Why You Need B2B Sales Enablement Content and 15 Content Types That Deliver Results
If you still sell the way you did 10 years ago, it was nice knowing you. 😅 Outdated selling strategies are a surefire way to drain the life out of your business.
Buyers have become more savvy and seek out lots of information before finally making a purchase. That’s why B2B sales enablement content is critical to moving business buyers through the sales funnel.
Sales enablement has seen a 343% adoption growth in recent years, so you need to be on this train or get left behind. Discover the types of content that your sales team needs and how to overcome the challenges you’ll face with your B2B sales enablement strategy.
- B2B sales enablement content helps your salespeople have the training and resources to engage prospects for higher conversions.
- B2B sales enablement content also helps you differentiate your brand from competitors, align your teams, and simplify the buying process.
- The best types of sales enablement content include blogs, case studies, ebooks, webinars, and white papers.
- You need to develop strategies that overcome the common challenges of using sales enablement content, such as hesitation or resistance from the team.
What B2B Sales Enablement Content Does for Your Organization
The current concept of sales enablement started way back when everyone was freaking out about Y2K in 1999. The world began to shrink as the internet made access to products and information easier than ever.
In the old days, a salesperson could more easily get away with being a smooth talker or simply selling on a relationship. While a personal connection with prospects is still important in the digital era, substance has become just as necessary as style.
Fortunately, you can help your sales team deliver both with high-quality B2B sales enablement content. Such content refers to print or digital materials that help sellers close deals.
The marketing team is usually the force behind the creation of such materials. These articles, pamphlets, brochures, presentations, and books motivate well-educated buyers toward the end of the funnel to convert.
The Many Benefits of Great B2B Sales Enablement Content
B2B sales enablement content delivers many other benefits on the way to those all-important conversions. Your company as a whole gets stronger as processes improve and support closing more sales.
Differentiate Yourself From the Competition
B2B sales enablement content is usually individualized material that can express your brand voice even more distinctly than your regular content marketing. These materials are much more difficult for your competitors to copy and help you stand out from the crowd.
Establish Thought Leadership
Everything about your company may look good on the surface level to a prospect. However, B2B sales enablement content leans even more heavily into hard facts and examples that demonstrate proof that your solution works.
You build your credibility with attractive and well-written pieces that showcase your value to cautious B2B buyers. As a result, clients are more likely to see you as a consultant and come to you for answers and advice.
Leave a Strong Impression
It used to take seven impressions in marketing to get a conversion. Now, it feels like it takes 77.
The power of physical materials is the ability to leave something with your prospects that they can take to other stakeholders as convincing reasons to invest in you. As the individual revisits your B2B sales enablement content, the person will have a deeper impression of your work.
Leaving something behind for self-education is even more important as your competitors are trying to swoop in when you’re not around. Dedicated sales materials keep you in the room when discussions about your service or industry come up.
Simplify the Buying and Selling Process
Remember, sales (and marketing) have a tough act. They’re not the ones making the product, but buyers expect them to understand it as well as the technical team behind the scenes.
When you’re in the B2B space, you may have complex products and services that are hard to explain to professionals in a different industry. A simple process with helpful B2B sales enablement content assists your salespeople in quickly addressing comments, concerns, and confusion and seeing the process to the end.
These materials do a lot to uncomplicate things for buyers. A straightforward process can be a strong motivator for a purchaser to finally pull the trigger.
Attract More Educated and Engaged Buyers
Smarter customers mean better customers. People who understand the value of a good thing will gladly pay for it because they see the ROI.
Instead of nickel-and-diming you over trivial matters, these well-informed clients see the value of investing in your solutions and sticking with them. Plus, the digital format allows you to make content interactive, engaging the buyers even more.
Align Your Teams
Written B2B sales enablement content provides an easy reference for your sales and marketing team and reduces confusion. You can pinpoint where someone is making a mistake in the pipeline or where you need to improve as an organization.
Get Better Customer Data
Most materials will be digital, meaning you can track their effectiveness more easily than with print copies. Opens, clicks, and forms help you understand your target audience and improve your products, services, and future content.
How B2B Sales Enablement Materials and Content Marketing Complement Each Other
Here at MIG, we’re squarely in the content marketing field, so you might not think we know much about B2B sales enablement content. However, the two relate to each other in important ways.
Primarily, a solid content marketing strategy helps you generate better sales enablement materials with:
- Topics and content you can repurpose
- Continual production that promotes consistency of brand tone and personality
- Analytics about what’s getting traction so you know what to create and who to target
We’ve helped clients create a fair share of sales enablement content, like white papers and ebooks. With a strategic approach, we’ve helped B2B companies multiply their leads and conversions.
True, your internal B2B sales enablement content, such as playbooks and buyer personas, might require the help of an instructional design consultant. However, your written customer-facing content is in good hands with a team like ours.
15 Types of B2B Sales Enablement Content You Should Create
Take a look at a quick rundown of the different kinds of B2B sales enablement content that can help your team. (The first 12 are items your customer will see and use, while the last three are internal documents for your team.)
1. Consistent High-Quality Blogs
Your regular blog posts meet prospects where they are and give them the information they want wherever they are in the sales funnel. When smart buyers want to learn something, they’re obviously going to search online first.
(I mean, LMGTFY [“Let me Google that for you”] was a popular snarky meme for a reason.)
Solve problems and demonstrate thought leadership consistently with your blog posts. Great blogs can reinforce what you share with a lead after a demo and even be practical education for your sales team.
2. Case Studies
Social proof with statistics is powerfully persuasive. For example, did you know that Televerde saw a 65% spike in online leads and a 17% boost in conversions after working with MIG for content marketing?
We use data like that in our case studies and for our customers to demonstrate value to prospects. With a case study, you give more than a glowing testimonial about your brand; you prove it with specifics.
Case studies don’t always have to be written articles either. You can make a thoroughly engaging infographic that works wonders as B2B sales enablement content.
3. White Papers
If you desire sophisticated and academic B2B sales enablement content, opt for creating a white paper. White papers are a close cousin to case studies because they often include real-world examples.
This infographic gives great pointers on making effective infographics.
However, these documents lean more into research and stats and often use a few well-placed block quotes to make the main points pop. Check out how Intermedia, one of our best clients, created an attractive and authoritative white paper for its recently launched archiving service.
Ebooks are the grandaddy of thought leadership and a powerful piece of B2B sales enablement content. Few types of content can show how committed you are to your business than a book.
It’s easier than ever to self-publish, and you can make your ebook as short or as long as you’d like. So give it a shot!
You can also get really creative with these. I’m super proud of my books (“The Content Formula” and “Mean People Suck”), which I’m willing to provide for free to anyone who books a complimentary consultation.
Don’t worry about trying to sound like Shakespeare. Write the way people talk and include effective visuals to keep the reader’s attention.
A quick note: You can find writing services and software using artificial intelligence that claims to write your book for you. However, AI is a legal minefield for creators, and you may not have a copyright claim to anything you create through generative tools.
However, with a ghostwriter, you can provide the structure and outline and get something that’s 100% yours. Consider human collaboration in lieu of AI generation.
5. Webinars and Seminars
Hone your speaking skills and educate others at an in-person event or webinar. This method is another one of my favorite types of B2B sales enablement content.
(Check out my sizzle reel for proof!)
Just like with your written content, have some lively pictures and graphics to illustrate your points and retain attention. Another reason to speak publicly before an audience is you’ll get live feedback on what engages others.
Testimonials still work, and you should try to get as many as you can with clients who fall within your target audience. This is the baby brother of the case study, and you can do it well with a brief text snippet or video.
Intermedia does a marvelous job with this as well. Its YouTube channel highlights the experience of customers who benefit from its unified communications as a service.
7. Explainer Videos
Videos are still an extremely effective marketing tool and a potent form of B2B sales enablement content. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then moving pictures are worth a million.
Explainer videos are particularly effective when you have a product that is complex and needs an explanation for how to use it. Partnering with relevant micro-influencers to sponsor or create this content can be another great way to grab attention.
You don’t have to be the on-screen talent, either. Services exist that make it easy to create animations or put licensed videos and appropriate text to your narration.
8. One-Page Sell Sheets
Create bright and colorful sell sheets that spotlight product features. These pages are great for existing customers when you’re kicking off a new product or upselling.
You can also create company sales one-pagers that serve as an elevator pitch for your brand. Quickly provide your unique value proposition on a physical or digital page when you can’t verbally.
9. Online Brochures
Digital brochures are even better than hard copies because you don’t have to pay to print them and can add interactive elements. Hyperlinks and calls to action can send the reader straight to your site to convert as a perfect piece of B2B sales enablement content.
10. Email Templates
Help your sales team spend less time on grammar and message structure with templates and editing software. Then, reps can focus more on personalizing messages for prospects, which gets higher open rates and responses.
11. Sales Decks
The idea of a Powerpoint makes eyes roll because they often suck. However, sales decks still work IF you use them correctly.
Focus on talking points that will excite your leads and your team. Arrange slides in a logical order and end with a strong call to action that can be about further lead development and not simply closing a sale.
Proposals are a brochure that breaks down your plan for how you and a specific client can collaborate. It’s similar to your company sales one-pager, but you tailor the information to a specific client.
(The following sections are types of B2B sales enablement content that you’ll only use internally.)
13. Sales Playbooks and Battle Cards
A playbook is your guide for how your reps should handle prospecting and sales calls. Battle cards are cheat sheets that tell reps what to do when they find themselves in a tight spot.
14. Customer Personas
Personas should be brief breakdowns that explain who the ideal customer is and what their critical pain points are. Have the sales and marketing teams work together to create personas that don’t suck.
15. Customer Journey Maps
Collect data to determine the typical journey for your ideal customer. Then visualize that progress through the funnel with a copy of a customer journey map.
Common Challenges You’ll Face With B2B Sales Enablement Content
You can’t just create B2B sales enablement content and expect it to solve all of your sales problems. Like any of your sales and marketing, you need a strategy that prepares for obstacles, including the following.
Getting Cooperation Between Sales and Marketing
Sales and marketing departments have to work as a team to create great B2B sales enablement content. Salespeople need to openly and respectfully communicate what they need, and marketers need to accept feedback and refine the content as necessary.
More companies are creating dedicated sales enablement departments to meet this challenge. However, you may not be able to do this yet as a small or mid-sized enterprise.
Still, at a minimum, you should delegate specific sales enablement roles and responsibilities among your team. As your company grows, expand these assignments.
If you want your sales enablement strategy to stick, you need to define the metrics that show results and regularly collect and consider that data. Build a martech stack that helps you monitor how prospects move through the sales funnel and their engagement level.
Also, a customer relationship management platform is critical, and sales enablement platforms can facilitate content management, training, reporting, and insights. Solid data demonstrates what B2B sales enablement content to use and how.
Getting Full Buy-In From Sales Teams
Sales teams can earn a bad reputation for being all about the action and not doing the boring work of following company-approved processes. Failure to stick to the script makes it harder for your organization to create a repeatable methodology for sustained success.
Design training programs that start with accessible and engaging onboarding. Then, plan continuous instruction that takes into account your latest data to improve how the team uses your B2B sales enablement content.
Need Help Creating B2B Sales Enablement Content?
You probably don’t have any extra time in your day to start creating top-notch B2B sales enablement content. However, MIG can assist with producing high-quality materials that deliver maximum ROI.
Take a look at which plan in our Content Builder Services is right for you! You can also schedule a free consultation to discuss a strategy and find out more about how we can help.