One of the most common purposes for white papers is to educate key audiences such as customers and prospects. But there’s another audience for which white papers are just as effective at educating. That audience is internal staff.
White papers to educate internally
Most people think of white papers as external marketing documents and they serve in that role well. But companies can also use white papers to educate internal staff. They’re particularly effective for educating salespeople and customer service employees
Using white papers to educate salespeople
The better salespeople understand the needs of their customers and how the company’s products or services address those needs, the more effective they’ll be when talking to customers and prospects. For example, let’s say your company makes thermostats that are installed by HVAC contractors. Your newest thermostat incorporates several innovative features such as interacting with “smart” devices. Because this technology is new, the sales team may not be completely familiar with it. A white paper can explain each of the new features and share ways salespeople can describe them to customers. That way, the salespeople can explain the additional value of the features with confidence.
Using white papers to educate customer service staff
Similarly, when the company develops or updates products, white papers offer an ideal way to educate the people who will help to solve problems related to those products. When customer service personnel have a thorough understanding of the new or updated products and the advantages they offer customers, they’ll be able to guide customers through problems. By taking time to educate the customer service team, the company can also improve their morale and help them feel like experts.
Using white papers to share common language
White papers also offer a way to make sure everyone within your organization is using consistent messaging, which strengthens and supports important messages. Suppose your company has had to implement a price increase in a price-sensitive market. If your team doesn’t have a solid understanding of the reasons for the increase, they’ll come up with their own explanations — and those explanations are far more likely to be negative.
Suppose you instead developed a brief white paper explaining the reasons for the increase, such as the fact your raw material costs have increased by 27 percent over the past three years and this is the only price increase your company has made. Now everyone has the information they need to respond consistently and confidently.