Ten things to do this week for sales enablementBest practices to attract and capture higher quality inbound leads
We’ve heard a lot about the frustration of sales teams in the past few months.
Building relationships builds business. Remember when we met someone at a trade show, got to know someone over a coffee, pitched to a room full of people and had a discussion about how to best serve them? We’ve been missing this for more than half a year. A CEO we know reported some of his salespeople are showing signs of depression from being grounded from travel and unable to be in a room with their clients.
What’s replaced our precious time in cultivating relationships (other than loneliness) is a general feeling of unease about sales and marketing pipelines.
The silver lining is that this is the best time to review and perfect your inbound prospect efforts. These efforts can be ignored in good times, when it’s “business as usual” and salespeople are producing.
Working together with your sales team, you can start to refine your approach to a virtual relationship with your prospects and customers. If you get this right now, you’ll be stronger heading into the eventual upswing — with sales enablement processes and assets in place that are already producing results.
Here are 10 ways to improve sales enablement when traditional outreach has been upended:
Collect data to inform your sales enablement needs
- Listen to the sales pitch. This sounds so simple, but it’s amazing how disconnected marketing and sales teams can be when they work on the same floor — after 6 months at home, my gut says the gap is wider than ever. Take 1.5 hours with your top salesperson to listen to their pitch and discuss with them recent objections they are getting. Then brainstorm how content could help overcome these objections earlier in the process. The closer you can be to your sales team, the better your marketing will become.
- Review your website analytics for the areas of highest conversion into your database (or into another high-value capture point). Why is that point of capture working? Try to mimic the conditions in other high-volume places if you can (for example, look at your top 25 most trafficked pages and implement different CTAs or offer different assets on those pages if the conversion rate is lower than your best conversion rate).
- Work with analytics to understand predictors for a sale. Are there certain digital behaviors prospects exhibit before they become customers? What type of content are they consuming, and would it make sense to create more of that type of content? What type of buyers are converting in a digital environment and why? How do we expand to other buyers?
Review your sales enablement content assets:
- Take a hard look at your lead generation content assets. Is your content valuable enough to prompt a customer to transact their data? To be so, it must be unique and actionable. For this step, look at the bounce rate on the page itself — if most people are getting to the page and not converting into a lead, something must be adjusted.
- Conduct a review of lead nurturing content. I see plenty of huge orgs get an email address and immediately try to convert that lead into a sale — literally a pricing email sent the next day. For many buyers, this just isn’t that helpful and can actually be a turn-off. For this review, take a look at the rates of engagement on your different emails, and consider a test approach with higher value content to see if you can increase engagement.
Improve your existing content (and potentially create new content):
- Revisit recent pieces you thought would get more inbound interest and rewrite the headlines and re-promote them. I’ve seen 100x swings in performance with better headlines alone.
- Review recent customer-facing research and deconstruct it. Research reports can be powerful sales tools, but buyers rarely have the time to sit with a massive PDF and scour it. Help them by producing social objects with killer graphics, posts of 5-10 research takeaways, a visual sales deck that integrates the research, even a poster of top trends informing 2021 that you could send to clients.
- Develop a plan to get value out of virtual events. Salespeople are used to events being relationship-builders, but the virtual environment means that requires a lot more work on your end. Prioritize events where you can get an attendee list and begin offering that list content that’s helpful to them through your CRM. If you’re speaking at the event, deconstruct your presentation and promote it through your own channels. Offer to deliver it privately to client teams. Try to get the most mileage out of that work that you can.
- Develop a content series focused on helping your customers get through the winter of discontent. The pandemic is promising to be brutal for people and businesses alike. Dedicate a content series specifically to helping your customers get through the winter — include practical tips from your experts to reinforce your ability to help.
- Create content that your sales team can use when they talk to prospects. Maybe your sales team needs help engaging on social media, or re-engaging prospective customers who have ghosted them, or explaining a complex system in a meeting. These micro-level solutions can be scaled across your team and be helpful to everyone.
We may be grounded, but many transactions are still moving forward thanks to digital channels. Refining your sales enablement content strategy doesn’t have to be a major project, but it does need to get moving quickly. We recommend going with a few of these pilot ideas above to get your feet wet. And if you’re overwhelmed, we’re here to take on some of this work.
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