How a Best-in-Class SaaS Company Creates Sales Content
Every SaaS company needs at least some sales content.
But how do you know what content to create?
How do you separate the must-haves from the nice-to-haves?
And, most importantly, how do you get reps to actually use it?
To answer these pressing questions, we consulted product marketing expert Mark Huber, the Head of Brand and Product Marketing at Metadata.
Read on to learn how he prioritizes, develops, and disseminates sales content.
What are typical forms of sales content?
The purpose of sales content is to accelerate the deal cycle by educating and convincing prospects of your product’s value.
Sales content can take on many forms, such as email templates, call scripts, video snippets, case studies, decks, testimonials, or battle cards.
Best practices for sales content management
Too often, reps and BDRs funnel requests straight to marketing, asking for case studies, webinars, and one-pagers without considering the strategy behind it.
But marketers can’t possibly create everything reps ask for.
And even if they do, it can be tough to organize and present it in a way that’s accessible and intuitive to reps. That’s where a solid process comes into play.
First, prioritize your sales content
Someone needs to review, vet, and prioritize the requests. And the best person to do that is your head of sales.
“It's really important for heads of sales and leaders in the sales community to be a little bit of a filter. If reps ask for one-off content two or three times in a row, and you deliver on it two or three times in a row, guess what? They're just going to keep asking.”
It’s up to the head of sales to ask:
- Do we already have a similar piece of content?
- Is this type of content something other reps have asked for?
- Will this content help the entire sales team?
- Does the deal size warrant marketing spending time on these materials?
Mark shared that this is the exact process they follow at Metadata.
“At the top, sales leaders act as the filter of ‘we've heard this enough times,’ or ‘yes, I think this is something that is a gap for us today, and we need to fill it.’
Then I know it's been vetted a little bit, and I'll act on it. In a limited marketing team, you can’t rely on some random salesperson to know if they really need this or not. You can't just keep yourself on that hamster wheel.”
Then, organize your sales content
If you’re big enough, you might use a content management system or sales enablement platforms to store and sort your content.
But you don’t necessarily need them. At Metadata, Mark and his team use Airtable to log and organize their sales content.
“We load up Airtable with all the links to helpful content and group pieces of content by type, by use case, and by pain point. We have a link to that content, along with a quick description of what it is, what it's for, and who most likely will need it. That has worked really well.”
He also suggested grouping and prioritizing requests based on prospect size or the number of times you’ve gotten the request. Doing this from the outset will help you figure out what to work on next and avoid falling into the trap of responding to reps’ one-off requests.
Once your content is published, it’s tempting to just write a quick Slack post or send a brief email. But you need to be hitting sales teams on multiple channels to encourage adoption:
“Oftentimes, when you just publish something and announce it on a Slack channel or in an email, it does not work well. We dedicate an entire Slack channel at Metadata specifically for sales content. Every time something is published, we post a Slack, send the content in an email, and mention it consistently in weekly revenue meetings.”
The key is making it easy for sales to understand and use the content. Start by accompanying your Slacks, emails, and announcements with the top three takeaways of the piece. As Mark says,
“You can kind of give them talking points without forcing them to read the entire thing by themselves. Because, let's be real, they don't have time to do that for every single piece of content marketing creates.”
What pieces of sales content do reps use the most?
The types of sales content that work best vary from company to company.
At Navattic, Ben’s team tends to lean more toward content the post-sales team uses. Those folks are extremely hands-on with customers and know exactly what content plays well.
“I always talk to our post-sales team and ask them what content resonates with our current customers. Because if it resonates really well with them, it's probably going to be very helpful and likely very different than what you're sharing on the presales side. I generally steal from that.”
At Metadata, the sales team is drawn to three major types of content:
1. G2 reviews
“The thing that they use the most is our G2 profile because the content is not coming from any of us.”
While testimonials are great, sales leaders know that savvy buyers won’t be impressed. Prospects know quotes are hand-picked from customers that would never say anything bad about the company.
G2 is far more impartial.
2. Educational content
Metadata positions itself as a platform to help you move from the “old way of marketing” to the new way.
“Sales reps like material that’s more educational in nature and explains how the Metadata product can help prospects actually implement the new way of marketing in their organization.”
Teaching and leading with value ensures that you always put your best foot forward, whether or not the prospect picks Metadata.
3. Content that weeds out unqualified leads
The number one goal of the sales team is to close deals. And they can’t do that without qualified leads.
The great thing about modern marketing is that you can craft your sales content in a way that automatically turns the wrong leads away and reels the right leads in. One way is to add an interactive demo to your site. Mark explained:
“Our sales team got worried at first, saying, ‘If you put a product tour on the site, I'm going to be out of a job.’ But once they clicked through it, they were like, ‘Wow, this is really badass.’
If your product tour is a good one, it will weed out the wrong people, which means you’re not wasting your sales team's time.”
Three tips for better sales content
Creating top-notch sales content doesn’t happen overnight. It takes listening, experimentation, and iteration to get it right.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
1. Get inspiration from customers and prospects
Natalie Marcotullio, Head of Growth and Operations at Navattic, suggests forming close connections with customers and prospects — even if you can’t join meetings in real time.
“Watch sales and customer calls so you can decide what’s most pressing and anticipate the content your sales team is going to ask for.
If you can deliver sales something before they even ask, it will blow their mind.”
2. Share positive feedback as well
Ben recommends sales leadership communicate the positives of existing sales content.
“Rather than constantly asking for new content or complaining about it, sales leaders should be talking about the wins from content, talking to the post-sales team, and vetting content requests.
The relationship you have with marketing shouldn’t be ‘Make me this’ or ‘Do this.’ It should be more like, ‘Thank you so much for this, this is amazing.’”
3. Create small experiments for new ideas
Mark advocates for testing new ideas with one small group of reps at a time.
“Find a handful of people on the sales side who are interested in helping and testing and use them as a way to prove and disprove things. Once you find things that work, then you can roll it out on a much larger scale.
Earlier in my career, I tried to roll things out in a grand fashion across the entire sales team, and it failed miserably almost every time.”
Want more hot takes on improving sales and marketing alignment? Listen to more episodes of Revenue on the Rocks, Navattic’s bi-weekly podcast, where Natalie and Ben discuss topics like:
- Implementing public-facing pricing
- Combating customer churn
- Setting quota and marketing targets
- Embracing PLG
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