7 Ways to Get The Sales Team to Use Your Marketing Content
The evolution of content marketing as a discipline has made content creation a core marketing function. At the top of the sales funnel, effective presentations and web site content generate leads and build awareness. Farther along in the buyer’s journey, finely tailored content such as case studies and white papers can help specific buyer personas build consensus for adoption of a vendor’s solution – shortening sales cycles and increasing the likelihood of a successful close.
That’s the ideal. The reality is that a lack of marketing and sales alignment often creates barriers to successful content marketing.
Research by SiriusDecisions shows that sales doesn’t even use 60 to 70% of marketing content. That means that about two thirds of marketing’s investment in content development — often as much as 12% of the entire marketing budget — can be going to waste. Content that should be impacting revenue by helping to close late-stage deals is just sitting unused.
How can marketing turn this around? How can you get sales to use the content that you spend valuable marketing time and resources developing?
To start, be sure you have a successful process set up with your sales organization for identifying, building, and using your content – before you start producing any content.
Below are 7 ways marketing can set up a better process with sales:
1) Know your buyer’s journey
Understand who the buyer is and the purchasing process – so you can produce marketing content that aligns with that buyer’s journey. Your reps need content that they can proactively use to overcome each obstacle in the buyer’s path to successful adoption. Do you know the primary buyer objections and how your sales team typically overcomes them? Do you know the different stages in your sales team’s buying process? Do you know what buyer actions move a lead from one sales stage to the next?
Understand the sales process specific for each buyer persona, and deliver content that supports that process. Create presentations that address the buyer’s challenges and potential solutions, such as case studies that describe realistic scenarios to be relevant to the rep and resonate with the buyer.
2) Be sure your content is buyer-centric
Sales executives surveyed by Sirius say that too much marketing content is product-centric — focused on selling product features. What sales really wants and needs is buyer-centric content — content that communicates value that’s matched to the needs of specific customer personas. Buyers need sales reps to help them understand how to solve a pragmatic business problem or exploit an opportunity – not just explain Feature A and Feature B.
3) Meet regularly with sales counterparts
At the very least, you need to be meeting monthly, and if you’re organization is smaller, even more frequently. Use meetings to share what’s working and what’s not. Be transparent about the content that’s being generated, allow the reps to give feedback – and listen. Why produce content they don’t want?
Additionally, marketing should regularly attend sales meetings, to share campaigns and content under development …read more
Source:: Kiss Metrics Blog