According to Spotio dot com blog, in 2019, Google searches for “sales enablement” increased by over 51%, a telltale of an ongoing discussion on the collaboration between humans and automation tools in making sales.
Sales enablement exists at the intersection of marketing and sales, fostering collaboration between humans and automation tools in the digital world. Sales enablement provides easy access to relevant content when needed.
These content and tools allow the sales team to expedite sales activities and close deals much more smoothly.
As for the content, which is the bedrock of marketing in the B2B industry — matching content to the buyer’s journey and personality is key.
If sales enablement sits right under your duties, this piece offers you a step-by-step guide in creating content to support your sales team.
What are the benefits of sales enablement?
Let’s not look at it from a proof of concept angle but a proof of value. The proof of value is exactly what sales enablement helps you achieve.
From my experience — the following of the reasons to use sales enablement.
Win more sales than your competitors
The CSO Insights 4th Annual Study found that companies with sales enablement content and technology in place won 15% more sales than the companies without a sales enablement process in place.
If yours is an organization with ambitious goals, then you already understand that a 15% sales win over your competition is a huge competitive advantage.
Use the following strategy to have a sales-enabled process for your sales team.
Sales ready team
In the B2B environment, sales don’t occur by a single click after an idle Google search for an item.
B2B buyers are ardent researchers who take their time studying the product, the offer, the alternatives, among other things, before making a purchase.
FocusVision found in a recent study that an average B2B buyer consumes at least 13 pieces of content. That’s alongside many interactions they will be having with your sales representatives.
With sales enablement at the core of your sales strategy, you arm your reps against any possibilities, questions, and actions.
Product details, messaging, onboarding: whatever your prospects’ demands are, a sales enablement strategy helps your sales conduct transactions at the speed of light.
As technology helps smoothen the relationship between your customers and sales reps, it also serves to acquire key insights into customers’ behavior.
Data capturing helps guide your next moves and prepares your sales team for quick customer onboarding all the more.
As you’ll learn when we move further, some tools are designed to help you keep tabs on how your customers behave.
Steps to create content to support your sales team
Some benefits of sales enablement have been listed, but we cannot glorify it enough since the benefit of this post is not to sell you on sales enablement but to show you that there are steps to creating the kind of content your sales reps need to thrive.
Read on for seven steps to create content to support your sales team.
Cross-pollination of ideas between content marketing and sales teams
No doubt, when it comes to buyers’ journeys, content marketers come with a lot of ideas on what to target towards each customer in different stages of their buyer’s journey.
However, most sales journeys aren’t as straightforward as we often think. If we are to follow the classical wisdom of content marketing: we’ll get TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU content ready.
Alas, these are pieces of content created based on keyword data, the result of which doesn’t always match with what’s obtainable in the sales field.
But with insights from the sales team who have had experience talking to customers for some time, real-life pain points, preferences, and personas can be identified, and content addressing those can be created.
Even as some or most of your content will be useful, cross-pollination of ideas between your content marketing and sales team can unlock untold sales riches.
Collect customer’s interaction studies using Tech
From what questions a group of customers asks to which form of content they enjoy in each buying stage, the use of technologies can help you uncover many customers’ behavior.
Although it primarily exists to make interaction easier and faster, the adoption of technology can also be beneficial in building an accurate and robust database about customers.
Tools like Zendesk and HelpCrunch can be quite useful at gathering pieces of information like this as they have built-in functions to track and store customer interactions.
Aside from the proper profiling of customers that you can get when you interact with your sales reps, bringing out this data can be of assistance for you in creating made-to-order content that will shore up your sales enablement game.
Listen to sales calls.
It doesn’t all end with high-end technologies; there is still an enormous difference between when two people interact over the phone and when they engage over the Internet.
As you already know, communication is more than just words. When you listen to a verbal conversation between two humans, you can pinpoint in their voices hesitation, frustration, happiness, enthusiasm, among other things.
Knowing these things can be useful in building great positioning and adding a more humane angle to your content.
Empower your sales to be content creators
Understandably, people are talented in different areas, content creators may not do the work of sales reps, and sales reps may not do well in creating content.
But it’s within the capability of almost everyone to create fairly clear content.
Part of what you can do to help your content team create great content that sales reps need is to train reps to be able to put down a basic content outline.
By doing this, your marketing team can take this basic content and develop it into what good content should be.
Be big on repurposing.
If you worked on the steps above, by now, you’d have a lot of helpful and relevant content for your diverse customers.
One thing about customers is, whether they are reaching out on social media or through a live chat on your website, they always crave the same thing: rapid, relevant response.
But as much as you now have reliably relevant content for sets of your customers, they can also be confined to a particular type of content given the type of platform they are interacting on.
A blog post can be repurposed to a LinkedIn post, a LinkedIn post can be turned into a Twitter thread, and whitepapers can be repurposed to a Youtube on Facebook video.
What’s indeed important is that repurposing will make your content useful across diverse platforms.
Focus on SEO
While your sales team is in charge of continuous discussion with your customers, do not forget that many of them tend to try and make an independent search on search engines.
This is where the opportunity to establish yourself as an absolute authority in your industry comes from.
Think of Content Marketing Institute and how they rank for anything relating to content marketing. Think of Hubspot and its ability to rank for keywords such as CRM, Sales, etc.
That your sales team is busy with customers doesn’t mean they can curb customer’s insatiable appetite for independent research. According to Google, 51% of shoppers say they use Google to research a purchase they plan to make.
If your company wasn’t blogging before now, then it’s time you started.
While this is not necessarily an easy thing to do, the entire SEO effort it takes to rank on Google these days can be summarized into three steps. Let me show you all those three.
Build a healthy website
Google gets 95% of their entire global search, and it’s hellbent on building a mature web culture.
If you want to succeed at ranking on Google, the first and the most important step you’ll take is to create a great website for your business.
Ideally, this would be a website that’s fast, mobile-friendly, and user-friendly.
Find long-tail keywords
This refers to keywords with lower search volumes and lower entry barriers.
For example, top bloggers who have been online for years dominate the search ranking for short-tail keywords like “how to start a blog.” Many timely updates have solidified that position to their content, lots of backlinks, and overall domain authority.
For newbies like myself, that’s a no-go area, but finding long-tail keywords like “start a sports blog” gives me a fighting chance. And that’s where you should start from.
In fact, a post I wrote on starting a sports blog made it to the first page of SERPs in less than a month. And that’s because of its lesser competition.
Find short-tail keywords that represent your content core and create outstanding content around them.
Backlinks are the most important off-site trust signal for Google. They are considered a vote of confidence from other sites, and the more links a page has, the more traffic it typically receives, all things being equal. This is not changing anytime soon.
Diversify your content forms
You already know that as audiences differ in their buying stage, so do they in their content preferences.
When one customer is looking for a how-to guide regarding a white paper or blog post, another one needs a short video that quickly explains or demonstrates how concepts work.
We can go on citing findings to establish the virtue of each form of content, like the preference of some for video content or some for white papers, which would not matter here.
Common sense shows that some consumers are never the same, so white papers, blog posts, video content, PDFs, Twitter threads, podcast sessions, any of these could have been salient to any customer.
The bottom line is that you should diversify as much as your budget allows.
With search for sales enablement surging on Google, some people must have learned the benefits and decided to go after it.
In the modern world, it isn’t just the best that wins, the quickest, too. The longer you have to keep your customers waiting to figure something out, the higher your chances of losing them to your competitor.
That’s the gap sales enablement has come to fill, but it isn’t the high-end tools that are more important but the content you serve through it.
Therefore, half of what’s unique about this is the ability to bring your sales and marketing team together for collaboration on what’s best served to customers.
Image Credit: julia volk; pexels; thank you!
Fintech Kennek raises $12.5M seed round to digitize lending
London-based fintech startup Kennek has raised $12.5 million in seed funding to expand its lending operating system.
According to an Oct. 10 tech.eu report, the round was led by HV Capital and included participation from Dutch Founders Fund, AlbionVC, FFVC, Plug & Play Ventures, and Syndicate One. Kennek offers software-as-a-service tools to help non-bank lenders streamline their operations using open banking, open finance, and payments.
The platform aims to automate time-consuming manual tasks and consolidate fragmented data to simplify lending. Xavier De Pauw, founder of Kennek said:
“Until kennek, lenders had to devote countless hours to menial operational tasks and deal with jumbled and hard-coded data – which makes every other part of lending a headache. As former lenders ourselves, we lived and breathed these frustrations, and built kennek to make them a thing of the past.”
The company said the latest funding round was oversubscribed and closed quickly despite the challenging fundraising environment. The new capital will be used to expand Kennek’s engineering team and strengthen its market position in the UK while exploring expansion into other European markets. Barbod Namini, Partner at lead investor HV Capital, commented on the investment:
“Kennek has developed an ambitious and genuinely unique proposition which we think can be the foundation of the entire alternative lending space. […] It is a complicated market and a solution that brings together all information and stakeholders onto a single platform is highly compelling for both lenders & the ecosystem as a whole.”
The fintech lending space has grown rapidly in recent years, but many lenders still rely on legacy systems and manual processes that limit efficiency and scalability. Kennek aims to leverage open banking and data integration to provide lenders with a more streamlined, automated lending experience.
The seed funding will allow the London-based startup to continue developing its platform and expanding its team to meet demand from non-bank lenders looking to digitize operations. Kennek’s focus on the UK and Europe also comes amid rising adoption of open banking and open finance in the regions.
Featured Image Credit: Photo from Kennek.io; Thank you!
Fortune 500’s race for generative AI breakthroughs
As excitement around generative AI grows, Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, are carefully examining the possible applications of this technology. A recent survey of U.S. executives indicated that 60% believe generative AI will substantially impact their businesses in the long term. However, they anticipate a one to two-year timeframe before implementing their initial solutions. This optimism stems from the potential of generative AI to revolutionize various aspects of businesses, from enhancing customer experiences to optimizing internal processes. In the short term, companies will likely focus on pilot projects and experimentation, gradually integrating generative AI into their operations as they witness its positive influence on efficiency and profitability.
Goldman Sachs’ Cautious Approach to Implementing Generative AI
In a recent interview, Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti revealed that the firm has not yet implemented any generative AI use cases. Instead, the company focuses on experimentation and setting high standards before adopting the technology. Argenti recognized the desire for outcomes in areas like developer and operational efficiency but emphasized ensuring precision before putting experimental AI use cases into production.
According to Argenti, striking the right balance between driving innovation and maintaining accuracy is crucial for successfully integrating generative AI within the firm. Goldman Sachs intends to continue exploring this emerging technology’s potential benefits and applications while diligently assessing risks to ensure it meets the company’s stringent quality standards.
One possible application for Goldman Sachs is in software development, where the company has observed a 20-40% productivity increase during its trials. The goal is for 1,000 developers to utilize generative AI tools by year’s end. However, Argenti emphasized that a well-defined expectation of return on investment is necessary before fully integrating generative AI into production.
To achieve this, the company plans to implement a systematic and strategic approach to adopting generative AI, ensuring that it complements and enhances the skills of its developers. Additionally, Goldman Sachs intends to evaluate the long-term impact of generative AI on their software development processes and the overall quality of the applications being developed.
Goldman Sachs’ approach to AI implementation goes beyond merely executing models. The firm has created a platform encompassing technical, legal, and compliance assessments to filter out improper content and keep track of all interactions. This comprehensive system ensures seamless integration of artificial intelligence in operations while adhering to regulatory standards and maintaining client confidentiality. Moreover, the platform continuously improves and adapts its algorithms, allowing Goldman Sachs to stay at the forefront of technology and offer its clients the most efficient and secure services.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Google DeepMind; Pexels; Thank you!
UK seizes web3 opportunity simplifying crypto regulations
As Web3 companies increasingly consider leaving the United States due to regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom must simplify its cryptocurrency regulations to attract these businesses. The conservative think tank Policy Exchange recently released a report detailing ten suggestions for improving Web3 regulation in the country. Among the recommendations are reducing liability for token holders in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and encouraging the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to adopt alternative Know Your Customer (KYC) methodologies, such as digital identities and blockchain analytics tools. These suggestions aim to position the UK as a hub for Web3 innovation and attract blockchain-based businesses looking for a more conducive regulatory environment.
Streamlining Cryptocurrency Regulations for Innovation
To make it easier for emerging Web3 companies to navigate existing legal frameworks and contribute to the UK’s digital economy growth, the government must streamline cryptocurrency regulations and adopt forward-looking approaches. By making the regulatory landscape clear and straightforward, the UK can create an environment that fosters innovation, growth, and competitiveness in the global fintech industry.
The Policy Exchange report also recommends not weakening self-hosted wallets or treating proof-of-stake (PoS) services as financial services. This approach aims to protect the fundamental principles of decentralization and user autonomy while strongly emphasizing security and regulatory compliance. By doing so, the UK can nurture an environment that encourages innovation and the continued growth of blockchain technology.
Despite recent strict measures by UK authorities, such as His Majesty’s Treasury and the FCA, toward the digital assets sector, the proposed changes in the Policy Exchange report strive to make the UK a more attractive location for Web3 enterprises. By adopting these suggestions, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to fostering innovation in the rapidly evolving blockchain and cryptocurrency industries while ensuring a robust and transparent regulatory environment.
The ongoing uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations in various countries has prompted Web3 companies to explore alternative jurisdictions with more precise legal frameworks. As the United States grapples with regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom can position itself as a hub for Web3 innovation by simplifying and streamlining its cryptocurrency regulations.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Jonathan Borba; Pexels; Thank you!