Surprisingly, 71% of salespeople say they lack the necessary knowledge to sell better and increase their close rates. While the concept of enabling sales to sell better is not new, defining it as a fully realized strategy is. By identifying it as such, companies are in a much better position to define their end-to-end sales process and align their marketing and sales teams in order to achieve that.
And it works — 59% of companies that exceeded revenue targets in 2015 have an established sales enablement operation.
The specifics of how companies are enabling their sales teams to close more deals depends on their goals. For many, it’s about using the best software tools. For some, it’s about training. For me (and my team at PandaDoc), it’s all of the above plus a vital component overlooked by most of the businesses — sales content.
I believe that delivering engaging, relevant content to prospective customers will beat out the competition and close deals faster. This is often a joint effort between sales and marketing — both teams need to work together to understand their business landscape and create content that speaks directly to their prospective customers.
Here are 4 ways to drive more deals through content:
1. Reusable Templates for Proposals, Quotes, and Contracts
Transactional documents — proposals, quotes, contracts, and more — are often a necessary evil for sales teams. And while most sales reps hate how much time they take to put together (finding the correct client info, copy-and-pasting from older versions, etc.), the bigger concern is that they’re often boring and ineffective.
By creating templates the entire sales team can use, it not only cuts down on the time it takes to put them together, but it also creates consistent messaging. Your sales team shouldn’t be sending out collateral that’s inconsistent with each other. They should be working with marketing to create templates that corresponds and aligns with marketing’s efforts.
Marketing can also help develop templates that really “pop” visually. Standing out from the pack means just that — delivering a business proposal, contract, or quote that catches their eye immediately.
PandaDoc has a library of templates to give you a jump start.
The following are other types of content to develop and leverage, and which sales reps can include in their templates.
2. Beat Out the Competition with Battle Cards
It’s marketing’s job to understand the competition, but it’s sales’ job to sell why you’re the better fit. Sales is also the front lines of your business, so they know how people view you vs. your competitors. That’s why they need to work together to develop “battle cards” — content that educates and differentiates you from your competitors, and gives sales ammo to get the deal done.
Again, this creates consistent messaging across your organization, but they also let each sales rep personalize their pitch for each prospect. Tell them exactly why you’re the better solution for their specific needs.
When marketing and sales work together to better understand the competition, it creates stronger messaging and closes more deals by staying ahead of the game.
3. Let Your Customers Do the Selling
The best advocates for your product are those that are actually using it — your customers. But developing case studies isn’t just about letting your customers speak for you. A prospect is much more likely to become a customer when they see a case study (or a few) that’s directly related to them.
Marketing needs to develop a vast number of case studies that speaks to every kind of client you have, whether it’s by industry, company size, or specific use case. Sales can help identify current customers who are the biggest champions of your product. Marketing can highlight the areas where case studies are lacking. Together, both teams can develop engaging narratives that really illustrate the problems your product solves.
There’s a few items you should make sure to include when putting together a case study:
Create a narrative. What problem were they looking to solve and how did your product or service provide that solution?
Get specific with quotes. Let the client speak directly about how they saw improvements with your product or service.
Quantify with data points. Get to the point with specific data points. How are they quantifying the results they’re seeing? Are they saving time? Have they seen an increase in their business?
Include information about the client. Put what industry they’re in, the size of their company, and any other information that would be relevant to prospective clients. Someone in the technology field probably won’t find a case study about an HR organization relevant or useful.
When a prospect is wondering whether your product is the best solution, they’d rather hear it from someone who had a similar problem, not the person trying to make a sale.
4. Show, Don’t Tell, with Videos.
It’s 2016, so why are you still selling the same way your grandparents did in 1916? We live in the digital era with so many possibilities to sell better and stand out from the crowd. The simplest one to implement? Videos.
Would you rather receive a proposal that just lists what the product is and why you should use it, or would you rather watch a short video that actually shows you how it works?
You can include videos that go beyond just illustrating what your product can do.
Here are a couple examples of videos you can include in your proposals, quotes, or contracts:
Create video testimonials with your clients. As I said above, your customers are your best spokespeople. Include ones that are relevant to the current prospect, and let them see and hear all the wonderful things they have to say about you.
Introduce the team members who will be working with your clients. This shows off your company’s personality by putting faces to names. Let your prospects meet who will be working with them.
Videos make your proposals, contracts, and quotes interactive, meaning your prospects are much more likely to actually interact with them.
Mikita Mikado is the Co-Founder & CEO of PandaDoc, a platform helping sales teams create, deliver, and track intelligent sales content to close deals faster. To learn more about simplifying your sales documents, connect with Mikita and the PandaDoc team on Twitter, and LinkedIn.