The anatomy of a piece of sales enablement content that led to 150 leads


Sharon Tanton

Sharon is Content Director at Cohesive, and co-author of Valuable Content Marketing | Fascinated by the power of stories in making change | Loves gardening | Lives in Bristol

Andy Williams

Co-founder, the wordy 'other half' | Intrigued by good content, and what it achieves | Bit of a nerd, quite creative, loves to write | Father, cyclist, activist | [ he/him ]

Detailed charcoal drawings on overlaid parchments show details of human anatomy. Head heart, hand, spine.

What’s more satisfying than learning the impact of your work on a project. For us, not much? Real measurable results can be hard to come by in our world, but occasionally they show up. Learning that a piece of content we created for a client has directly led to 150 leads for their sales team has got us thinking about what it takes to create supercharged sales enablement content.

But first things first…

What is sales enablement content?

The best sales enablement content is the secret sauce behind a successful sales team’s operation. It’s all about providing internal resources and tools to the sales team, equipping them with everything they need to shine in their interactions with customers.

"Sales enablement content equips a salesperson to go on a journey with a potential buyer"

Get it right, and sales enablement content equips a salesperson to go on a journey with a potential buyer ( in person and digitally ). To ask a more acute question, deliver a more insightful answer. To explore options, and coach informed decision making. To be a reliable and trustworthy guide from defining their problem to choosing a solution and partner, in the straightest line possible.

The best sales enablement resources are:

  • tailor-made to address the specific needs and challenges faced by sales in a particular market
  • laser focused on your sales team and your customers
  • give sellers and buyers the tools and knowledge to navigate the sales cycle confidently

And which qualities can supercharge it?

Our high performing content was cut to that pattern – totally tailor made and addressing the specific needs and challenges of  high value, multi-year software-as-a-service deals. Here’s what made it stand out.

Head – smart questions, insightful answers, helpful sanity checks

What made this sales enablement content rather than brand-building thought leadership was the way it was packaged. It rolled up vital themes and insights into conversation starters that business leaders and technology leaders on both sides of the conversation were happy to pick up and run with. It was written in close collaboration with experts within the client, but the tone was accessible and conversational. 

The best content isn’t aloof or standoffish, it invites people to sit down and talk to you about it.

Heart – generous, helpful, open

One of the biggest differences between sales enablement content that flies and the stuff that no one wants to use is how generous it is. If you create content that helps prospects with their big challenges then it’s simple and rewarding for the sales team to use it. Superhelpful content doesn’t feel salesy, it just feels useful. This particular piece of high performing content was designed to help CIOs diagnose their problem and start figuring out how they could overcome it. And it positioned our client as the open, expert, friendly pair of hands that would help them if they needed more support.

Guts – brave, provocative

Not essential for every piece of sales enablement content, but this one took a provocative stance on some big industry issues, which made it both a good conversation starter for the client’s sales team, and put a flag in the ground that the leadership team could take to conferences and events.

Spine – good strong idea that holds under pressure and is flexible

A great piece of sales enablement content needs to stand on its own two feet in the here and now, and maintain its relevance over time. Three ingredients that make that happen are:

  1. Insight | Backing up provocations and predictions with firm facts and straight numbers
  2. Connection | Linking to bigger business, technological and societal trends  to create ongoing relevance – and an opportunity to update and revisit down the track ( see ‘Legs’)
  3. Balance | Don’t be too partisan, or dogmatic – trust and empathy are corroded otherwise. 

What gave this piece its strong spine was a focus on highly relevant themes and some powerful metaphors that helped root it in the audience’s mind. 

Hands – hold hand, guide people through

Simple to understand and easy to use; two more qualities of sales enablement content that cuts through. Content that shifts the sales person to the position of helpful guide works well.

Legs – can run and run

High quality sales enablement content can deliver a great return on investment, and you want to make sure you’re making the most of it. Content that can be used over and over again is essential. It needs to walk the line between timely and timeless – you don’t want to create something that feels old hat in a couple of months time. One way to add legs is to construct it with future updates in mind. Upcycle and re-issue it to some cadence that makes sense to you.

Easily dissected

This is where the anatomy metaphor breaks down rather gruesomely. This piece was designed for chopping up, by chapters that worked well as standalone narratives. Most chapters also concluded with a posture check – ‘Ask yourself these 3 key questions’ – very bite sized and social media friendly. 

In fact anything you can do to make it easy for the maximum number of people to share or consume it in small doses will increase its success rate.

Take the free course

You can learn more about the anatomy of great sales enablement content with our specially designed mini-course. It’s free. Sign up here.

If your job is selling, and you’d like to get into a conversation with your sales enablement or marketing colleagues about the content you need to get your job done, here are 15 good questions you can ask to get that ball rolling.


And if there’s anything else we can help you with, leave us a question in ‘Comments’ below or reach out to us on email and we’ll help all we can.

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