It’s an understatement to say that the B2B buyer journey has changed over the last few years. In the past, sales reps have held all answers, but today, consumers are doing their research before they even think about filling out a ‘contact us’ form. In other words, they’re already product experts and familiar with your competitors.

So, before you create sales enablement tools and content, how should you be thinking about it?

As a result, the sales enablement landscape has changed too. Rather than equipping sales reps with beautiful presentations and sales assets, you need to empower them with the know-how to respond to questions quickly and think on their feet.

One of the biggest questions that comes up among sales enablement leaders involves what to create and why. If not beautiful sales decks, then what?

Ask yourself the following 3 questions for guidance.

1 - What are the biggest points of friction that sales reps have with new prospects?

If you’re trying to figure out where to start and what to create, look for your lowest hanging points of opportunity: the areas in which your sales team is struggling.

It could be the case that your sales reps are struggling to answer certain questions (i.e. product and implementation details) on the fly. It might also be the case that inbound inquiries are coming from advocates rather than decision makers—in which case, you’ll want to create sales enablement assets that your advocates can share and comment upon internally.

Outline the points of friction that your sales reps are experiencing, and identify pieces of content that can help your sales reps move forward. Imagine that you’re a teacher and that you’re helping your audience work through a very specific challenge.

2 - What do your prospects’ decision cycles involve?

Due diligence is an important part of every sales process. Before your prospect decides to work with you, he or she will need to conduct an internal audit to secure budget and ensure technical feasibility. Sales enablement assets will be critical during this stage.

Figure out what your prospects need to make their best decisions. Start by identifying what topics they’re finding challenging or confusing. Perhaps they have questions about your IT compliance process, for instance.

Create content around the biggest questions that your prospects are asking. Make their lives easier throughout the due diligence process by empowering them with immediate answers to the questions they’re asking.

3 - What information can sales reps use to enhance conversations?

Now that prospects are self-directing their own conversations, sales leaders are taking on entirely new roles as consultants. Instead of selling, sales reps need to operate as consultants—providing case studies and offering solutions to very specific pain points.

Human beings, however, are the polar opposites of encyclopedias. It can be challenging to respond to specific questions in depth, with anecdotes, on the fly.  Sales enablement teams can help by creating resources with skimmable, easy-to-access information. Create a library of content that your sales reps can easily search, scan, copy, and incorporate into everyday conversations. Here are some types of content that teams typically find helpful:

  • Summaries of case studies

  • Lists of typical challenges

  • Stats around the ways that your product improves performance

  • Vertical-specific applications of your product

  • Customer lists and stories around successful implementations

  • Realistic metrics and anecdotes around onboarding

Sales enablement leaders should make this information very easy to read, digest, and further research. You might consider implementing onboarding programs and sharing regular updates with your sales team.

The bottom line

Today’s sales teams need information, in the moment, to support ongoing conversations. Because today’s prospects are self-guided, sales reps will benefit from advanced material with concrete, tangible details about your company’s ROI. Empower your organization to operate more like consultants and less like sales reps—this approach will allow your team to better understand and empathize with your prospects’ needs.

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