the results you have helped to produce. Testimonials, on the other hand, allow a potential customer to hear about your business from the perspective of a fellow customer - and happy customers can often be the best sales pitch there is.
3. White Papers
On a slightly different note, white papers allow salespeople to generate leads and make sales by sharing factual information, as well as their insight, or the insight of others within the organisation. This can be especially useful for social selling purposes, or for positioning certain people as experts within their field.
"Whitepapers can help to spread expertise, build brand image, as well as generating leads and prospecting," explains Cóbhan Phillipson in a post for Docurated. "Quick to read and high in quality, a whitepaper can provide data-based evidence on the capabilities of your product."
4. Frequently Asked Questions
Another helpful piece of content you can provide your sales staff with is a copy of some of the most frequently asked questions about your business, its products and services, and the results they generate.
By referring to a frequently asked questions sheet, sales staff will be able to offer more complete and more accurate answers to questions asked by sales prospects. In addition, sales reps can also use these FAQs sheets to build a more comprehensive understanding of your business, helping them to make better pitches in the first place.
5. Quick Fact Sheets
Finally, one extremely useful type of collateral that can boost sales performance is quick sheets featuring key facts and statistics about your products or services. This allows salespeople to make more convincing, evidence-based sales pitches, rather than relying on conjecture.
"People trust statistics. They just do," says Chris Gillespie, writing for Marketo. "A confident salesperson with access to a lengthy list of well-organized and credible statistics is exponentially more effective."
About the Author: Monika Götzmann is the EMEA Marketing Director of Miller Heiman Group, a global sales coaching and sales training company. It specializes in providing exceptional sales training programs and consultancy to help organisations boost their sales performance. Monika enjoys sharing her insight and thoughts to provide better sales solutions to professionals and organisations.