The 3 critical sales tools to make right now to jumpstart your sales enablement library

More and more B2B marketers are turning their focus to sales enablement content, or collaborating with product marketing to create valuable content for sales. And this is a really, really good thing. Because some companies, desperate to help Sales, simply throw content made for their inbound marketing efforts onto a sales portal along with some email templates—and call it enablement.
The thing is: the B2B buying process has evolved so radically that marketing content no longer suffices as selling content.

Meanwhile, you watch as your account execs cobble together their own cringe-worthy sales presentations, just winging it with cut-and-paste messaging.

But it takes time and effort to equip reps for a complex sales journey.

You can’t fix it all right now. But you have to start somewhere.

Instead of trying to tackle every part of the purchasing journey all at once, you can help Sales have dramatically more valuable conversations by getting started with a few crucial tools. 

The top 3 most critical sales tools to start a sales enablement content library

Critical Sales Tool #1: Solution playbook

The solution playbook deeply familiarizes the rep with the overall solution strategy and how it fits in the prospects’ business—but doesn’t overwhelm them with exhaustive, encyclopedic technical facts.

Key Ingredients:

  • Sales play snapshot(s)
    • Target customer/buyer profile
    • Selling scenarios and strategies
    • Problem-solution fit
    • Landmine navigation
  • Solution summary
    • Features & benefits
    • Common objection handling
    • Top-level competitive landscape
    • Proof points
How it helps immediately:
  • Provides big-picture business strategy
  • Gives account execs confidence to start a conversation
  • Feeds many other bite-sized sales materials that can in turn flesh out your sales enablement content
  • Creating it instigates tight collaboration among sales enablement, product marketing, training and sales

Critical Sales Tool #2: Messaging guide

A messaging guide made for sales (rather than for marketing) aids the rep in articulating a compelling discussion to navigate each selling situation—but results in business-oriented dialog rather than scripted one-liners or unnatural language.

Key Ingredients:

  • Sales message framework
    • Elevator pitch—setup and payoff
    • Common-ground situation analysis
    • Problems/challenges/pain points
    • Pillar statements mapped to solution capabilities
  • Deeper discussion
    • Probing questions
    • Connective insights
    • Specific, differentiated revelation (no-one else can claim)
    • Targeted value propositions
How it helps immediately:
  • Using insights gives sales reps more credibility
  • Fuels creation of other sales tools (presentations, prezis, business insight briefs)
  • Insights, pain points, solution capabilities, and differentiators can fill a content marketing editorial calendar with topics for a year
  • Suitable wording for discussion in natural language means sales will actually use our messaging

Critical Sales Tool #3: Trick answer: Talk to Sales

OK, so this one is not an asset you deliver – but will give you critical assistance in creating your sales enablement content. The trick? Find out from Sales where the majority of their deals are stalling and create the tools that fill that gap. Here are some examples of where deals may stall, and what tool may be useful to restart the opportunity.

Stalling point 1: prospects don’t see solution relevance to business

  • Stage: introduction
  • Tool: diagnosis

Stalling point 2: prospects find it difficult to connect solution to their needs

  • Stage: interest
  • Tool: use cases, case studies

Stalling point 3: only advocates on buying committee ever buy in

  • Stage: consideration
  • Tool: objection handlers, webinar

Stalling point 4: buyer committee is exploring other solutions on the market

  • Stage: evaluation
  • Tool: competitive flash cards

Tools not leads

HINT: When you have this conversation with Sales, don’t let them tell you the problem is not enough leads or poor quality leads.

That’s a very important conversation for Sales and Marketing to have, and one of the most fundamental issues to align on.

But if certain deals are starting and subsequently stalling, that’s not a leads problem. It’s a selling problem. And your Sales Enablement content can help.

Take the next step.

Download our complete Sales Enablement Marketer’s Starter Kit including the 3 Critical Tools at-a-glance plus three additional sales tool guides, and take command of outfitting your reps with the tools, materials, and content they need for the entire sales journey.

Download your Sales Enablement starter kit here.