July 18, 2022 Content Chat Recap: Sales Enablement 101 for Content Marketers

A Content Chat header image that says today's topic is "Sales Enablement 101 for Content Marketers" with Pam Didner as our guest.

How can marketing and sales teams boost their results without adding any new tools or teammates? By acting as one team and working together.

Too often, marketing and sales teams work in silos, which misses a key opportunity to streamline resources, drive the most value from your content, and help both groups achieve their goals.

In this #ContentChat, we’re joined by Pam Didner, B2B and tech marketing consultant, author, and host of the B2B Marketing and More podcast, to explore how marketing and sales teams can collaborate to attract, capture, and nurture customers. Read the full recap below to learn:

  • How content can help throughout the buyer’s journey
  • Expert tips for aligning sales and marketing teams
  • Ways to measure your sales enablement program success

Q1: What is sales enablement, and who in an organization should be involved in developing a sales enablement strategy?

Sales enablement is when teams align with sales to engage prospects across the sales funnel and more effectively close deals.

A1a: Sales enablement def: Enable sales so that they can engage with prospects at different sales stages and close the deals promptly. However, the conventional def of sales enablement is only sales training & onboarding #Contentchat

— Pam Didner (@PamDidner) July 18, 2022

A1b: Depending on how your organization is structured. Many teams are involved in helping and supporting sales such as sales ops, marketing, business units, product team, and even HR and finance. #ContentChat

— Pam Didner (@PamDidner) July 18, 2022

A1c: Ownership of sales enablement plan depends on the structure of your company. Some companies have a sales enablement team, then they own it. Otherwise, it can be marketing, sales ops. In some cases, HR owns sales enablement. It depends. #ContentChat

— Pam Didner (@PamDidner) July 18, 2022

A1a: Publishing content is only the first step in your #contentmarketing journey. You’ve also got to distribute it to the right people at the right time. That’s why you need to let the same team know who the content is for and how it helps. i.e., sales enablement. #ContentChat https://t.co/JTRu6zq6o5

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) July 18, 2022

A1. Sales enablement is supporting sales/revenue teams with messaging, content & tools to move prospects from MQL to closed deal. *Ideally,* this is a strategic partnership b/t sales, marketing (& maybe customer success), aligned around shared insights &KPIs. #contentchat https://t.co/HAewbvBAIY

— Carmen Hill (@carmenhill) July 18, 2022

A1. Process of providing your sales team with the training, tools and content to sell effectively! It is definitely a multi-department function! #ContentChat

— Shruti Deshpande 🇮🇳🇬🇧 (@shruti12d) July 18, 2022

Content marketing has a significant role in sales enablement, and so can other business units like product, finance, and HR.

A1b: To ensure your #salesenablement strategy actually gives your salespeople and your other customer-facing folks the information and visibility they need, you will want to have representatives from these teams that span regions and personas. #ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) July 18, 2022

A1: I see it as a plan + resources that help the sales funnel become more effective and efficient. Besides sales, I’d involve marketing and content. I’d also argue for involving product in the conversations at some point if you’re at a tech/SaaS-type company. #ContentChat

— Melanie Graham (@mg_content) July 18, 2022

I have a SaaS client that struggles with when and how to involve product into the conversation. Do you have any tips or related blog posts? #ContentChat

— Tod Cordill (@todcordill) July 18, 2022

I think this is a common struggle, Tod!

I’ve found some success with regular (weekly?) Sales <> Product sync meetings. Sales can ask Qs, Product can provide As and demos. #contentchat

— Melanie Graham (@mg_content) July 18, 2022

A1: As for who should be involved definitely your social media / PPC team if your running paid ads #contentchat

— Sweepsify (@Sweepsify_) July 18, 2022

A1: Sales enablement focuses on productivity in sales, and those involved in developing a strategy can include social media/ marketing individuals #contentchat ~Jenna

— Nimble (@Nimble) July 18, 2022

Should also includes sales ops and whoever does sales training and onboarding as well. #Contentchat

— Pam Didner (@PamDidner) July 18, 2022

Very true! It’s so helpful to inform the primary curators and trainers, and make sure you are providing them information in the preferred format(s).#ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) July 18, 2022

A1.1 Pre-sales, LDRs (lead development Reps), marketing of course, product marketing too #ContentChat

— Shruti Deshpande 🇮🇳🇬🇧 (@shruti12d) July 18, 2022

Q2: What types of content are valuable for sales enablement throughout sales engagements with prospects and customers?

Many types of content can support sales enablement, including case studies and testimonials, solution briefs, thought leadership content, and how-to articles or videos.

A2: Sales peeps tend to like case studies, solution briefs, and thought leadership content, something they can share with prospects or customers.

Talk to salse to understand what content they like to share. Get their feedback #ContentChat

— Pam Didner (@PamDidner) July 18, 2022

A2: At the top of the funnel, you want practical + useful content that solves problems (blogs, and how-to e-books), further along you can move into the templates, white papers, and tools, and in the final sales process, ROI calculators and maturity assessments rock. #ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) July 18, 2022

A2: Content that’s valuable throughout sales engagement can include insightful/ how-to articles, webinars, or even testimonials! #contentchat ~Jenna

— Nimble (@Nimble) July 18, 2022

To piggybank on that social media contests are effective for genertaing this type of UGC bc you can ask participants to share themselves using the product oe service as a contest entry #contentchat

— Sweepsify (@Sweepsify_) July 18, 2022

A2: Evergreen buyer guides and product reviews are extremely effective. This gives customers the knowledge they need to make buying decisions without the hard sell. #contentchat

— Sweepsify (@Sweepsify_) July 18, 2022

A2: From the outside, I think sales would find it easier to work with solution-driven pieces with maybe a side of industry-insider humor if possible #ContentChat

— Vuh-suun-dher-ah (She/Her) (@ThisDhara) July 18, 2022

Absolutely, Infographics, cheat sheets, one pagers, How To’s for top funnel! Research reports, analysis, whitepapers, testimonials – mid funnel, demo videos, technical case studies towards the end of funnel! #ContentChat

— Shruti Deshpande 🇮🇳🇬🇧 (@shruti12d) July 18, 2022

And for really top funnel, don’t forget the swag!! Merchandise and fancy little give ways never fail to impress and oblige! #ContentChat

— Shruti Deshpande 🇮🇳🇬🇧 (@shruti12d) July 18, 2022

What @PamDidner said. Diff materials for each touchpoint in the the sales/cust. journey. They also like reference charts and cheat sheets, things they can refer to quickly to speak to differentiating product features, esp if the prod line is complex.

— Jennifer Perrella (@jperrella) July 18, 2022

Actively partner with sales to understand what type of content customers need. Ask your sales team about the questions they often receive, feedback shared by customers, and other insights that can shape your sales enablement strategy.

A2. If you leave it up to them, you might just get a list of the usual suspects: case studies, one-pagers, pitch slides, etc. Prod them to learn: What questions do you get? What objections? When do you win vs. lose? Then come back w/ additional ideas. #contentchat https://t.co/3PMhGFqVW9

— Carmen Hill (@carmenhill) July 18, 2022

Very true. Have a joint discussion with them and get their feedback, then, determine what content are avail that will help them… #contentchat

— Pam Didner (@PamDidner) July 18, 2022

I find that the questions that come in via the contact form can be an invaluable source of prospect questions.

I’m itching to download a large contact form data set and run an AI analysis and see what can be learned. #ContentChat

— Tod Cordill (@todcordill) July 18, 2022

I had the opportunity to present about content we’ve created that can help sales at our 2H sales kickoff – as we move into new markets, TOF content not only brings awareness of our brand, but also helps educate our internal teams to help them have better convos. #ContentChat

— Amy (@amylonghorn) July 18, 2022

Erika shares a sample customer testimonial video she created for BuzzSumo below.

A2: Case studies can be a powerful tool. I also love the idea of short videos that highlight a feature or are sort of mini demos. They can be useful for prospects who balk at setting up a call, but may still want to explore your product. #contentchat

— Melanie Graham (@mg_content) July 18, 2022

In a perfect world, having a customer share how they use a specific feature is the best combo of these! I did a bit of that in a video for the folks at @BuzzSumo. #ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) July 18, 2022

https://t.co/ldVkCQSj9o#ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) July 18, 2022

Q3: How can #contentmarketing and sales teams collaborate to map their sales enablement content needs?

Start your sales enablement program by interviewing your sales team to understand the current content needs across the sales stages. Create a buyer’s journey map with content for each stage, and present this draft to sales for their input.

A3a: After interviewing sales, #contentmarketing team should do the initial mapping of content based on the sales stages. Then, present it to sales and have them provide feedback. You’ll need to go back and forth on this several times with different sales members. #ContentChat

— Pam Didner (@PamDidner) July 18, 2022

A3: Content marketing and sales teams can collaborate to map both needs by finding the balance of value customers find in the content, while still being consistent with brand messaging and tone. #contentchat ~Jenna

— Nimble (@Nimble) July 18, 2022

A3: Content needs:

1. What do our fans want
2. How can we make their lives better
3. How can we put these in our unique voice?#ContentChat https://t.co/Hx0wC5LT9k

— Kathryn Lang – hopesmith and dream ignitor (@Kathrynclang) July 18, 2022

A3. Along with involving sales check in with Product Marketing teams as well, they often know some quirky details that can be jazzed up to hook in the prospects #ContentChat

— Shruti Deshpande 🇮🇳🇬🇧 (@shruti12d) July 18, 2022

Continue to refine your content map based on feedback from your sales team and new needs that arise.

A3b: Once finalized, share that with the sales group. Over time, you should get feedback from them on how useful it is. Use their feedback to modify the mapping regularly. #ContentChat

— Pam Didner (@PamDidner) July 18, 2022

A3c: Here is one example of content mapping to the sale stages. #ContentChat pic.twitter.com/nhpJRTg3xu

— Pam Didner (@PamDidner) July 18, 2022

Conduct a content gap analysis to get the most value from your existing content.

A3: I would add that it’s important to do a content gap analysis after your convo w/ sales — it’s possible you have some of these materials ready to go, or something you can reuse/modify to fit their needs. Get the most out of your existing content! #contentchat https://t.co/W3PPSd3k9S

— Melanie Graham (@mg_content) July 18, 2022

A3: Perform content gap analysis to uncover new opportunities and optimize the content strategy to produce more of the pieces that lead to higher conversions and higher order values #contentchat

— Sweepsify (@Sweepsify_) July 18, 2022

And ensure that all content and sales teams are using the same processes and repositories to create and store content.

This reminds me to note it’s so important to make sure both product marketing content and content marketing are using the same processes, repositories, etc. No one wants to go hunting around to find what they need in multiple places.#ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) July 18, 2022

Q4: How can you measure the effectiveness of your sales enablement program?

Track the downloads, views, comments, and feedback from your sales content library if you have one. Otherwise, annual sales team surveys can help you understand if your sales enablement efforts are working.

A4: If you have a sales content library, you can track downloads, views, comments, and feedback from your library. If not, annual surveys with your sales team is good. They will let you know whether the content helps them or not. #ContentChat

— Pam Didner (@PamDidner) July 18, 2022

We recommend that you adopt a weighted multi-touch attribution strategy to credit content for helping to drive a sale.

A4. This is ideal, especially if you can track/attribute closed deals to specific content assets. 🤑 #ROI #contentchat https://t.co/7FoBLawVHw

— Carmen Hill (@carmenhill) July 18, 2022

And so important that it’s full-journey attribution, not just first/last. There are so many steps along the way!#ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) July 18, 2022

A4: If possible, find a way to track not only downloads and engagement with the content, but which pieces of content are leading to better SQLs and ultimately, closed deals. #ContentChat

— Melanie Graham (@mg_content) July 18, 2022

I love it! This is one of the best ways to tie content ROI to Sales. @mg_content A great suggestion! #contentchat https://t.co/MZ6LHl2coy

— Pam Didner (@PamDidner) July 18, 2022

Conversions, customer retention, and churn trends can also show if your team is improving its sales processes.

A4: Measuring the effectiveness of your program can look like conversions and checking content engagement! #contentchat ~Jenna

— Nimble (@Nimble) July 18, 2022

A5: By tracking customer retention and churn. Optimize for the sales approach that delivers long term, high value customers #contentchat

— Sweepsify (@Sweepsify_) July 18, 2022

Q5: What tools have you used to help with your sales enablement efforts?

Create a sales-centric content library to support sales enablement…

A5b: For #contentmarketing team, I think it’s important to have a sales-centric content library so that you can see what content are most popular or most download by the sales team. #ContentChat

— Pam Didner (@PamDidner) July 18, 2022

100% agree here. Some kind of wiki or a Google Drive folder etc. where they can access everything without always having to go through you or the content team. And if you can track that use: Bonus. #contentchat https://t.co/bPuIUamMV8

— Melanie Graham (@mg_content) July 18, 2022

CRMs with clean data are crucial for successful sales…

A5a: It depends on how you support your sales team. One tool you should always know if you are supporting sales is your company’s CRM tool. Get to know your CRM well and know how your sales track their success #Contentchat

— Pam Didner (@PamDidner) July 18, 2022

A5: Social media, and crm of course 🙂 #contentchat ~Jenna

— Nimble (@Nimble) July 18, 2022

Adopt tools to help with your sales training and onboarding…

A5c: For sales training and onboarding, again, it depends on if your training is online or offline, you use whatever tools are associated with training and onboarding. #ContentChat

— Pam Didner (@PamDidner) July 18, 2022

A5: I think having a solid CRM in place with reliable, CLEAN data is critical here. #ContentChat

— Melanie Graham (@mg_content) July 18, 2022

And set up systems to track your KPIs.

A5d: For marketing, if you are working on demand gen or ABM, again, what are your success metrics, and make sure that your back-end is connected so that you can track your results.

What tools depends on what activities you do to enable your sales. #Contentchat

— Pam Didner (@PamDidner) July 18, 2022

Shruti shares a recap of what you should use:

A5 Some of the tools you need;
👉Analytics tools to measure better
👉Content management systems
👉Dashboards, reporting tools
👉Engagement tools like Slack, Trello for better coordination #ContentChat

— Shruti Deshpande 🇮🇳🇬🇧 (@shruti12d) July 18, 2022

And read Tod’s article to learn more about sales enablement technologies.

Years back I was asked to write a guest blog post about sales enablement technologies.

It’s a bit dated, but when the agency shut down I moved it here:
https://t.co/oggxuDBPBf
#ContentChat

— Tod Cordill (@todcordill) July 18, 2022

Q6: What tips can you share for keeping sales and marketing teams aligned? Are there systems or processes you recommend we follow?

Attend the weekly or bi-weekly sales huddle call. Regularly share new sales enablement assets with them, and explain how the asset can help them.

A6b: The easiest way is to attend their weekly or bi-weekly sales huddle call. Be there!
The next thing is to share your campaign, content, or demand gen with them but you need to explain your effort in a way that sales can benefit. #ContentChat

— Pam Didner (@PamDidner) July 18, 2022

It’s super important to make it relevant to sales bc if you’re just talking about all this content you created, their eyes will glaze over. But if you can make it relevant to them and their success, you are golden. #ContentChat

— Amy (@amylonghorn) July 18, 2022

A6: ABT: always be talking (I think I just made the acronym up. Or maybe not!) There is so much information we can get through informal chats. Also, structuring the info is imp so everyone is on the same page #ContentChat

— Vuh-suun-dher-ah (She/Her) (@ThisDhara) July 18, 2022

A6, Insist on regular cadence calls, to be aligned and well informed! #ContentChat

— Shruti Deshpande 🇮🇳🇬🇧 (@shruti12d) July 18, 2022

Invite your sales team to join your editorial board.

A6: Invite your sales team to sit on your editorial board so they have insight from content ideation through distribution. Have a regular 1:1 with your sales leader to understand the team’s challenges and areas of focus. #ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) July 18, 2022

Create clear ways for sales to request new content assets and access the team’s existing resources.

A6b: Also, make sure sales is aware of content/marketing idea parking lots, brainstorm docs, content request forms etc. Find an easy process for them to communicate their content needs and ideas. #ContentChat

— Melanie Graham (@mg_content) July 18, 2022

YES!

I loved how easy it was to take idea submissions and have a parking lot using @kapost when I was heading a global content team that supported a large global team of sales and CS folks. #ContentChat https://t.co/HPFiOOv3mC

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) July 18, 2022

Seek to deeply understand how your salespeople work and what drives them.

A6a: Get to know

how your salespeople sell,
what tools they use,
what content they use,
how they follow up with prospects.

Get to know them

Remember how hard you work to understand your buyer personas?!

Make an effort to know your sales peeps. #ContentChat

— Pam Didner (@PamDidner) July 18, 2022

A6c: For example, don’t say “we captured 1000 leads…”

It’s more like “out of 1000 leads we captured, we did some qualifications, we identified 10 leads who expressed interest to talk to sales…”

I know. I know. I know. That’s a lot of work. Haha. #ContentChat

— Pam Didner (@PamDidner) July 18, 2022

Ask your sales team to record their sales calls or demos so you can review the recording.

A6: Regular syncs/meetings can be helpful here. Also, if your sales team records their sales calls or demos, make sure you have access to those, too. They can be a great resource for finding gaps or ideas for sales enablement. #contentchat

— Melanie Graham (@mg_content) July 18, 2022

It is so incredibly helpful to hear sales calls or read their transcripts to understand the customer’s voice. #ContentChat

— Erika Heald | Content Marketing Consultant (@SFerika) July 18, 2022

As much as possible, use the same technology to simplify your tech stack, and create shared goals that both teams agree with.

A6. Have sales and marketing teams work together to define the desired customer journey(s).

Then brainstorm all the things to do to assist the customer in their journey.

Also, simplify the tech stack. Use the same sales and #martech tools as much as possible. #ContentChat

— Tod Cordill (@todcordill) July 18, 2022

https://t.co/IARR8E7KUP or any project mgmt/collaboration tools are great. #contentchat https://t.co/951VHGx09U

— Pam Didner (@PamDidner) July 18, 2022

I also love project visualization tools like Miro, especially when planning out campaigns. #ContentChat

— Shruti Deshpande 🇮🇳🇬🇧 (@shruti12d) July 18, 2022

A6: Keeping sales and marketing teams aligned is sharing goals and understanding how content marketing leads to conversions/ sales. #contentchat ~Jenna

— Nimble (@Nimble) July 18, 2022

A6. Create a campaign with specific KPIs short term tests can then be used as sample sizes to extrapolate overall trends and to make forecasts. Again a social media giveaway is perfect as a test here. 👌 #contentchat

— Sweepsify (@Sweepsify_) July 18, 2022

Be clear about who is responsible for what.

Have a tracker to track progress and assign tasks to real people for better accountability! #ContentChat This will avoid dialogues like ‘We thought you were gonna do it, oh no no you said you will!!!’

— Shruti Deshpande 🇮🇳🇬🇧 (@shruti12d) July 18, 2022

Q7: Where can content marketing teams learn more about sales enablement? What thought leaders do you admire or where do you seek information?

The community shares their go-to sources for sales enablement advice below:

A7a: Check out my Effective Sales Enablement book Ok, a shameless plug. Haha.

I also like to talk to different sales leaders to get their points of view on how to support sales. #Contentchathttps://t.co/M2kAOTs7QA pic.twitter.com/e5YTttywQz

— Pam Didner (@PamDidner) July 18, 2022

A7b: Sales enablement thought leaders: @TheFelixFeed
Corey Bray@ACollaborator @CallieApt
Lindsay Baggett@AnthonyGaenzle @salesenablement @tyler_lindley

Love to hear your list. @Contentchat

— Pam Didner (@PamDidner) July 18, 2022

A7. @pamdidner’s Sales Enablement book! 😉 #contentchat https://t.co/WQVqJylkpN

— Carmen Hill (@carmenhill) July 18, 2022

A7: Content marketing teams can learn more about sales enablement by having more conversations with sales teams and seek information through the customers needs. #contentchat ~Jenna

— Nimble (@Nimble) July 18, 2022

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