But when it comes to driving revenue and closing deals, B2B salespeople still rely on an arsenal of case studies, blog posts, white papers, and decks that nudge prospective customers closer to sale. And guess what? Much of the time, they’re creating those assets without the marketing department’s support, and with mixed results.
“Your job as a salesperson requires doing what you need to do to get the sale,” said Shawn Kallet, founder and CEO of B2B growth consultancy Deepwater Strategies. “If you’re creating content, you’re going to do the minimum to make that content engaging, and most people won’t even do that.”
According to CSO Insights, sales reps spend just 32% of their time selling. A smart marketing team can help sellers refocus—and earn more credit for driving revenue—by creating sales enablement content that helps sellers speak to prospects at any stage.
We asked Kallet how marketers can create the content their sellers need to drive sales. Here are three key steps they can take to get started.
Most often, marketers are asked to build awareness with the big fish: the executive who wields the checkbook. But that buyer is not always a salesperson’s first touchpoint. In fact, salespeople have to communicate with multiple people in different roles over an extended period of time, so creating content for each of them is key.
“You have to build trust, which means showing them you’re an authority on a topic by sharing content that is relevant to the problems they have,” said Kallet. When marketers fail to connect up front, sellers are forced to dedicate their time to correct the content.
Sales reps spend just 32% of their time selling.”
— CSO INSIGHTS
To avoid this time suck, ask your sellers who they most often deal with before talking to the decision-maker. What objections do they most often hear and how do they overcome them? In short, get to know your audience’s needs through the people closest to them—your sales reps.
Once you know who you’re talking to and what their needs are, you can begin mapping your content topics to the buyer journey. But when it comes to sales, the format is almost as important as subject matter. In order to make your information truly useful for sellers, they’ll need quick access and digestible formats.
For example, you may spend weeks creating original content and compiling it into a beautiful, downloadable guide that builds awareness and authority while generating leads. Once in the pipeline, your prospects may want to discuss some of the issues raised in your guide. But your sales reps may not have time to read it, particularly if you create several per quarter.
To make any piece of long-form content truly useful for sellers, make it snackable. Organize key insights by bullet points, support them with quotes and statistics, and furnish them in text format for emails, one-sheets, social assets, or images they can include in decks.
This method can be applied to guides, blog posts, video transcripts, and even industry intelligence from outside sources. As long as your library is consistently updated, well-organized and stocked with a variety of formats, your sellers will have quick access to content that helps them sell.
If your rep is doing the job, there will come a time when their prospect has to sell your product to their wider team or—fingers crossed—their boss.
“You have to assume they have a fraction of time to share with their peers and management, so you have to be incredibly clear on your value proposition and how it applies to them,” said Kallet.
A tight pitch will include a mix of industry insights, product details, client case studies and testimonials that show your solutions work, said Kallet. But it has to be delivered in a format the prospect can use. “By the time you get closer to a close, sharing bullets in an email or quick slides makes it easier to put it in their format,” Kallet said.
If you’ve created content for the right audiences and armed your sellers with quick access to a library of wide-ranging microcontent, they’ll have what they need to close. In short, Kallet said, “Give them what they need. If they need bullet points, don’t send them a deck, but if they need a deck, don’t send them a meme.”