Last Updated on April 18, 2022 by Troika Gellido
Sales enablement vs. content marketing– do you really have to choose between the two?
Sales enablement and content marketing are two of the most important aspects of any marketing and sales process. However, many businesses struggle to understand the difference between the two and how to use them together to improve sales.
The fact that both processes require content causes confusion in some people’s minds. For that reason, be careful that you don’t fall into the trap of blurring the lines between content marketing and sales enablement.
These are two distinct methodologies. You and your team must treat them as such if you expect to generate a consistent flow of both leads and sales.
As you’ll see below, content marketing uses content to attract the leads your sales team needs to flourish. Sales enablement provides tools that specifically help your sales team close more sales.
Moving forward, you’ll need to focus on more personalization when working on your content marketing plan. Your prospects increasingly expect to consume content that speaks to their personal needs.
As you create written, audio, and video content pieces, focus on segmenting your audience. Provide each segment content that provides clear messaging and feels personal to their needs.
The future of sales enablement will include a need to expand into more comprehensive material for sales teams to use. Customers will expect to digest more content after speaking to your sales team. In addition, they will ask to see more details that expand upon the sales call conversation.
Now let’s take a more in-depth look at each process to understand better how they differ.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is the process of creating valuable, consistent, and relevant content to attract a clearly defined audience. The primary aim of content marketing is to drive profitable customer action by building trust and authority with your target market.
It’s vital to note that content marketing is not about selling products or services. Instead, it’s about creating long-term relationships with your audience by providing them with valuable and interesting information.
Types of Content Marketing
The content you create must be valuable, relevant, and consistent. Some common types of content marketing include the following.
- Blog posts
- Video content
Other content types to consider can include podcasts, webinars, case studies, and how-to guides.
For instance, you might use a blog post to open the conversation and begin building trust with prospects. From there, you can offer an infographic as a more in-depth look at a particular topic.
You could then use an eBook or video content piece to provide even more detailed information about topics that relate to your products or services. As you can see, each type of content builds upon the last, providing your audience with a comprehensive view of the solutions offered by your company.
What Is Sales Enablement?
Sales enablement is a process that helps sales teams sell more effectively. It involves providing salespeople with the resources they need to sell more efficiently and close more sales.
Sales enablement tools can include the following.
- CRM software
- Sales intelligence software
- Sales training
- Marketing collateral
- Prospecting lists
As you can see, sales enablement is about giving salespeople the resources they need to succeed. So, for example, it might include sales intelligence software that provides salespeople with information about their prospects.
It could also include sales training to help salespeople hone their skills. Marketing collateral and prospecting lists are other examples of sales enablement tools that can help sales teams close more sales.
For example, if you’re using sales intelligence software, you might be able to see that a particular salesperson is struggling to close deals. The sales enablement team can then provide additional sales training to help that salesperson improve their skills. In turn, this will lead to more sales and a higher close rate.
Or, you might find that customers keep asking to see additional information that objection scripts don’t seem to solve. In this case, you may create a short video that salespeople can send prospects.
The Face Off: Sales Enablement vs Content Marketing
Now that you know more about sales enablement and content marketing let’s see how they differ.
The main difference between sales enablement vs content marketing is that sales enablement focuses on helping sales teams sell more effectively. On the other hand, content marketing works to create long-term relationships with customers.
Content marketing is about providing valuable, relevant, and consistent information to a clearly defined audience. The goal is to build trust and authority with your target market so that they will willingly engage with your sales process.
On the other hand, sales enablement provides salespeople with the resources they need to sell more efficiently and close more sales. It includes things like sales training, sales collateral, and sales tools.
What Are the Similarities Between Content Marketing and Sales Enablement?
Even though sales enablement and content marketing are two different things, they have some similarities.
Both sales enablement and content marketing involve creating valuable and interesting information. It’s your job to keep this information useful and relevant to your audience.
Additionally, both sales enablement and content marketing require a clear understanding of your target audience. Without this knowledge, it’s challenging to create content that resonates well.
Finally, both require a solid plan when looking at sales enablement vs content marketing. You need to know what type of content you’re going to create, who you’re going to target, and how you will distribute your content.
Why You Need Both Content Marketing and Sales Enablement
Let’s explore the various reasons to implement content marketing vs. sales enablement plans inside your company.
Why You Need Content Marketing
Content marketing brings many benefits. Here are the top five reasons to employ a quality content marketing strategy.
- Improve SEO efforts
- Build brand awareness
- Create trust with site visitors
- Attract best-fit clients
- Generate quality leads
1. Improve SEO Efforts
Good content helps improve your SEO efforts by attracting links, improving click-through rates, and increasing dwell time. By focusing on creating quality content, you can improve your SEO and attract more organic traffic to your website.
As you increase what Google calls the “knowledge graph” by producing excellent content over a long period, you will see incremental traffic growth.
Remember that content marketing is all about attracting prospects to you. It’s challenging to achieve this if you don’t practice correct SEO strategies.
Combining SEO best practices with content marketing means that you give yourself the best chance to end up on page one on Google. You need those rankings to ensure that future customers find your great content.
2. Build Brand Awareness
Content marketing is an excellent way to build brand awareness. By creating quality content, you can attract attention from people who would otherwise never have heard of your company.
When you produce helpful blog posts, infographics, eBooks, and other types of content, you increase the chance that people will share your content with their friends and followers. More people will become aware of your brand as your content gets shared. Over time, this can lead to an increase in sales and revenue.
3. Create Trust With Site Visitors
By generating quality content, you will build trust with the people who read it. In addition, if your articles are helpful and informative, people will begin to see you as an expert in your industry.
People will be more likely to do business with you as you become more trustworthy. They will know that they can count on you to provide them with the information they need to make informed decisions.
4. Attract The Right Clients
Great content focused on the needs of your perfect avatar profile attracts best-fit clients who are more likely to convert into sales.
By understanding who your ideal customer is, you can create content that resonates with them on a personal level. Then, as you build a relationship with these individuals, they will be more likely to do business with you when they’re ready to make a purchase.
5. Generate Quality Leads
Content marketing will produce quality leads for your company when utilized correctly. Use content marketing to generate leads by including forms on your articles and other pieces of content.
As people read your content and find it valuable, they will be more likely to fill out a lead form to receive more information from you. It is an excellent way to generate sales leads that are already interested in what you have to offer.
Why You Need Sales Enablement
Remember that sales enablement is the process of equipping salespeople with the resources they need to be successful. It won’t do you much good to attract quality leads via your content strategy if your sales team can’t convert them into sales.
Let’s review the top five reasons to build a solid sales enablement plan.
- Give sales reps important data
- Increase collaboration between departments
- Create valuable relationships with prospects
- Provide a reason to follow up with prospects
- Increase revenue
1. Give Sales Reps Important Data
One of the main objectives of sales enablement is to give sales reps the data they need to sell effectively. This data includes customer information, product information, market trends, etc.
By arming sales reps with this data, you will help them close more deals and increase revenue for your company. A sales rep will always perform better if they go into a sales call knowing how to best communicate with each prospect. The result is a more customized client conversation.
2. Increase Collaboration Between Departments
Another important reason to invest in sales enablement is to increase collaboration between departments. For sales reps to be successful, they need to have a good working relationship with other departments within the company.
It includes marketing, product development, customer service, and more. By collaborating with other departments, sales reps will be able to get the information they need to close deals and provide a better experience for customers.
3. Create Valuable Relationships With Prospects
Sales enablement is also about creating meaningful relationships with prospects. A sales rep who builds a strong relationship with a prospect is more likely to close a deal than one who doesn’t.
By investing in sales enablement, you’ll create an environment where salespeople and customers naturally build better bonds. As a result, it will lead to more sales and a higher return on investment for your company.
4. Provide a Reason to Follow Up With Prospects
When you provide sales reps with the data they need, you’re also giving them a reason to follow up with prospects. By following up with prospects, sales reps can keep them updated on new products, services, and promotions.
It’s important to note that sales enablement is not about hard selling. It’s about building relationships and providing value. However, if you can provide sales reps with a reason to follow up with prospects, you’ll get one step closer to closing more sales.
5. Increase Revenue
Finally, sales enablement can help you increase revenue. The content, tools, and training you’re providing your sales team must result in more sales at the end of the day. Taking the time to invest in sales enablement and improving sales team performance will result in closing more deals.
How To Use Both Sales Enablement and Content Marketing
While it’s important to understand the concepts around sales enablement vs content marketing, as well as their benefits, you need to know how to put these processes to practical use.
How To Use Content Marketing
An effective way to create a successful content marketing plan is to decide which content types to use and when to use them. What follows are five types of content your marketing team can employ.
1. Blog posts: A blog post is where most content marketing plans begin. As mentioned above, combining outstanding website content with search engine marketing strategies will help get your content to the top of the search engines.
Take the time to understand your best fit avatar. Then, conduct keyword research to uncover how your prospects search for answers to problems. Write blog content that agitates those problems. On each blog post, offer a lead magnet that invites your prospect to join your subscriber list.
2. Case studies: Case studies are an excellent way to show off your company’s successes. They help build trust by providing potential customers with examples of how you’ve helped other companies like theirs. To maximize their value, make sure to include numbers that prospects can relate to and use persuasive language.
3. Podcasts: A relatively newer content type, podcasts are a great way to reach a wider audience. They’re perfect for busy people who want to consume content on the go. All you need is a microphone and some free recording software to get started. Then, once you’ve recorded and edited your episodes, upload them to iTunes or another podcast directory.
4. Videos: Videos represent an excellent way to humanize your brand. They work to show off your products and services in action. When creating videos, it’s important to keep them short, sweet, and to the point. The best videos are under two minutes long. Also, make sure to include a call to action at the end of each video.
You should also use webinars as a part of your video content plan. A webinar provides an opportunity to teach, build trust, and then flow participants into your company’s call booking process.
5. How-to guides: How-to guides show off your company’s expertise. They provide value by teaching readers how to do something they might be struggling with. Start with a problem and then offer a step-by-step solution to maximize their effectiveness. You can use how-to guides as blog posts, podcasts, or even videos.
How To Use Sales Enablement
Now that you understand how sales enablement can improve sales team performance, it’s time to put those concepts into action. Here are five sales enablement tips.
1. Train your sales reps: The first step in using sales enablement is to train your sales reps. The best way to do this is to provide sales reps with training materials.
These materials should include templates, sales playbooks, and sales training courses. Ensure that the sales team remains up-to-date on the latest features and benefits of your products and services.
2. Create content for each stage of the sales funnel: The sales funnel is the process that sales reps use to take a prospect from lead to customer. To close more sales, you need to create content for each stage of the sales funnel. This content should include blog posts, case studies, webinars, and how-to guides.
For example, use a case study when a prospect needs additional proof about your product’s results while on a sales call. If a salesperson knows they can use a strong case study or other types of content to help close sales, their overall confidence will rise.
3. Create email templates: The last thing you want your salespeople getting bogged down in is creating new email follow-up content for each prospect. Writing a winning email is a tedious task. Too many salespeople in most companies waste time writing out personalized emails after every sales call.
Take time to write email templates for various situations and enter them into the CRM used by the sales team. Doing this will speed up the time it takes for a salesperson to send off the how-to guide or case study discussed on the sales call.
Keep these templates rigid to improve speed. At the same time, allow flexibility so that salespeople can make them personalized to each prospect. Organize these email templates based on each potential situation and ensure your sales team knows how to find them quickly. It will help each salesperson get to the next call faster.
4. Qualify leads properly: Nothing deflates a salesperson more than getting on calls with unqualified leads. Use sales enablement CRM software to score leads. Doing so will help you direct the best leads into your call booking process.
You can use sales enablement software such as HubSpot to score leads automatically. Or, you might look into Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Moreover, sales reps should use a sales script when qualifying leads on calls. The sales script should include questions about a prospect’s budget, timeline, and decision-making process.
5. Use data to improve sales performance: Sales enablement is all about using data to improve sales performance. Use data from your CRM software to track the progress of sales reps. Doing so will help you identify sales representatives who need more training.
The best sales enablement software allows you to generate reports to create standardized reporting to most effectively assess the performance of your sales team. These reports might include the following.
- Lead conversion rates
- Close rates
- Leads generated by specific salespeople
- The average size of each deal
- Number of executed presentations
Additionally, use data to improve your sales process. You need to monitor how well prospects flow through the sales process to become clients.
For example, if you notice that most deals get lost at the proposal stage, you can create content specifically for that stage of the sales funnel. Or, you may need to provide additional objection training if you see that you’re squeezing a small number of sales out of a large number of sales calls.
The more you audit these reports, the more efficiency you’ll create inside the sales funnel. Doing so should help you generate higher close rates, build more productive salespeople, and increase overall ROI.
Sales enablement vs content marketing. You now know that both represent important methods for attracting leads and closing sales. Each process offers unique benefits to help your company achieve its sales goals.
By using sales enablement tools and strategies, you can improve the efficiency of your sales team and close more sales. Likewise, employing a strategic content marketing plan will help you attract more leads and build trust with your prospects. Ultimately, using both sales enablement and content marketing will allow you to achieve the best results.
Do you have any questions about sales enablement or content marketing? Then, we invite you to contact our experts at Nimbletoad to help you optimize both strategies inside your business.
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