Here’s what your salespeople need: words, phrases, sentences, ideas, and paragraphs they can use during their conversations with prospects and leads.

Here’s what they usually get: long PDFs, presentations, pre-built and generalized marketing, and complex documents.

That’s a problem, say Cory Bray and Hilmon Sorey, authors of The Sales Enablement Playbook.

“We create these great white papers and case studies and we’ve got decks and we’ve got all this stuff that’s fantastic,” says Hilmon on an episode of the Predictable Prospecting podcast.

“Often we don’t realize the salesperson has three to five minutes, and within those three to five minutes, if they’re not saying the right thing that uncovers the pain that that persona or role or individual that you’re talking to is actually dealing with on a regular basis, you’re not going to get to that next meeting.”

The answer isn’t to scrap your long-form content and documentation, but rather to break it down into bite-size chunks that can be used for multiple purposes.

In other words: microcontent.

The most important kind of content you probably don’t manage

Microcontent is any piece of self-contained, standalone, short-form content. Think small and targeted, with high-value words that carry a strong message.

You’re probably familiar with the idea already since it’s common in social media posts that pack a punch with a handful of characters, but it can extend beyond that to headlines, quotes, a presentation slide, an illustration or image, a 20-second video, subject lines, checklists… you name it.

In many cases, we’ve already built this content. We’ve just put it into a generalized document that tries to cover every persona, pain point and situation in one go – and is way too long to sift through in those three to five minutes that matter.

In others, the content exists – it just hasn’t been captured yet. Think about the success stories shared in your sales team, stories of client success, and the sales knowledge that lives in your reps’ heads.

When we chunk that information out and organize those ideas in a more useful, personal, and accessible way, though… well, that’s a different story.

Enter the Persona <> Pain <> Feature <> Content matrix

Back to The Sales Enablement Playbook and the problem of arming our reps with the right things to say, that address the right pain points for the right persona.

Sales enablement means delivering specific content to salespeople in real time: a keyword for a persona, a phrase describing how a customer used a specific feature or a question that can move the conversation forward.

Cory and Hilmon recommend breaking it down like this, in a matrix:

Here’s how it works:

Persona: Reps should be able to describe the roles and responsibilities of the people they’re selling to and understand what their day to day looks like.

Pain: From that, they should be able to identify their pain points – what blocks them from doing their job more effectively or seeing the successes they want.

Feature: For each persona, match a feature of your product to those specific pain points and describe how it addresses them.

Content: Pull in keywords, ideas, messages and stories that relate how that feature solves the problem.

Then, it’s all about delivering that content to your reps when it has the most impact. Look for a sales enablement tool like Kiite that can sort through both the documented and undocumented knowledge your reps use and surface it, in relevant pieces, when they need it.

It’s a great exercise not only in understanding your prospects and leads better, but also breaking down the content you have (and creating new stuff) to focus on the highest value bits and pieces that make it easy to understand how you can help.

Learn more about the matrix and other sales enablement ideas you can start implementing right away straight from co-author Cory Bray at our upcoming Personas & Content Workshop in San Francisco.

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