May 16, 2024

Sales Content: How to Empower Sales with Better Content

Sales content plays a crucial and rapidly evolving role in converting, nurturing, and retaining B2B customers. But what exactly is sales content and how does it differ from traditional marketing content?

Sales content refers to any collateral used by sales teams to engage, educate, and influence prospective buyers throughout the purchasing process. This includes battlecards, ROI calculators, product one-pagers, case studies, free trial guides, and more.

While marketing content aims to attract early stage leads with top-of-funnel content focused on brand awareness and education, sales content targets bottom-of-funnel leads ready to have in-depth product conversations.

Sales content requires much deeper knowledge of specific use cases and customer pain points. The messaging is highly tailored and consultative.

According to DemandGen's 2022 Content Preferences Survey, 55% of buyers said they were relying more on content to research and make purchasing decisions than they were a year before.

This increasing expectation of quality content means it's crucial to offer the right sales material to help your target customer make those decisions.

Types of Sales Content Across the Buyer's Journey

The sales content required evolves as prospects move through the different stages of the buyer's journey, from initial awareness to final purchase decision.

Understanding the roles of various content types at each stage of the sales process is crucial for driving conversions.

Top of Funnel Content

In the early awareness stage, prospects are conducting broad research to learn about solutions to their problem. Top of funnel content should focus on educating and building brand awareness.

This is also called "content marketing" and requires working closely with the marketing team for strong sales and marketing alignment.

Examples include:

  • Blog posts: Informative articles about industry trends, best practices, and thought leadership.
  • eBooks: Long-form guides that provide in-depth education.
  • White papers: research-packed reports that target key decision makers.
  • Webinars: Educational sessions that position your experts as trusted advisors.
  • Videos: Short, engaging video content that highlights key benefits.

Middle of Funnel Content

As prospects evaluate options, content should aim to engage them and address common questions or concerns, so they can move on through the sales process.

Examples include:

  • Product demos: Interactive walkthroughs to showcase key features.
  • ROI calculators: Tools to estimate potential cost savings or revenue lift.
  • Analyst reports: Validation from trusted third parties.
  • Customer testimonials: Social proof from real users.

Bottom of Funnel Content

In final decision stages of the sales process, prospects need content to address objections, build consensus, and finalize purchase. Examples include:

  • Free trials: Hands-on product experience to prove value.
  • Proposal templates: Tools to build customized solutions.
  • Case studies: Success stories from similar customers.
  • Pricing & implementation guides: Details to enable final purchase.

The most effective sales content strategies utilize different formats tailored to each stage of the journey.

Sales Content vs Marketing Content

Sales content and marketing content serve different purposes in the overall strategy of a business.

Sales content (sometimes called sales enablement content) is typically more focused on directly driving conversions and generating revenue.

It includes materials such as product brochures, sales scripts, case studies, and personalized outreach messages aimed at closing deals and securing customer commitments. You could also include internal content used by your sales team, such as sales playbooks, in this category.

Marketing content is more about building brand awareness, establishing credibility, and nurturing relationships with prospects.

It often takes the form of blog posts, social media posts, infographics, and email campaigns designed to educate, engage, and attract potential customers.

While both types of content are essential for a comprehensive marketing strategy, sales content is more transactional and focused on immediate conversions, whereas marketing content is more long-term and relationship-driven.

Challenges With Traditional Sales Content Creation

The traditional approach to sales content creation tends to be very manual and resource-intensive. Sales and marketing teams often rely on generic content templates, limited buyer persona research, and guesswork about customer needs.

This can make it hard to reduce CaC (customer acquisition cost) and leads to several key challenges:

Manual Processes for Content Creation

Without automation, sales and marketing teams must create all content from scratch. This requires extensive upfront research, conducting customer interviews, writing, formatting, and more. The process to create a single piece of sales collateral like a battlecard or case study is very time consuming.

Content creation is also siloed, rather than content being shared across a sales content management system. Individual sales reps frequently end up creating their own custom sales materials. This duplication of effort is inefficient.

Generic, One-Size-Fits-All Content

With a manual approach, most content ends up being relatively generic. There are limited resources for conducting detailed buyer research and persona development.

As a result, content is not tailored to specific industries, buyer types, use cases, or stages of the customer journey. This generalized content isn't well designed for different parts of the sales cycle and fails to deeply resonate with potential customers.

Lack of Content Tracking

Sales reps may produce content individually, without a clear understanding of what content already exists. Reps aren't all on the same page due to a lack of effective sales content management.

This could be because sales content management systems are completely lacking in the organization, or because the effort of adding, location, and organizing content in those systems takes too much time.

Difficult to Update and Tailor Content

Without automation, updating or modifying content is challenging. As new products are released or customer needs evolve, existing content quickly becomes outdated.

Sales teams lack an efficient way to tweak content for different segments and buying stages. Keeping content personalized and relevant requires constant manual effort. Either salespeople spend valuable time fine-tuning content, or they send prospects outdated or poorly tailored content.

Leveraging AI to Streamline Sales Content Creation

The traditional manual approach to creating sales content is slow, inefficient, and leads to generic content that fails to resonate with buyers. AI and automation can completely transform the sales content creation process.

Automated Content Creation from Sales Data

Advanced AI solutions like Copy.ai's Workflows can analyze sales conversations, emails, CRM data and more to uncover buyer needs, common objections, competitor mentions, and other insights.

This sales signal data automatically generates content ideas tailored to your unique situation.

For example, a good AI for sales tool can:

  • Scan sales call transcripts to identify key topics, themes, and objections
  • Automatically create content outlines and briefs tailored to these insights
  • Generate draft sales scripts, battlecards, and other sales enablement content

This creates a constant stream of fresh, relevant content tailored to your team's specific needs.

Personalized, Dynamic Content

AI can also create personalized content optimized for different buyer personas, segments, and stages. AI enables:

  • Versioning content with different messaging or formats
  • Optimizing content performance with multivariate testing
  • Delivering personalized content across channels

This ensures each prospect gets content tailored to their needs for maximum relevance and engagement.

Rapid Iteration and Updates

With AI, sales content can be quickly created, updated, and optimized in real time. The moment new objections, competitor info, or use cases emerge, tailored content can be produced.

This agility allows sales teams to capitalize on new opportunities and stay ahead of shifting buyer needs, addressing customer queries before they even arise, and moving each potential customer toward a purchasing decision.

Enhancing Sales Enablement with AI-Generated Content

Sales enablement content like battlecards, objection handling scripts, and competitor comparisons are crucial for equipping reps to have effective sales conversations. However, creating and keeping these resources updated is hugely time consuming using manual methods.

Tools like Copy.ai (the first-ever GTM AI platform) can analyze sales call transcripts at scale to uncover the most common objections, competitor mentions, use cases, and customer pain points.

These insights can then automatically inform dynamic enablement content tailored to real sales rep needs, helping them close more deals.

For instance, AI can:

  • Create enablement content from call analysis – Use AI to extract key themes and talking points from sales calls. Auto-generate content briefs for sales or marketing collateral based on the most frequent conversation topics.
  • Keep enablement resources updated – Continuously analyze new sales conversations to identify shifts in customer needs, new objections arising, and changes in the competitive landscape. Flag outdated enablement content to be refreshed with new insights.
  • Automate drafting of customized collateral – Based on individual sales rep strengths and weaknesses uncovered in call analysis, AI can draft customized objection handlers, battlecards, and scripts packed with key details to boost performance.
  • Create internal sales content – AI can be used for creating content (such as battlecards and playbooks) that helps reps close deals and bring on board more new customers.

Leveraging AI to extract insights at scale and transform them into tailored enablement content allows reps to stay equipped with the latest, most relevant information they need to have effective customer conversations.

Sales organizations can keep content fresh and impactful while eliminating the manual effort traditionally required.

Optimizing Sales Content Performance with AI

AI capabilities can optimize sales content to dramatically improve performance and results. Rather than taking a generic, one-size-fits-all approach, tools like Copy.ai offer outbound sales automation and can deliver:

Content Personalization and Testing

  • Dynamically personalize content for different personas, segments, and individual contacts based on their attributes and interests.
  • A/B test different content variations to determine optimal messaging, offers, and formats.
  • Continuously optimize based on performance data.

Data-Driven Recommendations

  • Analyze historical performance data and sales insights to recommend high-impact content.
  • Identify the specific content that is most engaging for each customer.
  • Recommend content at each stage of the customer journey to progress opportunities.

Automated Multichannel Distribution

  • Publish tailored content across the right channels for each contact.
  • Omnichannel coordination with consistent, relevant messaging at every touchpoint.
  • Ensure content reaches your contacts wherever they consume information.
  • Automate complex multi-step campaigns across channels.

Streamlining Content Reviews and Governance with AI

Managing the review and approval process for sales content used to be tedious and fragmented.

Sales enablement teams relied on email chains and spreadsheets to coordinate feedback from multiple stakeholders. This made it difficult to track changes, maintain version control, and ensure proper governance over published assets.

AI and automation can streamline this process significantly. With software like Copy.ai, you can set up automated rules to route content through the right review channels.

As soon as a new sales deck or battlecard is created, the system can automatically send it to the appropriate reviewers based on content type, region, product, and other rules. You can then publish the content to your sales content management platform.

With AI taking care of the heavy lifting in the review and approval workflow, sales enablement teams can focus their efforts on more strategic initiatives.

The automated system saves countless hours previously spent on administrative tasks. And sales reps are empowered with the sales tools they need to engage buyers and close deals faster.

Measuring Sales Content ROI With AI

When it comes to sales content, the proof is in the performance. To fully realize the value of your content investments, it's crucial to implement tracking and analytics that provide data-driven insights into what's working – and what's not.

Some key metrics to focus on for sales content include:

Engagement metrics – These indicate how well your content is resonating with your target audience. Relevant metrics include:

  • Content views
  • Time spent on page
  • Social shares
  • Downloads
  • Email clickthrough rates

Tracking engagement (using AI) helps you identify your best-performing content so you can double down on that type of content. It also shows where you may need to rework content that isn't getting sufficient engagement.

Conversion metrics – Ultimately, your sales content should help progress leads down the funnel and drive revenue. Conversion metrics to track include:

  • Leads generated
  • Opportunities created
  • Sales pipeline influenced
  • Closed-won deals

With closed-loop attribution, you can connect specific content assets to downstream pipeline and revenue to calculate true ROI. This helps you allocate budget to the content types and topics delivering real impact.

Content performance scoring – Rather than looking at metrics in isolation, use AI to automatically analyze engagement, conversion, and other signals to generate an overall content performance score. This allows easy comparisons across content assets to quickly identify your top and bottom performers.

Increasing Sales Productivity

Using AI to streamline sales content creation and management frees up sales reps to spend more time on high-value activities that directly impact revenue.

With AI, reps no longer have to spend hours researching, interviewing, and manually writing sales collateral from scratch. The latest relevant content is instantly accessible, optimized for each buyer.

This eliminates the grunt work of content creation so every sales rep can reallocate that time to actions that drive growth:

  • Prospecting and nurturing new opportunities
  • Conducting demos and product training
  • Building relationships with customers
  • Closing deals faster

Instead of getting bogged down creating generic, one-size-fits-all collateral, reps can leverage AI-generated content tailored to each prospect's specific needs.

The result is higher sales productivity. Reps spend less time churning out content, and more time having meaningful interactions to move opportunities forward.

Access to ready-to-use content also allows reps to be more responsive to prospects. They can send relevant information right away rather than telling prospects to wait days or weeks for custom content.

Enhancing the Buyer's Journey

AI-powered sales content allows you to provide prospects and customers with consistent, tailored experiences throughout their buyer's journey.

Leveraging data and insights around individual prospects means you can ensure that the content they receive is highly relevant and aligned to their specific needs and interests at each stage.

This helps build credibility and trust by demonstrating that you truly understand their pain points and can provide meaningful solutions. Buyers are more likely to engage with content that feels like it was created just for them.

Strengthening relationships through tailored content also increases customer lifetime value. Content that provides ongoing value beyond the initial sale nurtures the relationship and makes prospects more receptive to upsell/cross-sell opportunities down the road.

The ability to quickly update content based on buyer feedback further tailors the experience. If a particular piece of content misses the mark, AI makes it easy to optimize it and ensure future touchpoints better meet the prospect's needs.

Best Practices for Sales Content Management

To maximize the impact of sales content, it's important to have the right content management practices in place. Here are some best practices to consider:

Centralized Content Library

Maintain a centralized content library or repository where all approved sales content assets are stored.

There are many sales content management systems (such as Paperflite and Uberflip) you can use for this. Copy.ai lets you seamlessly integrate your GTM tech stack so you can send new content straight into your chosen sales content management system.

This makes it easy for sales reps to find the latest versions of enablement materials, collateral, and other content. With AI content creation platforms like Copy.ai Workflows, you can set up a unified content hub that includes:

  • Searchable database of all sales content
  • Automated tagging and metadata so content can be easily filtered and found
  • Version control to access the most up-to-date approved files
  • Access permissions so only authorized users can access the library

Having one source of truth avoids confusion from multiple versions of the same content circulating in emails or file folders.

Content Governance Process

Establish a content review, approval, and publishing workflow to maintain quality standards. This can include:

  • Submitting new content for review by sales enablement
  • Approval process with tracking of edits and approvals
  • Final sign-off before content is published to reps
  • Archiving outdated content so it's not used

Evolving Role of AI in Sales Content

The role of AI in managing sales content will continue to expand in the future. Here are some key ways we can expect to see AI evolving for sales content:

More Advanced Natural Language Generation

AI's natural language capabilities are rapidly improving.

Already, we're seeing how AI can generate increasingly sophisticated sales content that sounds fully human-written. This includes handling complex sentence structures, industry jargon, and nuanced messaging tailored to the buyer.

AI will be able to digest research and data inputs and then autonomously create high-quality first drafts across different content types like battlecards, buyer personas, case studies, and more.

This will drastically reduce the time spent on content creation.

Predictive Analytics for Content Needs

As AI ingests more customer and prospect data, it will be able to apply predictive analytics to forecast content needs earlier.

For example, analyzing historical sales cycles and pipelines could reveal upcoming spikes in demand for certain content assets.

AI can then proactively generate and optimize that content to align with predicted needs. This will ensure content is ready right when it's needed most, accelerating sales cycles.

Automated Publishing Across Channels

Through integrations with otheer apps and tools, AI will handle more of the legwork in getting content out to prospects across different channels.

It can identify the best channels and formats for content based on audience analysis, and then automatically publish out versions tailored for each channel.

For example, AI could take a long-form case study and generate a short-form social media version, blog synopsis, and email excerpt. This omnichannel distribution allows content to reach prospects wherever they consume information.

The end result will be highly relevant content delivered seamlessly to prospects, creating more touchpoints and driving greater engagement.

Getting Started with AI-Powered Sales Content

Getting started with AI for sales content creation doesn't have to be daunting. Here are some tips to begin leveraging AI effectively:

Assess Current Content Needs and Gaps

  • Conduct an audit of your existing sales content. Identify content gaps for each stage of the buyer's journey.
  • Analyze sales call transcripts and CRM data to pinpoint buyer questions and objections that need to be addressed.
  • Survey sales reps on the types of content they need most. Identify enablement gaps.

Define Your Content Strategy and Goals

  • Map content types to each sales stage and buyer persona.
  • Set goals for content performance - downloads, engagement, conversion.
  • Outline a plan for content creation, optimization, governance.

Start Small and Iterate Quickly

  • Pick a pilot content area like battlecards or case studies to generate with AI.
  • Review output quality and refine the AI as needed.
  • Expand use cases once the AI is tuned for your content needs.

Starting with a limited pilot will allow you to test AI quality while building trust in the technology. You can then scale content creation across your sales organization.

Using Copy.ai to Produce and Manage Sales Content

Copy.ai is a full GTM AI platform that helps you avoid the GTM bloat that comes with multiple disconnected tools and organizational silos. With Copy.ai as a key part of your sales content strategy, you can quickly create and interate on sales content that drives results.

Whether you want to generate content at scale to target different lead segments at the early stages of the buying cycle, you need a new battlecard to cover a pain point that's recently emerged, or you want to draft a sales presentation that highlights a new product's features, Copy.ai can help.

Book your free demo today to see what Copy.ai can do for your organization.

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