Sales Kickoff – An opportunity to up your content!!!

Sales Kickoffs are ultra-important. Organizations spend a ton of resources and money on Sales Kickoffs every year. Not only do companies have their entire sales teams in one single location, but they also take other sales-supporting members to help with the kickoff. Everyone huddles down for multiple days to chalk out future plan and strategy. HubSpot defines Sales Kickoffs in this blog post and shares some useful tips for having a successful Sales Kickoff. Today, it is not unusual for some organizations to conduct more frequent (semi-annually or quarterly) kickoffs to keep the ball rolling. In a nutshell, these kickoffs are an expensive affair.

Sales Kickoffs are not just about numbers and broad strategy. On the contrary, we see that Sales and Company management tries to maximize this opportunity of having everyone’s undivided attention for 2 or 3 days and invests in enablement and training. To meet these objectives different teams invest a lot of time and energy in building content – videos, presentations, etc. In the weeks leading to the kickoff, there is a lot of activity and effort from different groups to support this kickoff.

And usually, these events are amazing. Sales engagement is at an all-time high and the sales team is inundated with some high-value information and intelligence. There are battle cards, competitive intelligence, role-play sessions, live feedback, demos, product roadmaps, etc. discussed by the entire group.

But then the kickoff ends and people forget. And just like that, in a very short duration, all that content and knowledge starts evaporating. The organization goes back to its inefficient and unproductive ways of operation.

But it need not be so ineffective. We believe Sales Kickoffs are a huge opportunity for marketing and product teams to up their content game. The sales supporting teams are already investing time and energy to build some timely and relevant content for the kickoff event. Why not leverage this content and enhance your content library? Why limit the use of this content to this 2-day event?

Here are some specific opportunities to revamp your content on the back of a Sales Kickoff event:

Product

It is common to have a targeted session during the Sales Kickoff that is focused on your product (or solution) offering. This is where the product owners share newer product updates and discuss future product roadmap. The purpose of this content is to excite the sales reps with new features and giving them strong talking points to target their market. Marketing should use this content to build and refresh:

  • Data Sheets: With new product features, it warrants refreshing the data sheets. Especially if there are key important updates that the sales reps can leverage in their dialogues with their prospects.
  • Product Roadmap: If you are a product company, you recognize the importance of product roadmaps. And the more upmarket you sell, the more crucial product roadmaps are. So if you are going to have product teams present the roadmap at the kickoff event, make sure they know that they are also supposed to share a customer facing product roadmap deck for future use.
  • Product FAQs: This is a good time to refresh product FAQs. There may be new FAQs that you need to add to the current product FAQs or you may need to update existing FAQs because the responses may have updated.
  • Demo Scripts: On the back of product updates, you may want to share updated Demo Scripts with the sales and sales engineering teams. This is crucial. And since you are already demoing the kickoff audience on the new features, why not record that script and share it for future use?

Competitive Intelligence

Your company’s competitors are on the top of the mind of your sales reps. And they are eager to know how to beat the competition.

  • Battle Cards: Competitive battle cards are a staple and an important content asset for sales. The are these short one-page guides that provide a playbook to compete with your key competitors.
  • Feature Comparison Sheets: Feature comparison sheets are a great sales tools. Not only they help sales understand your products strength and weaknesses, they also help sales respond to competitor-related queries.
  • Competitor Profile: If you are focusing on your primary competitors, why not build their profile? Competitor profile is a great asset to help sales understand the competitive landscape for an opportunity.
  • Case Studies & Win/Loss Analysis: A great time to build case studies or win analysis where you beat your competition.

Win/Loss Analysis

A part of Sales Kickoff is to learn from the past. Sales teams will try to analyze past deals that they won and lost. This is to understand what worked and what didn’t work. In short, they are doing a win/loss analysis. Make it part of your sales enablement library.

Training

Your Sales Kickoff is going to include training activity. Great!!! Use that content and structure it such that it is not a one-time only-for-sales-kickoff training. Build the training content so that it can be used for onboarding and continuous enablement. Here are some tips to make this happen without breaking the bank:

  • Record Presentations – If product team members are already presenting product updates and/or features at the kickoff, record these sessions. And include them in your learning paths.
  • Role Playing – It is common for sales teams to engage in role-playing during a kickoff. Record these role-playing sessions. If nothing else, these sessions will be a great guide for new reps and for anyone who wants to refresh their knowledge.

Marketing is always strapped for resources. There is no good time to revamp your content. We believe that refreshing content should be a continuous activity for marketing and sales enablement teams. However, Sales Kickoffs offer a great opportunity to up your content game. Not only will you help the kick-off event but in the process, you will have refreshed content to help sales accelerate their pipeline and close more deals.

Minimize Sales Barriers CTA

Does sales know what is published on company’s website?

Organizations, big and small, are putting a lot of marketing content on their website. With the continued success of inbound marketing and to build mindshare among prospects and customers, organization’s websites are rich with, both, gated and non-gated content. Well crafted Whitepapers, Blogs, Case Studies, Analyst Reports, Industry News, etc. are available for consumption and subsequent action.

However, we see that organizations are limiting themselves by leveraging this content only to drive inbound leads and build mindshare. They are missing out big time on using this content in later stages of the buyer’s journey. Enabling SDRs (Sales Development Reps), AEs (Account Executives), and CSMs (Customer Success Managers) with relevant content can yield significant dividends.

Here are some concrete steps for marketing and sales enablement to make most of this missed opportunity:

  • Funnel Focus. Don’t treat your website content with a single purpose of generating leads. Explore opportunities to leverage this content down the funnel at different stages of the buyer’s journey. Furthermore, it will drive efficiency. For the same effort, your customer-facing teams will have more options to engage their prospects/customers and drive relevant and effective conversations.

 

  • Connecting the Dots. We know that you want to avoid redundancy. If a prospect has already downloaded a whitepaper from your website, you don’t want your SDR to be sharing that whitepaper again with the same prospect. That is why connecting the dots between your inbound content engagement and your outbound enablement efforts is important. Providing your sales team visibility on content engagement will help drive intelligent conversations and reduce the risk of redundant messages. Your ability to measure content engagement is another added benefit. By connecting the dots across the funnel, you can measure which content is more effective and continue to refine your investment in content creation and distribution.

 

  • Consolidating Access. This is hugely important. We all know your customer-facing teams are busy. And they are not going to hop around from one system to another to find the right content for their conversations. Hence it is very important that irrespective of where the content resides (i.e. your Cloud Storage, your Website, Marketing Automation etc.), there has to be a single access point for that content. The moment you require your AE to step out of one app and access another app, you have diluted their engagement. They are less likely to follow that route next time. And more likely to email you (drain on your productivity) requesting that content.

 

  • Relevant and Quality Content. One of our customers has 200+ Blog entries on their website. And while that is awesome, you don’t want to overwhelm your reps with too much content. Providing the right content to your account team is important. And that is why you need to invest in tools that will help you filter and identify relevant content for a particular scenario.

 

Reusing your content is the single biggest opportunity for a marketing team to drive efficiency and sales enablement. Not every member of your customer or prospect account is up-to-date on your content. Arming your account team with quality content elevates the quality of their outbound conversations. It is a win-win for everyone and a no-brainer.

 
Minimize Sales Barriers CTA

Win Analysis and Case Studies

Win Analysis and Case Studies are popular collateral vehicles for B2B marketers. They both are important to demonstrate credibility and scale your success. However these content types are to be used in different contexts. And this is where we see a lot of organizations incorrectly applying a wrong type of content and thereby diluting its value to the targeted audience.

To put it simply, Win Analysis are created to highlight “What Worked for You” and Case Studies are geared towards elaborating on “What Worked for Your Customers”. You see, they are very different in their value and how they get leveraged in the field. Here is a short actionable comparison that will help further distill the unique characteristics of these content types,

winanlysis_casestudy_compare
Let us know how you are using Win Analysis and Case Studies in your organization to drive sales success.