“Why is there such a gap between my top sellers and my average ones?”
If you landed on this page (congrats, by the way – it’ll be outrageously helpful), you have asked that question before. Probably daily. And the answer is simple – they’re either lacking great content, effective sales enablement, or in many cases, both.
In the years we’ve spent assisting various Fortune 500 companies with their digital sales transformation projects, we’ve uncovered some pretty shocking revelations that support this theory. For starters, sales reps spend the majority of their time doing things other than selling. In fact, an estimated 66% of a seller’s day is focused on writing and designing presentations and marketing materials, managing accounts, performing customer service, and a whole lot more. Beyond lost productivity, they also lack access to quality content to make the little time they do spend with buyers count. Instead of presenting compelling, prescriptive, and data-driven content that has a true impact on purchasing decisions, they’re touting descriptive PowerPoint decks and product-focused sales collateral…and boring buyers to tears.
It’s no wonder Salesforce.com projects a whopping 56% of sales reps won’t meet their quotas this year. Your reps are suffering and, as a result, so is your bottom line.
The majority of sales reps aren’t great writers or designers, and they shouldn’t have to be. It’s not what they were hired to do. They were hired to sell, and they need to do more of it. What’s the quickest and most effective way to let them do it? Strong, prescriptive content and an easy-to-use vehicle to search, find, and distribute it. Enter: Sales Enablement.
Put the right sales enablement platform in place, and watch your average sellers transform into sales elite right before your eyes. Not convinced? These 16 reasons to prioritize sales enablement may change your mind.
Bad content can be tough to overcome, but subpar content management practices? Brutal.
- Sales teams can’t find good content to send.
Here are a couple of eye-opening statistics: 95% of buyers buy from someone who gave them content at every stage of the buying process. And yet, 65% of sales reps say they can’t find content to send to prospects.Sure, they may not be looking hard enough. But I would bet the content they have is ineffective, and the content they need either doesn’t exist or is difficult to track down. Sales reps need a single source for relevant, accurate, and compelling content in order to effectively sell your products and services.
- Sales teams don’t use the content they can actually find.
A staggering 90% of sales reps say they avoid using the content they can find. Why?
- Content is often outdated and not customizable.
Sales reps are creatures of habit. If something doesn’t work, if it does more harm than good to their pitch, they are not going to use it. Can you blame them?
- “Show Up, Throw Up” is less effective than ever.
Seventy percent of the information B2B buyers see on your product is self-discovered online. Prospects are smart and capable of independent research. The boilerplate presentation decks sales teams put in front of them packed with redundant information they already discovered on their own? A guaranteed turn-off.
- The average sales presentation is…incredibly average.
We know, we’re really attacking the creative prowess of sales teams here. It’s important to note that we completely understand why they often develop assets on their own. They have quotas to meet, and creating their own materials to sell more effectively seems like the best play given the choices they have. Again, reference reason #3. The things they create may not be ideal but at least they’re functional.Creative content development is not what a salesperson is hired to do. They’re hired to sell. If you want to free up and empower your sales teams, create content that cuts through the clutter. Then distribute said content via a platform that makes it easier for sellers to do their job; one sales application to both assemble and seamlessly distribute content that has already been proven to be effective in various sales scenarios. This platform should also help you identify what content works and what doesn’t so you can optimize and archive appropriately.
The right content cuts through the clutter.
There is nothing worse than being stuck in yet another presentation that’s not helpful to you. Too many slides, too much text on the screen, too much information you already know.Conversely, there’s nothing more energizing than a crisp, polished presentation that’s filled with specific, meaningful insights to get a prospect’s gears turning. You can empower reps with a platform that makes it easy to pivot presentations based on audience feedback and have interactive and prescriptive sales conversations – instead of death by PowerPoint.
- The right content boosts the brand.
Which in turn boosts your team’s sales sophistication and success. When words are compelling (and spelled correctly), the design is eye-catching, all materials are cohesive, and data is accurate and actionable, it makes your brand appear more professional and attractive to buyers.
- The right content is insanely loyal.
Sales forces experience constant turnover. Top performers leave the company. But your content? It’s yours forever. A truly strategic asset for as long as you wish to circulate it. It can be repurposed, refreshed, and customized as many times as you like. Give your reps confidence that the content they’re presenting is always relevant, accurate, and optimized, and you can bet they’ll use it.
- Your content wants to work. You can and should monetize it.
Some organizations have killer content that’s wasting away in obscurity, buried in your CMS or in a piece of collateral nobody uses. It’s a shame, because it could help your company grow if it was actually leveraged by sellers. This is where a good sales enablement platform comes into play. Think seamless content distribution, AI-driven recommendations, and analytics. We’ll go into more detail in a bit.
- Prescriptive content leads to deals. Period.
There is no simpler way to say it. When you have actionable and insightful content that resonates with prospects, they become customers.
- Artificial Intelligence and machine learning obliterate data entry.
Seventy-one percent of sellers say they spend too much time on data entry. But modern sales enablement platforms utilize AI and machine learning to autonomously capture content presented in meetings, meeting notes, and customer data. All of that information is replicated in the appropriate CRM record.Bonus: This shows sales leadership what content is being used at every point in the sales cycle and offers a true understanding of what content actually drives revenue.
- Up-to-the-minute content at your fingertips.
A content management system takes outdated content and flings it out the nearest window. It works as a central repository, holding all vetted content available. It not only allows users to edit and save the content in custom workspaces but also makes it easy to find any content online or offline, ensuring all users have access to the latest and greatest assets.
- Reps can create customized and loyalty-winning content.
Politicians follow a script prepared by highly trained (and admittedly talented) speechwriters. You’re no speechwriter, and your reps are not politicians. They don’t speak to the masses; they have a small audience over and over again. Your goal is to provide customized and insightful content backed by evidence and data that’s relevant to your specific audience. We help with that. Well, technically our AI-powered platform is the one helping, but who is keeping score?
- Access your content on the go.
Our tech team likes to say good content management platforms and apps are device- and content-agnostic. It’s true! Also true? We prefer plain English, so here is a translation: You are able to access AND edit your content on any device, anytime, and anywhere. Phones, tablets, laptops, desktops – even when you’re on the go!
- Pivot in real-time during sales presentations, whether online or off.
Stop showing up with your good ol’ traditional, static sales pitch. Even if your deck is polished and your pitch is well-rehearsed. Just stop. The ability to pivot in real-time throughout a presentation offers you the opportunity to ditch ‘Death by PowerPoint’ and instead lead a real and engaging conversation centered on your audience’s challenge or interests.
- More reps will achieve their sales targets.
When that happens, morale soars…and so does your company’s trajectory. Higher morale, healthy growth, legendary company.
Reminder: This is the bad news portion of the article. Push through. There is hope on the other side.
Don’t forget, good content is still King.
Coupling good content and the right sales enablement solution is the answer.
Pssst…you made it through despair. Hope lies below!
Obviously, content management is not new. But AI-powered content management platforms and apps sure are. These recent innovations not only help sales reps save time by automating administrative tasks; they also offer well-oiled processes to ensure content is up-to-date and provide invaluable insights with content recommendations and analytics.
Let Your Sales Team Sell
Yes, it sounds like a no-brainer. It’s what you hired them to do. Unfortunately, they don’t…because they can’t.
Here’s a challenge for you; this week, ask your sales teams how much time they spend not selling. As I mentioned earlier, research shows that number to be between 60 and 70%. We’re betting your find the same.
Trust us. They’re not enjoying this stuff, but it needs to get done. And because they don’t have enough hours in the day, they resort to boilerplate content – not much insight, no personal recommendations, and likely no second meeting. They fall back on traditional, descriptive content…content that just doesn’t resonate with modern buyers.
It’s not your sales team’s job to make things look good. It’s your designer’s. It’s not their job to craft meaningful messaging either. That is your writer’s job. They can’t farm data or develop eye-popping insights. That’s something for your analyst’s to-do list.
What they can do, however, is tell a compelling story. If you give them the right content and insightful data to work with, that is. Make it easy for them to find what they need, and they’ll turn in award-winning performances.
Content is the answer, but not just any content – the kind that turns average sellers into superstars for your company. Make it easily accessible and editable to all with a robust sales enablement and content management platform, and your bottom line will thank you for it. As will everyone on your team. Prescriptive content just works!
When you’re ready to talk about how to make it happen, drop us a line. We’ll be here.
Contributing Author: Luke Trayser
At this point, you might want some proof that we actually walk the sales enablement walk. We do indeed. Read our case studies on NXStage, MillerCoors, and PepsiCo, or check out our recorded webinars if you’re ready to dive deep.
Making sales enablement and content management a priority is an unstoppable differentiator for your company. Request your demo today.