You’re giving the greatest sales pitch of your career.
You’re on a call with Matt, a CMO, and you’ve totally sold him on the value of your company. “You’ve convinced me,” he says. “Let me talk to Brian, our CEO, and we’ll sign that offer letter soon.”
Brian’s company is a perfect fit for yours, and you’re anxious to start working together. You leave the call, buzzing with excitement…
…only to have your hopes crushed a few days later, when Matt tells you Brian has decided to go in a different direction.
When you pitch your company’s services, you’re not always selling directly to the lead decision maker. You’re often pitching to the COO or CMO, who then has to turn around and sell your company to the CEO. They have to regurgitate your conversation in a way that best represents you, with only their memory to rely on.
Needless to say, Matt may have a tough time articulating your value. So how do you get your message across to the decision maker? By making sure Matt uses your words as much as possible to sell to the real decision makers.
Sales enablement assets are concise leave-behind materials Matt can show his company’s lead decision makers. He may not remember the exact verbal genius you bestowed upon him during your sales call (maybe you don’t, either), but he can refer to sales enablement assets you leave behind. They’re your way of fact-checking and supporting his claims without being in the room yourself.
I know what you’re thinking: “Joel, you already want me to write blog posts, social media posts, and video scripts. Now I have to make sales enablement assets, too?”
Yes and no. The good news is you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You already have a lot of these assets hiding in plain sight: in emails, in blog posts, even in your sales calls. The challenge is that these assets are scattered across different departments or stored in formats that aren’t easily accessible.
You’re so familiar with your material, you may not immediately recognize these assets as great sales enablement content. It’s the curse of knowledge: You don’t realize how much you already know, and how much others don’t.
Your job, then, is to take stock of your existing content assets, carefully consider where they could help, and develop a strategy for organizing and distributing them effectively throughout the sales process.
Content is like a Swiss army knife — it’s a multiplier of your efforts. Just like the Swiss army knife can uncork a wine bottle and also whittle a branch, one piece of content, such as a blog post, can be repurposed to serve as everyone’s sales enablement sidekick, from customer support to sales.
I’ll use one of my own clients as an example. Montana Knife Company (MKC) publishes one blog post per week, meant to boost its SEO rankings and draw new prospects. MKC repurposes that content by recommending those same blog posts to recent buyers as educational tools.
A single piece of content gets potential buyers in the door, and later, it trains existing customers to use their new product better.
You can use the same principle for sales enablement. When Matt pitches CEO Brian on your company’s value, he’s your advocate. Equip him by repurposing appropriate existing content to give him his best chance of success.
That’s not to say you should throw all your content at Matt and hope for the best. Decide strategically which assets to give to him based on anticipated questions and concerns.
Every time I get on a sales call, I want to anticipate objections and voice them before the prospect can. When you articulate their problem better than anyone else, prospects assume you’re the one with the best answer.
In sales calls, escape being seen as a salesperson and establish yourself as a peer or guide as quickly as possible. My goal isn’t to be a prospect’s friend — it’s to be their doctor, diagnosing what’s wrong and whether we’re the right company to treat it.
Once you’ve anticipated and addressed Matt’s questions, anticipate and address Brian’s. Ask yourself, “What specifically does the decision maker need to see and be convinced of that will help my advocate close this deal for me?”
As you create your sales enablement assets, assign each to a specific question or concern a prospect may have: “If I know X question will arise, I need to send Y content asset.” Sending sales enablement assets isn’t about throwing spaghetti against the wall and seeing what sticks. It’s about strategically pushing differently shaped pegs into matching holes.
Of course, that’s easier said than done. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help you get started:
As I mentioned earlier, each content asset should be tailored to a specific anticipated question or concern, though there will be some overlap. If you want to know what pegs to stuff into what holes, follow this guide:
Struggling with execution? Here are my tips for creating effective content assets that will help you reach decision makers:
Why go through all the effort of jumping on a sales call and pitching your services, only to leave the rest up to chance? It’s like sending an untrained salesperson in to close a deal on your behalf.
Instead, train your prospects to sell your company the same way you train your employees to — with effective sales enablement assets at their disposal.
By creating and sharing sales enablement assets, you provide the support your advocates need to effectively reach decision makers with your message.
Joel Widmer is the Founder & CEO of Fluxe Digital Marketing—a content marketing shop that helps smart businesses create, produce and promote their content through a unique one-on-one interview process. When he’s not working, Joel can be found trying new restaurants with his wife, son, and daughter.