Legacy marketing and sales tactics often rely on focusing on the features of products and how they stack up against the competitors. Seldom do they explain the involved complexities, intricate details about their working, or the process of setting them up. This is especially true for small businesses who find it safer to mimic proven offline sales strategies in the virtual sales ecosystem.

But if the objective is to grow your sales figures in a short time, playing safe and saying no to innovative methods will do no good. To achieve phenomenal sales figures, you will have to walk the extra mile and embrace more effective ways of selling your products or services.

Enter product documentation, the most undervalued weapon in the sales arsenal that has the potential to fill sales pipelines within no time. It is also what makes a next-gen salesperson the purple cow in a herd of black and white. In a world where smart sales cycles and shrewd headlines dominate sales strategies, product documentation has turned out to be a secret weapon for the ideal salesperson.

How to Use Product Documentation to Improve Sales Growth

Let’s understand how an impeccable product document can make life easier for your sales reps.

1. Functions as a Product Demo

Product documentation essentially walks the prospects through the entire workflow of a product or a service. It handholds them with the help of intuitive descriptions and screenshots while explaining the capabilities or limits of a product. This is a crucial phase in the sales cycle, which enables sales representatives to deliver a sneak peek into the product in action.

It is also where managers draw the line between features vs. benefits. While it is important to convey the features, a benefit-driven approach tells prospective customers about the outcomes they are likely to realize when they use the product or service.

product documents as product demoSource

Product documentation effectively walks them through this process and enables prospects to understand how the product fares under different use-cases.

2. Warms Up Leads

Product documentation has much higher authority than any marketing or sales brochure since it is created to assist customers and not to convince prospects. This enables it to function as a source of critical pre-sales market research for managers who want to implement the product or tool at their organization.

Why is this crucial? Simply because the ones buying the product are most likely to be the ones who will use it on a daily basis. By referring to the product documentation to solve their queries and understand how the product works, prospects end up preparing themselves. Such self-service arms them with all the relevant information, and they are more likely to cooperate with the salespeople, boosting their chances of conversions by multiple folds.

3. Provides Cross-Selling and Upselling Opportunities

While pitching the functioning of product A in its product documentation, another witty approach can be introducing the benefits of a related product B. Apart from working as a reliable SEO tactic, product documentation also provides information on how to use product combos and address specific user concerns.

This works well, especially for small businesses that may have a range of products to sell in order to maximize their gamut of sales. With comprehensive interlinking in such documents, sales leads for a range of products can be accumulated in a short period of time.

4. Builds Better Brand Authority

Establishing a reliable brand was once a resource-intensive media strategy that required years of market intervention. Today, a digital company can do this with a robust technological infrastructure and reliable product documentation.

The fast-paced success that platforms like Stripe have achieved over the years is a testament to this. With a well-organized homepage that highlights individual products and focuses on how prospects will interact with their software, Stripe makes it easy for them to make the purchase decision.

use product documentation for brand authorityImage: Stripe.com

Both developers and end-users rely on such products to the point of becoming natural advocates for their brands.

5. Boosts Customer Retention

A primary aspect of boosting sales is to generate recurring revenues from existing customers. Customers are often busy in their professional activities and might not always have time to explore every feature or keep up with relevant product updates. This makes them more susceptible to churning away.

A well-structured product document enables your customers to explore features that deliver value and helps them realize the benefits of these features.

A key aspect of ideal documentation is that it doesn’t feel like a mundane experience. Instead, it hacks into the workflow of customers and empowers them to achieve more with the same resources. All this and more can have a significant impact on customer retention, improving sales at one end, and reducing the cost of acquisition on the other.

The Verdict – Can Product Documentation Improve Sales?

Product documentation can indeed function as a goldmine of lead generation for small businesses, significantly boosting their conversion rates. It acts as a new channel of lead generation where quality is measured by how well a company understands its target customers and the ease with which it solves their queries.

What are your views about the impact of product documentation on sales? Share with us in the comments section below.

Brayn-Wills200Brayn Wills currently holds the position of knowledge management manager at ProProfs. He is responsible for creating unique and relevant content on knowledge-based tools and keeping track of the latest developments in the realm of knowledge management software. In his free time, he is either reading a new book or exploring offbeat destinations.

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