Today’s post is by Erica Karnes, a content specialist for Highspot, the sales enablement industry’s leading platform for content management, customer engagement, and analytics.
By now, it’s no secret that sales is a much more layered, complicated process than even a decade ago. According to the 2018 State of Sales Enablement report, nearly 70 percent of sales reps reported they are experiencing more complex sales processes. Modern shoppers want knowledgeable guides, wholly equipped to lead them through their purchasing journey.
To meet these growing expectations and to be fully equipped to jump into these buyers’ conversations, sales reps need on-demand access to content and training, enabling them to clearly connect and communicate with potential buyers.
Anticipating needs = alignment
A solid plan for sales success involves sales readiness. In short, sales and marketing teams must be aligned. After all, it’s an accepted fact that buyers will continue to expect unique shopping experiences, tailored to their own particular desires. Sales reps are expected to not only respond accordingly, but anticipate these changing needs – often in real time, and on a case-by-case basis.
Of course, it wouldn’t be sales as we know it without constant deadlines and ever-present pressure to succeed. Sales reps are widely familiar with the expectation to create results as fast as possible – even while connecting with multiple potential customers in real time.
In order to land a sale, reps must know what they’re talking about – and know what they’re talking about immediately. Often this involves locating and utilizing a piece of content that speaks directly to a specific buyer’s specific scenario. Sorting through archives of shared content – often outdated or tailored to match some other buyer’s particular preferences – is a time suck that can make or break a deal.
Likewise, material intended to train sales teams (such as information detailing the latest product launch, or announcements covering company-wide messaging points) must also remain updated, accessible, and organized in a manner that saves sales reps precious time.
Here are some tips to find out if your sales and marketing teams have easy access to updated, relevant content that will help them close deals.
Tip #1: Perform a content sweep.
Evaluate where each piece of content is stored within your organization, and determine a home for each set of materials. Consider the following:
- Does your sales team have a sole, established place for sales-related content and training?
- Are all materials aligned according to buyer persona, buying stage, etc.?
- Where can these be accessed (e.g., online within a CRM system, inbox, via mobile)?
Tip #2: Conduct a sales training and content audit.
Establish if and how sales reps have the tools and know-how to successfully land sales. Delve into the following:
- Have reps completed assigned sales training?
- Does your sales team fully understand and utilize core company concepts?
- Are reps making use of the ideal kind of content – and at the correct time?
From here, you can begin to examine the internal pipeline and establish how to measure quota performance.
For an integrated means of storing, sorting, analyzing and accessing relevant content – both for buyers and for onboarding sales reps – sales enablement solutions offer an ideal system for organization. Companies vying for relevancy within today’s competitive market are only continuing to adapt sales-centric technologies. With a system managing your content, sales reps will have the time they need to truly sell.