Why Every Sales Team Needs Proactive Content

Chances are your organization has set its sights high for increasing win rates in 2016. According to a recent study by RAIN Group, in order to reach these new quotas, three of the top four sales priorities in 2016 are “optimizing the sales process, improving the sales opportunity approach, and communicating value.”

Each of these functions rely on one major component: content.

We often get asked what makes for great content–we even wrote an eBook on the subject–and while great content has some very specific assets, great sales enablement content relies on one encompassing trait to be effective in increasing those win rates. It must be proactive.

We’re all familiar with reactive sales strategies and the content and materials that go with them–your sales associate listens attentively and waits for the prospect to ask questions, and then he looks up the answer. There is and should be a place for this practice in sales, and when your team is armed with strong sales enablement solutions that provide just-in-time access to answers at their fingertips, reactive content can play a strong role in supporting the sale. But who is steering the ship in this exercise?

Sales processes are longer than they’ve ever been, and prospects are increasingly looking for partners in solving business problems–partners who bring solutions to the table. If your sales team isn’t armed with these proactive solutions, they’re likely to run into a stalled sale.

So, what is proactive sales content?

Proactive sales content is informed.

Sales prospects know when your reps are painting with a broad brush. A better understanding of your buyer personas will help you understand your target and make sure you are providing value messaging that seals the deal.

In order to come up with detailed buyer personas for your prospects, spend time talking to your current customers. Break them down into identifiable segments to come up with a representative character sketch for each type of customer, focusing on a typical demographic profile that includes age, location, job title and function, what drives them, and what problems they may be facing in their current role. Prepare proactive content that makes prospects feel as though it was cultivated just for them.

Additionally, it’s important to understand what content your sales reps are using, and what is being passed over. With these insights you can keep the content that’s working, and improve upon or scrap what’s not.

Proactive sales content is collaborative and consistent across all channels.

Content that speaks to the needs of both marketing and sales isn’t difficult to discover, but optimizing this knowledge for both departments can often prove tricky. Today’s technology tells us that it doesn’t have to be. With collaborative authoring, making changes and updates is simple, and you can ensure that your team always has access to the most up-to-date information regarding products and prospects.

Better yet, when sales and marketing are in sync, collaborating on content becomes part of the process. When marketing nails it on messaging and discovers that it is really working within their own outreach, that messaging can prove to be a great tool for sales. Likewise, the sales team is on the ground and has a refined idea of what resonates and what doesn’t with targets. Enabling this high-level communication across departments and sales teams allows for real-time creativity and collaboration, while still maintaining a consistent, on-brand message.

Proactive sales content is customized to the prospect.

Buyers don’t want or need to know every detail about your product in order for your sales team to close the deal. To the contrary, massive amounts of irrelevant information are more likely to make a buyer walk away. It’s too difficult for prospects to figure out what’s relevant when feature after feature keeps on coming, and buyers might as well go find a highly targeted product that meets their needs better.

Proactive content offers only the most valuable information, demonstrating exactly how the product solves the problem. Your team will have plenty of time to fill in gaps with more proactive content as the sale continues, but dazzle them out of the gates.

Proactive sales content is designed for the user.

Whatever the quality of your organization’s content, if it isn’t easily accessible to the right person at the right time, it may as well be in a file cabinet back at the office. Today’s content is designed for the mobile workforce: It’s modern, up-to-date, interactive, and searchable. Responsiveness ensures legibility, appropriate formatting, and a great user experience across devices.

Enable your sales team with informed, collaborative, customized, and engaging content to impress prospects and increase win rates off the bat.