Your sales team needs content. Content helps them build relationships, establish themselves as an educator, target key accounts and overall, expedite the sales cycle. So why is it that so much content isn’t being used for sales enablement? According to SiriusDecisions and The American Marketing Association, up to 90% of marketing content is never utilized.
The answer – They can’t find it. They are likely searching for your organization’s content on Google. And if they can’t find it on Google, they’re constantly asking the marketing team for a piece of collateral.
Marketers spend so much time creating relevant content but that’s not enough. In order for their content to be recognized, we need to do a better job at encouraging our sales teams to put our content to work by making it readily available to help them do so. Nothing is worse than having to quickly create a piece of collateral the day before a salesperson needs it. As a team of marketers, we need to do a better job at sales enablement. Here’s a few steps to get started on establishing better sales enablement.
4 Steps to Establish or Improve Sales Enablement Efforts
- Start the discussion about better sales enablement collateral – Call key sales reps and marketers into a meeting to put together a better, longer-term collateral approach. Everyone needs to make it clear from the get go that the overall goal is to build the best collateral and sales enablement materials possible and make them easily accessible for the sales team. Nobody should have to continuously download collateral and save it on their desktops.
- Expand the scope to create “best-case” collateral – Gather information from everyone in your organization (i.e. customer service representatives, education/training, technicians, etc.) and of course don’t leave out sales. By doing this, you will be able to tailor your content to match what the customers are asking about. You should even tailor the voice and attitude behind it to match the rest of your company brand.
- Make it easier for sales to find and access marketing content – This may seem like a no brainer but you’d be surprised. One of the main reasons quality collateral sits unused is lack of communication between marketing and sales. As a result, salespeople lose 30 hours each month (that’s approximately seven hours each week) looking for or producing last minute sales collateral. If they knew exactly where to find the collateral they needed, think about the hours of unnecessary work they could cut out. With better communication between sales and marketing, meaningful collateral can be easily created, stored and found for current and potential customers.
- Realize that sales reps want to personalize their content – According to Aberdeen Group, the best performing organizations enable sales reps to personalize content for their customers. While marketing probably isn’t able to produce content to support thousands of different use case scenarios (and even if you can, your time is probably better spent elsewhere), but they can provide a library of collateral that’s broken down by different goals (i.e. educate and answer non-product related questions, manage buyer objections, address pain points, case studies that feature customer challenges that were resolved using your solution, a general overview of the brand or product story, etc.). Arming sales with email templates that have marketing approved key messaging in the body but still allow for personalization can help ensure consistency.
Trying to achieve sales and marketing alignment can seem like quite a feat sometimes. The bottom line though is that in order to help your sales team to have successful communication with potential and current customers, it’s marketing’s responsibility to ensure they don’t have to jump through hoops to effectively leverage your brand’s content. We could list tips all day on how to store your collateral, create a collateral library that’s user friendly, etc. But in reality, it’s all about communication and better alignment. Stay in touch with your sales team and ensure you’re content creation team is making the best use of everyone’s time.