Technology has drastically changed how sales reps connect with buyers -- shifting sales models from offline to online. With this transformation, the dynamic of selling has also changed as buyers are more informed than ever before. With 24/7/365 access to solutions and information online, buyers are more empowered in the sales process. Buyers are waiting until they are about 60 percent of the way through the decision making process before talking with sales reps, according to CEB and Google’s report titled The Digital Evolution in B2B Marketing.
As sales modifies their behavior to establish meaningful relationships with their buyers, they are adopting new techniques and technologies to help them engage their buyer throughout the process. With that, sellers are recognizing the need to build out a powerful sales stack of tools to help them connect and build trust. One key area that is starting to transform through technology is how sales manages and delivers content.
How is Sales Content Being Reimagined?
In the 21st century, technology has made huge leaps in progress for sales. Sales has shifted from the first traveling salesman in 1850 to an e-commerce industry which reached a value of more than $250 billion by 2011. Most proposals and sales conversions have moved online, which has redefined the cut and dry proposal template of yesterday.
We are in a new era of content. It is explosive, but is it valuable? Technology is completely transforming the entire lifecycle and user experience of sales content. Sales needs to rethink their traditional methods -- expand beyond the PDF and PowerPoint demo.
Here are a few intelligent ways that sales can enhance the experience of their content -- proposals, quotes, presentations, or collateral:
1. Reusable Content
One of the most time-consuming practices, from which technology absolves us, is writing the same thing twice. In sales proposals, if you use intelligent content creation software, you can save sections of content to pull into a proposal template later on. Even more importantly, shared workspaces empower other teams, like marketing or finance, to provide sales with consistently up-to-date, well groomed, and impactful content. A library of reusable high quality content will help you build and customize proposals more efficiently and effectively.
To successfully grab and keep the attention of your busy prospects can also be challenging. When it comes to presentations, visual delivery is critical. Adding images and videos to a proposal or presentation breaks up the monotony of black and white text, engaging the audience faster through sensory marketing. When building templates, use software that allows you to embed images and videos into your sales documents and content library.
3. Intuitive Pricing Tables
If you’re presenting items for sale with options a client will choose from (different packages and quantities), consider placing interactive pricing tables right in your proposal template -- this will significantly cut back on review cycles and revisions. Effective pricing tables are intuitive, meaning they calculate total price as users select options and fill in quantity, in the electronic document. It should also display taxes and discounts, so customers can see the absolute cost breakdown, streamlining purchasing decisions.
4. A Signing Guide
Instead of subjecting your customers to a frustrating hunt for where to sign, use a signing order feature to help guide them through the document. With this intuitive feature, you can define who needs to fill out each section, what kind information is required (name, signature or initials,) and how many items total need filled out.
Since the signing order guides them, you don’t even need to be there as they complete the document. They can sign the document electronically and send it back instantly.
5. Content Analytics
Software that gives you insights on your buyers interaction with your content is also very powerful -- particularly content at the low end of the sales funnel that’s simply waiting for a digital signature.
Sales can gain granular insights on their deals: what has been viewed, when, how many times, and what pages were viewed the longest. This gives sales the intelligence they need to respond faster to the details buyers care about -- this keeps the momentum of the deal moving forward.
It’s easy to see how smarter content will lead to faster deals. You can accelerate your sales by replacing some of those outdated proposal practices with an intelligent proposal template, that delivers your content in an innovative way.
What are some of your greatest challenges when creating a proposal template or producing sales content? Share with us in the comments below!