Nothing is hidden from customers - your achievements, downfalls, or secrets - it’s all there on the internet.
Gone are the days when a salesperson used to be the primary source of information for customers. Customers know everything about you even before your sales reps reach out to them. They listen, compare, analyze, and before making the final call.
In short, customers have turned smarter. To match up, you don’t just need any sales team. You need a better, smarter, knowledgeable sales staff to increase conversions and boost your:
Sales documentation provides the best and easiest way to achieve a high-performing sales team that can win your customers in just a few interactions.
Let’s learn everything there is to know about sales documentation in this blog.
Sales Documentation Defined
Sales documentation is the go-to information resource that guides your sales staff in the right direction. It offers reps the right knowledge that can help them interact better with prospects, convert leads, and bring revenue to your company.
Think of your sales staff as your company’s soldiers who fight day and night to get you clients and build your business. While your sales reps are your soldiers, sales documentation is the weapon (read: resources) they need to fight the daily battles successfully.
Powerful sales documentation comprises every single piece of information that your reps need to successfully engage with customers, right from the first hello to multiple thank-yous and closed deals.
This cloud-based documentation consists of critical data, like:
- Sales process followed in your organization
- Sales collateral - press releases, sales scripts, case studies, and more.
- Competitor analysis
- Pricing related information
- Email response templates
- Product demos, and much more.
Sales documentation is a content library comprising high-quality content that sales reps can use to pitch your products and convert leads.
Sales Documentation is Vital for Your Sales Staff - Here’s Why!
There is a common misconception that sales documentation turns reps into robots who speak what's written in front of them without any sense of connection or emotion.
Well, that's not true.
Think of it yourself. If you are about to give a speech or a presentation at a seminar, will you be confident without preparation?
Preparing for it beforehand or having a paper to look at the key talking points will instantly boost your confidence, leading to better performance. Isn't it?
The same is the case with your sales reps. They might have the knowledge for impromptu conversations. But as human beings, we tend to forget things. A sales document ensures that reps have immediate access to limitless information that can be used to communicate smartly with customers.
Let's quickly go through the key benefits of sales documentation.
1. Refined, Well-Executed Pitches
Any sales pitch requires deep knowledge about your products, customers, current market conditions, and ongoing trends. A sales pitch that accommodates all of this can be a performance booster for your sales team. They have the pitch ready. They can quickly tweak it to suit their customer and the product they are dealing in.
With reps making constant calls, sales pitches can go wrong. A ready-made pitch ensures that the conversation is clear, structured, and to the point.
2. Result-Driven Conversations
Interactions with customers can lose the right track easily. This happens when both the rep and customer are confused and have half-baked knowledge. Such conversations fail to generate the intended results.
With sales documentation, reps can easily bring the conversation on the right path. They can give actionable advice to customers, share useful information, showcase studies, and keep the interaction result-focused.
3. Close Deals Quickly
Customer conversations can stretch up to months if reps lack convincing powers and the right knowledge. Documentation can be of tremendous help in both these areas. It equips your sales team with accurate information at their fingertips. Reps can use this unbounded knowledge to convince prospects to buy your products or subscribe to your services.
Closing deals become a fuss-free and quick process with sales documentation.
4. Builds Relationships That Last
A sales representative who knows the customers’ name, pain points, needs, and preferences, has a clear edge over someone who simply reads a ready-made pitch. That’s where sales documentation plays its part.
It ensures that your agents have all the required information to make meaningful connections with prospects, which eventually increases the chances of sales, if not now, then in the near future.
These are some of the substantial benefits that sales documentation brings to the table.
A common question that keeps popping up is what to write and which processes to mention in a sales document. You will get your answer in the next section.
Which Sales Collaterals You Should Document?
Salespersons have the power to change the minds of prospects and convince them to buy your products. In the process of engaging with customers, sales staff needs the right information to make quick decisions. This information can be in the form of case studies, testimonials, product demos, explainer videos, sales scripts, and more.
These different types of sales documents should be centrally located so that reps can immediately access them during customer interactions.
Let’s look at all these sales collaterals in detail.
1. Product Demo Videos
Demo videos offer an excellent way to educate your sales staff about your products' anatomy, features, design, and benefits. Going through quick videos is anytime better than browsing through heavy chunks of text, especially when reps need a quick answer to a customers' question.
Your sales reps can also share these videos with customers to clear all their confusion and help them make an informed decision.
2. Sales Scripts
Ready-made sales scripts that your sales reps can tweak for different customer cases are a must-have. You can create scripts for both emails and calls. The best part is they can be tweaked for different customer cases.
A major reason sales scripts make for a wonderful sales collateral is that they keep reps prepared even for the unexpected.
Reps don’t have to work out the next steps in their mind and stretch the conversation. With a handy, ready-made script, it gets easier for your sales folks to initiate, continue, and finally close the conversation on a positive note.
To make your sales staff anticipate customer questions and be well-prepared to answer them, ensure that optimized FAQ sections are added to your sales document. An FAQ section lists down all the common questions that your customers might have regarding your company, products, and services.
Related Read: How to Create Online FAQs with FAQ Software
It sounds simple, but it can add tremendous value to your documentation. Any time a customer comes up with a question that’s listed in your FAQs, reps can refer to your documentation and share the answer via email, chat, or even on call.
4. Sales Onboarding Checklist
Any new member of your sales team needs proper onboarding to bring them up to speed with others. This checklist comprises all essential information required to make new hires familiar with the sales process so that they can get started quickly.
It will have product-related info, lead generation questions, the work schedule for the first few days, important client accounts, and more. New hires can go through this information to get the hang of your sales function.
5. Competitor Analysis
For your customers, your competitor is just a click away.
It’s a brutal market out there, where competitors are always ready to find your flaws and catch your customers. That means you have no choice but to take every step possible to guard your citadel.
Competitor analysis gives reps a clear picture of how you are stacked up against your competitors. It provides every single detail about your competitors - USP, products, services, etc.
So, anytime a customer is confused or busy comparing your products with your competitors’, reps can bring the true picture in front of them. They can show how your product is better than others and why they should consider it without a second thought.
Other sales collaterals that can be added to your documentation are objection handling tricks, training videos, and how-to articles.
It’s now time to understand what goes into creating a fine sales document.
How to Create Sales Documentation - A Step-by-Step Process
The secret to creating an extensive sales document lies in the details. You need to get every aspect right for a flawless document that your sales team really finds helpful. From getting the right software and adding useful content to having a strict review process in place - you need to ace every step.
Let’s get started.
1. Pick a Powerful Documentation Tool
The right online documentation software should be at the front and center of the entire process. When you get a suitable tool, consider half of your job done. That’s because it makes everything hassle-free, from writing and designing to collaborating and finally publishing the document.
The online market is awash with tools that look and feel similar. Choosing the one that’s right for you can be a daunting challenge. To turn your tool search successful, ensure that it has the following features:
- Documentation templates
- Powerful online editor
- Lightening-fast search
- Complete customization
- Intelligent reports
- Import and export
- Roles, permissions, and user management
- Conditional content rules
- Multiple device support
- Revision history
- Robust integrations
A user-friendly tool bundled with bespoke features is bound to deliver a brilliant performance. Another aspect that you must consider is value for money. While one tool might offer just a few extra features at an exorbitant price, the other might give decent features at a reasonable price.
Note: Compare Best online documentation tools in 2021
Chalk out your requirements and choose the sales enablement software that offers the best bang for your bucks.
2. Select a Sales Documentation Template
Templates are time as well as energy-saving. They give you a ready-made framework comprising a table of contents with some dummy content. If you think the categories mentioned in the table of contents are helpful, you can retain them. You can even rename the existing categories and add more sections.
Next, delete the dummy text and add relevant content to the template.
The best thing about documentation templates is they relieve you from the hectic task of creating everything from the ground up. You get most of the things handy, so building a sales document becomes much easier.
3. Add Every Crucial Information Your Sales Team Might Need
The next obvious step is to pen down everything related to the sales function, such as:
- The sales process
- Onboarding checklist for new hires
- Product demo videos
- Training material
- Sales scripts for both calls and emails
- Customer case studies, and more.
You can also mention the techniques to handle customer objections and close sales faster. Besides, the process to upsell and cross-sell can also be added to your sales document.
Write comprehensive articles on each of the topics you wish to cover. Equip your sales staff with the knowledge they need to pitch smartly and close deals quickly.
With a documentation tool, you get two options to add content - write it or import it. Ideally, a blend of both these methods speeds up the process, helping you achieve thriving documentation in less time.
4. Seek Support From Other Teams
Creating sales documentation is a collaborative process. A single person or team cannot achieve the quality that multiple individuals working together can.
The depth and breadth of information demanded by sales documentation can be achieved only when different teams - marketing, support, product, etc., come together and share their knowledge with everyone.
For instance, the support team can share details of the challenges customers frequently face. While the marketing team can offer insights into the product's performance and buyer behavior, the product team can give a peek into product features, functionality, risk areas, and more.
Your sales team can leverage these insights, translate them into effective actions that drive better sales.
To maintain harmony and collaboration among team members, you can assign them separate roles based on what fits them best. For example, subject matter experts can be given the role of contributors, and managers can be assigned the administrator's role. Those at the senior level can be assigned the editorial task.
When each member knows what they are accountable for, there will be minimum confusion and maximum output.
5. Elevate Engagement With Images, Videos, & Examples
Sales documentation is a one-stop platform that is meant for frequent use by your sales team.
During customer interactions, salespersons do not have the time to look closely, browse through each article, and spend hours finding a piece of information. That would be counterintuitive, defeating the primary purpose of creating documentation in the first place.
For salespersons to make the most of the documentation, it should be engaging enough. Using a good number of images, videos, and examples, at the right spots, draws readers’ attention, giving them quick access to the information they need.
So, instead of reading an entire paragraph about product features, they can simply watch a video, grasp the content quickly and answer customer questions right away.
It’s quite time-saving, isn’t it?
Below is HighQ’s documentation, created using ProProfs Knowledge Base. The documentation has a separate section for videos. Visit other sections, and you will find that media is used generously across all articles.
6. Publish Error-Free Content Across Devices
One wrong information and you stand a chance to lose your customers. Now that can be a lifetime of regret!
You would not want that to happen, right?
If sales staff don’t have the exact info at their disposal, conversations can go in an unexpected direction, leading to lost prospects.
Since sales documentation is a single point of reference for your sales team, it should offer the most updated, error-free information. For sales documentation content to be free of faults, you can have a workflow review and approval process in place.
As part of this process, every person working on an article must reveal its status - Draft, In Progress, Ready for Review, or Published. In case the status doesn’t fit these predefined categories, they can create a custom status to request contributions, reviews, or suggestions from other members.
This maintains transparency in the system, ensuring that every article is vetted before final publishing. Once the documentation content is carefully reviewed, it can be published across devices - mobile phones, tablets, and laptops.
Your sales team must be armed with the latest, error-free content at their fingertips so that they can sell smartly from wherever they are.
7. Measure, Improve & Update
Sales documentation cannot be a static information resource. As your business grows, products develop, services expand, and processes improve, your documentation should also change for the better.
Besides, sales documentation should keep evolving on the basis of:
- What your sales team searches for but doesn’t find answers to
- The keywords that fail to deliver the right answers
- The articles rated poorly by your sales team
- Inactive or broken links
These metrics give actionable insights into how helpful the sales documentation is for your sales team and whether it is making a real difference in their work.
For example, suppose your sales team frequently searches for - how to handle frustrated customers, what to do when a customer is unwilling to accept the information provided, etc. But, your documentation fails to deliver the right answers to these questions.
This shows that most of the members of your sales team face issues dealing with angry customers. Unfortunately, your sales documentation fails to help them.
What can you do in this case?
Since reports give you access to such critical information, you can use it to add content where necessary, revamp sections that have obsolete content, and give a spin to your documentation.
How to Level-Up Your Sales Documentation
The above section mentions the straightforward steps to create a sales document. But, there is so much more you can do to take the performance of your documentation to a whole new level.
Here are some tips and tricks to improve your sales documentation:
1. Craft Valuable & High-Quality Content
Content forms the heart of a sales document. For your sales team to confidently do their job, the sales documentation should equip them with the most updated and flawless information.
For example, if there is a change in your sales process or you want your sales team to upsell or cross-sell a few products, mention it clearly in your sales documentation.
Providing meaningful content improves the way your sales team interacts with customers and the decisions they make daily to bring business to your organization.
2. Add a Feedback Section at the End of Every Article
Feedback plays an essential role in elevating the quality of your documentation. It also makes the concerned team feel more involved in the document development process.
Your sales team might have brilliant ideas on how to level up the documentation. Sales folks are the best judge of your sales documentation. The suggestions, feedback, and ideas they provide can be game-changing for your documentation.
To take regular feedback, all you need to do is add a simple feedback question such as - Did you find this article helpful at the end of every article. The answer options can be Yes/No. When someone selects No, a list of possible reasons will appear along with a comment box.
Mimosa follows a similar approach. Look at the images below to understand how it is done.
Besides, you also have the option to add feedback survey forms to your documentation. You can add specific questions relevant to your documentation in these forms, choose an appropriate format - multiple choice, checkboxes, rating scale, etc.
Watch this video to know more about feedback and forms:
3. Work on Its Searchability
Given the nature of their job, your sales team needs quick access to information.
Sales folks cannot spend hours looking out for something, especially when they are in the middle of a call, email, or social media conversation. Their job requires them to have the most updated information at their fingertips so that they can sell better and faster.
That’s why your sales documentation should be searchable. It should have a powerful search system and a clearly visible search bar that delivers the right responses to the questions asked.
For your search system to display relevant results, ensure that your content has the right keywords and tags. Whenever someone searches for those keywords or questions containing similar tags, the search system will automatically display matching pages and articles.
Unleashed provides an excellent example of searchable documentation.
4. Structure & Organize for a Seamless Experience
Putting all the information together in your documentation without giving it a proper structure will lead to a poor experience.
That’s because it will snatch away the documentation’s power to deliver an effortless search experience. Your sales team will have to dig deep to find what they need, and it will take them more than the expected time to get the right answers.
So, structuring and organizing are essential for better-looking and high-performing documentation.
Here are some tips and tricks that can help you:
- Create suitable categories and ensure that each one of them consists of relevant information.
- Keep your paragraphs short and clear
- Using bulleted lists is a great way to reduce the monotony and retain the interest of the readers
- Add trending or related article lists at the bottom or side of the page for quick navigation
Documentation shouldn’t be heavy on the head. It shouldn’t overwhelm the readers with lots of information in a go. Ensure that there is enough breathing space in articles so that readers can digest the given information easily.
LEAP’s documentation is a great example of how to structure and organize your content.
5. Documentation Should Be Mobile-Friendly
A mobile-friendly sales process documentation can enhance the productivity of your sales team.
No matter the time and place of work, sales folks can refer to your documentation anytime they need it. This means they will never miss out on the opportunity to contact customers and make sales.
Read More: How to Create Process Documentation
Here are a few hacks to make your documentation work well on mobile devices:
- Avoid using tables in the content, as every mobile device does not support them.
- Use fewer fonts as not every font displays clearly on mobile phones.
- Do not fix the breadth and width of images. Let them shrink and expand automatically according to the screen size.
- Opt for a documentation tool that allows single-source publishing. This allows you to publish the same content on multiple devices - desktop, mobile phones, and tablets.
Build Your Sales Documentation With ProProfs & Glean Substantial Benefits
Creating sales process documentation with ProProfs Knowledge Base can bring you tremendous benefits. This easy-to-use cloud-based tool promises wonderful results at reasonable prices.
Here are some of the astounding benefits of using this software for sales documentation:
1. A simple tool with unique features
It’s one of the simplest tools you will find online. Besides, it has the best-in-class features that can make your sales documentation process quite effortless. A simple interface and powerful features make for a deadly combination, making this tool your best bet.
2. No coding required
If you hate coding and prefer tools that can be used even without deep knowledge in this area, ProProfs Knowledge Base is the right choice. You can easily build sales documentation and get amazing results, even if you have little to no coding experience.
3. Stunning sales documentation templates
ProProfs Knowledge Base offers beautiful, professionally designed templates. They significantly reduce the effort that is otherwise required to build documentation. All you have to do is choose your favorite template, add your logo, brand name, and get started.
4. Track changes & recover deleted content
You can literally do anything with this tool. Want to see the previous changes made to an article and check who made those edits? Revision history lets you do that. You can even revert to a previous version if required. Deleted an article by mistake and want to recover it? Restore it anytime using Vault.
5. Customization capabilities
ProProfs Knowledge Base offers incredible customization options. Whether you want to create a custom domain or change your documentation's colors, themes, and fonts, you can do all of this and much more with ProProfs.
6. Create private documents
Your sales documentation is for internal use only. It’s only you and your sales team who will have full access to the document. So, you will need a tool that can help you create internal documentation that’s visible only to the teams you allow.
With ProProfs Knowledge Base, you can restrict documentation access using the private site feature, allowing only selected teams and users to view, edit, and manage the content.
You get all of these amazing features and many more at the cost of just $0.30/page/month.
Looks like a good deal, right?
Grow Sales & Boost Your Bottomline With Sales Documentation
If there is one thing that every business is worried about, it’s sales.
Sales are the major source of revenue for the smallest of setups and largest of companies. It’s the heart of a business. Sales bring in money, and that money decides the present and future of an organization.
Sales documentation sounds like a simple tool, but it can be of substantial value to your business. Your sales team needs constant support that’s available 24x7. A sales document gives them everything they need - client information, product details, sales scripts, case studies, etc., to woo customers and convince them to buy your product.
It helps them create positive experiences that make customers come back to your brand for more.
Create sales documentation today with ProProfs Knowledge Base to take your business one step closer to success.
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