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How to Create Consistent and Empowering Sales Documentation

March 23, 2023

sales documentation

It’s a given: buyers are becoming smarter with every purchase.

They know what solutions fulfill their needs or help them overcome a challenge. Some buyers approach you with intimidating questions, likely to throw any sales team off guard.

You don't want this happening to your team. That’s why it’s critical to document necessary information, such as product knowledge, and list useful content resources to manage buyers.

Sales documentation helps your sales team smoothly respond to every buyer inquiry and onboard new clients more effectively. Find out what sales documentation is, how to create it, and how it benefits your bottom line – the sale!

What is sales documentation?

Sales documentation is a collection of content that guides sales reps in the sales process with the information, tools, and techniques to engage prospects and customers, answer their questions, and close deals successfully. 

Effective sales documentation includes a range of resources, such as sales call scripts, email templates for sales sequences, and guides on handling objections. It can also include product promotion, offering information, links to related content like blogs, eBooks, videos, slide decks, case studies, press releases, email responses, and competitor analysis.

It's a repository of quality content that enables sales reps to provide buyers with better context about a product or service. Sales documentation helps ensure consistency and clarity in the sales process and enables new sales reps to get up to speed quickly.

How sales documentation helps your business

Employees typically spend 25% of their time searching and gathering information. The loss of time is particularly disadvantageous in sales scenarios where customers want information faster. This is where sales documentation steps in.

1. Makes data-backed conversations possible

Sales documentation provides sales reps with the right insights to inform and engage customers and prospects. This helps:

  • Offer a similar solution proposed to existing customers
  • Identify and help buyers resolve the issue faster
  • Use existing case studies to encourage buyer investment in the brand's services
  • Provide conclusive evidence across the existing customer base to establish trust and close deals faster

Detailed data engage buyers in data-driven conversations, bringing them closer to a purchase decision.

2. Brings information clarity 

Nearly 42% of sales reps feel they don’t have enough information before making a sales call. And the numbers hardly lie.

Sales reps are typically not informed of new developments in a company. This keeps them struggling to catch up. They can't pitch offers or communicate product upgrades to customers if they don't know about them. Simple!

You can put a stop to this lack of information with sales documentation. Built on a knowledge base, sales documentation is easy to edit and equips your sales team with the latest information about your services.

3. Helps build awesome sales pitches

Implementing a structured sales pitch involves brainstorming, collaboration, and iteration. Sales documentation helps create great sales pitches with the latest product information, customer insights, and sales data tailored to each prospect's needs and pain points.

Sales documentation also provides templates and frameworks to effectively structure sales pitches to cover all essential points clearly and concisely. It can also include examples of successful pitches and messages that have worked well with similar prospects. Sales reps learn better from past successes and can replicate them in future communication.

4. Maintains brand tone and standardizes processes

Sales documentation helps maintain the same brand tone and stick to standard processes. This includes using consistent messaging, following a standardized sales process, and presenting the brand consistently. 

When it comes to sales, maintaining brand consistency builds a sense of trust and reliability. Being consistent in your communication eliminates brand confusion, misrepresentation, and miscommunication. 

Without sales documentation, sales reps might:

  • Provide different product information to different customers
  • Miss out on the latest updates and upgrades while discussing the product with on-demand prospects
  • Miss any marketing offers the company plans to offer

Sales documentation provides clear guidelines and instructions for sales reps to follow to ensure that all customer interactions are consistent and high-quality.

5. Simplifies the sales process for new hires

Sales documentation is the perfect training material for new salespeople. It helps them learn more about your offerings and present them better to customers. Sales documentation consolidates relevant sales materials and offers examples of customer conversations for new hires and what has and hasn't worked for others.

In short, sales documentation provides the necessary information to onboard sales reps and prepare them well for their first customer conversations.

8 critical steps to creating sales documentation 

It’s time to learn how to create sales documentation to reap all the amazing benefits it offers.

1. Understand your existing sales process

How do you close a deal? Does it take more than one sales rep to close a sale? What are the potential tradeoffs or promises made?

Answer these questions before planning and executing the sales documentation process. Understand what's happening in your existing sales process and how each employee performs.

  • What documents do sales reps use to help prospects understand the product?
  • Do sales reps receive callback requests? If so, how many?
  • Is it easy to find and shop with your company?
  • On certain calls, prospects become concerned about the service and the brand. How do sales reps handle challenging calls and take pressure off prospects to keep the conversation going?

2. Identify the documents required to close the deal

Customer acquisition takes time. You take multiple calls with not just one but multiple stakeholders. So, understanding the content formats that help sales reps answer key customer questions is critical in this step.

Different content types appeal to different target audiences. Here are some common content formats that sales use:

  • Press releases
  • Product manuals and feature guides
  • Blogs
  • Videos
  • Case studies
  • Home pages
  • eBooks
  • Company reports
  • Slide decks
  • Email templates

Once you've identified these resources, schedule directory-style sales documentation to seamlessly transition from one document style to another.

3. Assess customer pain points and needs

Develop and document sales objections and customer pain points one at a time.

Ask:

  • What difficulties do you typically face when interacting with customers?
  • Did you get past any of the key issues? How?
  • What did you learn?
  • How would you understand customer pain points and needs in the future?

Answering these questions will help you find a solution faster to create the required solutions.

4. Choose a sales documentation tool

Once you’ve outlined your sales documentation and listed the resources needed, look for a document management tool to double down on your efforts. A good tool should:

  • Offer advanced search functionality and quickly search for specific information
  • Keep your data safe
  • Make it easy to publish articles with videos, images, and multiple hyperlinks to other helpful articles
  • Help update older articles or add new ones after the sales documentation goes live

5. Hire a documentation specialist with sales expertise

The process is incomplete without a specialist to help you strategize, organize, and manage sales documentation. Hiring the right person for the job is imperative. A document specialist should ideally:

  • Have prior sales experience 
  • Technical writing and editing experience
  • Organizational and managerial skills
  • Collaboration and review capabilities

With these prerequisites in place, keeping your sales documentation process on track is easier.

6. Provide a step-by-step guide to approaching a sale

With step-by-step instructions in the sales documentation, sales reps can approach their sales pitches in a clear and structured manner and close deals better.

  • Conduct customer research and use the information to prepare for the sales call
  • Find engaging ways to start a conversation
  • Assess and identify qualified leads
  • Position your product or service as the ideal solution and communicate its unique value proposition
  • Deal with objections and provide evidence or examples to support the product or service's effectiveness
  • Create FOMO to increase interest in the brand
  • Know how to request the sale, handle any final objections or concerns, and follow up after the call to ensure a successful deal

7. Make way for changes and upgrades

Regularly updating sales documentation is crucial to keeping your sales team informed of new product developments. This way, you ensure your team has access to the most up-to-date information about your products, which in turn allows them to sell more effectively.

To ensure the updates are communicated effectively, you can email your sales team quickly to notify them of the changes and provide links to the updated documentation. This will save time and ensure everyone is on the same page.

It's also important to keep a detailed record of all changes to the sales documentation. Keep track of what was updated and when to use it as a reference for any questions or problems.

8. Introduce upsell and cross-sell opportunities

Want to go beyond traditional sales? Present some upselling and cross-selling techniques for sales reps to take stock of. Here are some examples to add to your sales documentation.

  • Effective options to solve challenges faster and speed up decision-making
  • Bundled products with other great services you offer
  • Dummy options to encourage customers to compare different features and options
  • Special offers and valuable add-ons beyond the existing purchase

4 best practices for building sales documentation

Here are some best practices for building, maintaining, and using sales documentation.

  1. Include your sales team in the process, as they bring a niche perspective to the contents of the documentation.
  2. Sales documentation should be readily available and easily accessible. Consider using a central repository or knowledge base.
  3. Don't rush the creative process. Make sure your documentation is accurate, effective, and supports your sales team's efforts. Learn to stay the course and take it easy when creating such a valuable asset.
  4. Update sales documentation regularly to keep your sales team and customers up to date with the latest information.

Put your sales team on the road to success

Building sales documentation equips your sales team with the tools and information to succeed. It helps sales reps have data-backed conversations, clarify information immediately, build compelling sales pitches, maintain brand consistency, and a clear step-by-step guide to closing deals.

Investing in sales documentation allows you to improve your sales processes and stand out in a competitive market.

Don't want to lose potential sales to common objections from prospects? Find out ways to handle sales objections and close more deals.

knowledge base software
Reduce confusion and improve collaboration

Store and organize information about your business, products, services, and processes in a central repository accessible by the rest of your team. Start using knowledge base software.

knowledge base software
Reduce confusion and improve collaboration

Store and organize information about your business, products, services, and processes in a central repository accessible by the rest of your team. Start using knowledge base software.

How to Create Consistent and Empowering Sales Documentation Check out how to create sales process documents effectively! Close more deals with accurate sales documentation and a winning sales team. https://learn.g2.com/hubfs/sales%20documentation.jpg
Gowri Ramkumar Gowri Ramkumar is the Vice President of Sales & Customer Success at Kovai. She’s responsible for the company’s global sales, customer nurturing, and partnership activities related to its software and B2B SaaS products. From being a one-member Sales team, the company now has over 50 customer engagement roles across multiple products and continues growing with her inspiring leadership. https://learn.g2.com/hubfs/Gowri%20Kovai.jpg https://www.linkedin.com/in/gowri-ramkumar/

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