Picture this: You’re a top seller who just got off a call with a prospective customer. You feel in your gut that this is a deal you can win, so you start prepping your follow-up. Naturally, you want to share the perfect piece of content that will really drive home the sale. But, there’s a problem – you have hundreds of pieces of content to choose from.
You feel yourself start to sweat as the pressure mounts. Which piece is the best to send? Which one will actually move this deal forward? What if you choose the wrong one, and the deal somehow ends up sliding backward?
This phenomenon is known as decision fatigue. It happens to all of us, but sellers often feel a particularly heavy pressure when it comes to decision-making. After all, they need to act quickly and precisely if they want to secure a sale before the deal stalls out. Throw in a healthy dose of choice overload (when you have tons of great content options in the arsenal for them to use), and you’ve got a recipe for bad decision-making.
Read on to learn how you can lift your sellers out of this overwhelming situation and empower them to pinpoint the right piece of content for the right person at the right time.
The Chaos of Today’s Sales Content
Content is the lifeblood of B2B sales. In truth, buyers only spend a very short amount of time with sellers (about 5% of the sales process). They spend the rest of their time conducting their own research to reach the right purchase decision. As soon as that short selling window closes, sales reps have to rely on the content they supply to buyers to keep on selling in their stead when they’re no longer in the room or on the Zoom. And, when content takes over as your sales rep, it becomes even more important to make sure the right piece finds its way into the buyers’ inbox.
Unfortunately, our sellers have started to face the same information overload problems that buyers often encounter. According to Forrester, sales reps have access to an average of 1,400 assets, including internal assets like strategy documents and training resources as well as customer-facing content like presentations, case studies, value tools, and more.
More content is a good thing, right? Well, not necessarily — you can have too much of a good thing, especially when that good thing is sales content. Presenting sellers with such an overwhelming amount of choices inevitably leads to indecision and inaction — stalling their ability to pick out and send content in a timely fashion. A lack of timely follow-up then causes a decrease in buyer engagement which may lead you to lose the deal altogether.
Empower Your Sellers to Cut Through the Clutter
Let’s go over a few strategies you can use to help your sellers navigate the chaotic sea of content and overcome decision fatigue.
Intuitively Organized Sales Content
Taking the time to curate and organize your sales content is as important as the content itself! Organize your content to match the way your sellers sell and reflect your overall sales strategy. Every organization is unique, but some common tagging structures take into account variables such as: content topics, products, sales stages, buyer journey, use cases, solution pillars, industries, verticals, roles, and more. No matter what system you choose, the goal is to organize content in a way that makes it easy for sellers to find — because if they can’t find content, they won’t use it!
In an ideal world, sellers wouldn’t have to find their own content at all. If possible, try to make sales content delivery a priority. You can leverage AI tools to make personalized content suggestions for sellers based on buyer data, engagement, and lots of other variables. Whether you deliver one specific piece of content or a small selection for the seller to choose from, narrowing down the field of choices should improve the decision-making process immensely.
In our State of Revenue Enablement Webinar, Whitney Sieck of DemandBase stated just how useful tracking the performance of sales content over time can be: “Sellers are looking for prescriptive guidance on what content to use when, and they want proof that it leads to content-influenced revenue results.”
By measuring how customers respond to different types or pieces of content, you can narrow down the choices for your sales team. Don’t be afraid to retire the pieces that aren’t working. You can always replace them with something better. Inform your sellers about the pieces that do work and why they work for various buyers. Backing up those pieces of content with evidence of success stories will make your sellers more confident in their decisions.
Obi-Wan Kenobi didn’t hand Luke Skywalker his first lightsaber and expect him to wield it like a Jedi master right away. Tools are not truly effective unless the people using them have been trained to make the most of them. Even if you power up your sellers with all the best tools and content, they will not be able to take full advantage of them without proper training.
Equip your sellers with the skills to evaluate and leverage content effectively by implementing ongoing training programs. Recruit your best sales reps as instructors (or at least for guidance when laying out the curriculum) and try to replicate their successes. Then, coach the rest of the team to follow suit, incorporating their best practices and even improving upon them.
Throughout the course of a single day, human beings make an average of 35,000 decisions. Our sellers probably make even more than that as they decide the next best steps to take with buyers. And these are not small decisions, either. Oftentimes, the fate of a deal rests on a seller’s ability to make the right choice at the right time.
Empower your sellers to fight back against decision fatigue by enabling them to make decisions efficiently and effectively. Tools and training are the keys to helping sellers take control of content chaos and confidently send the perfect piece of content to their buyers.