enable rep right content timeHow does this happen? It starts with the Marketing departments buyer centered marketing strategy. In this post, I’ll discuss 5 critical actions that need to take place to enable your sales force. Doing so will assist your reps to spot where their prospects are in their buyers journey. They can then locate the right marketing collateral needed assist in the buying process. Ultimately the content will pull the buyer through their buying process.  Ideally the content also provides the rep the right talk track to emphasize.

 

5 Steps to Enable Reps with the Right Content at the Right Time

 

1. Create/Update Your Buyer Personas:  

Great content is based on research captured in Buyer Personas.  Personas are representations of who your buyers are and what they are trying to accomplish.  Knowing what goals drive their behavior is key to selling to them.  You need content that resonates with your buyers.  Even if you have built personas, you must constantly update them.  This is because buying behavior is changing at a rapid pace.   If you don’t keep pace with your buyers, your competitors will outpace you. (Download my toolkit below that includes a Buyer Persona Assessment Tool.)

 

2. Build Buying Process Maps (BPM):

Buying Process Map’s plot the Prospects decision-making process used to purchase a product or service. It provides the sales team a blueprint to identify where Buyers are in their process. This map immediately aligns the Seller to the Buyer. When content is mapped to every step along the Buyers journey, reps are enabled.

 

buying process map components

 

Having this content at the Reps finger tips is instrumental to making a deal. This is how a rep can deliver the right message at the right time. Also included in the toolkit below is a Buying Process Map Template. It breaks down the steps to creating a BPM which is:

 

    1. Identifying the Buying Phases
    2. Defining Key Buyer Actions
    3. Identifying Questions Buyer’s Asks in each Stage
    4. Recognizing the Exit Criteria

     

3. Map & Audit Your Content Against the BPM:

With a completed BPM, the next step is to map and audit your content.  The purpose of the exercise is to identify existing content.  The content is rated based on whether its updated and it’s inward vs. outward focus.  Quality content moves a prospect along the decision making process. The content that enables your rep for success when identifying a prospect on the BPM.

 

This critical exercise also reveals gaps in content.  The missing content needed by the sales team. Opportunities are missed until this content is produced.

 

4. Produce BPM Content:

All future pieces of content output should be based on the BPM. Create a content schedule to fulfil every piece of the BPM that has no content. Generally, marketing teams struggle with producing content. Most immediately turn to outsourcing. However, outsourced content usually misses the mark.  It is simply is not infused with deep domain knowledge. I previously wrote how internal resources are the hidden gem to producing content. Strong internal content utilizes personnel from Sales, Marketing, and Product Development. When trained and armed with the battle-tested tools, an Internal Content Marketing team can produce high quality content consistently. A 3rd party will never know the customer like your internal team. (Read our eBook on Creating Great Content Quickly, included in the toolkit below.)

 

5. Keep the BPM Updated:

Continually seek feedback and test the BPM out in the field. Require the field to interview, observe and report on key personas. You should be validating your BMP on a monthly or quarterly basis. Supply sales with a mechanism to provide regular feedback on content assets. 

 

Key Takeaway:

Marketing is responsible for developing content resources for sales teams. World-class marketing is buyer centered which includes developing Buyer Personas and Buying Process Maps.  It is key to enabling sales reps with the right content at the right time. Marketers investing heavily in content creation need to follow the 5 step process above. This is critical to aligning content to your buyers. This BPM content enables your Sales Reps and advances sales conversations. Download The Enablement Toolkit now to get started.

 

The Enablement Toolkit

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John Koehler

Helps clients adopt emerging best practices so they can make their number.
Learn more about John Koehler >

John has been with SBI since 2011. He has worked with executives in Executive Education, Media, Telco, IT Services, and others. Under his leadership, organizations have successfully grown revenue and improved sales and marketing effectiveness. With a focus on aligning strategies across functions, John has delivered strategic solutions that are actionable and executable. Prior to SBI, John earned his MBA from the University of Notre Dame.

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