August 11, 2015
by Matt Sharrers
Your marketing team spends time and money to produce quality content. So why won’t the sales team use it?
The hard truth is often Sales doesn’t know how to use marketing content. They don’t know what is applicable when during the buyer’s journey. From prospect to customer, Sales may be unclear what is helpful during each stage.
Sales also might not believe that the content is relevant. The usefulness of marketing content may be in question.
Both of these problems are relatively easy to solve. Keep reading to find out how to get sales to use your content effectively.
How to Get Sales and Marketing Reconnected
Your team’s main objective is producing quality leads for Sales. So the needs of the sales organization should be part of your content strategy.
The first thing you must do is facilitate the conversation. Marketing and Sales need to understand where each other is coming from.
- How is the sales team currently using content?
- How is Marketing currently delivering that content?
- Is there communication happening between the two organizations that drives relevant content?
Second, understand how a great sales organization utilizes marketing content. Marketing sometimes makes the mistake of concentrating on the top of the funnel. Content should not just be focused on lead generation services. Marketing content needs to engage the buyer throughout the entire sales process.
Third, educate Sales on how content can be used at each stage of the buyer’s journey. Just as you map the buying process, map types of content to each stage.
Finally, make Sales part of the content creation process. Your marketing organization shouldn’t just be guessing what Sales needs. They should be learning directly from Sales what they need at each stage.
This will help: We have developed a Sales Enablement Toolkit. This toolkit has simple but powerful tools for assessing buyer personas and developing a buying process map. These tools will help get your content in alignment with the Sales process. We’ve also added our “How the Best Marketers Are Producing Great Content” ebook. Feel free to download the complete toolkit here.
Collaboration Leads to More Sales
Marketing and Sales make great partners – when they make the effort to collaborate. Marketing can help Sales understand what the customer is doing before and after interactions. This can lead to more effective sales conversations and a shorter sales cycle.
So how do you get the two teams talking?
- Look at the top ten deals in the sales pipeline. Ask Sales: “What can we send to these prospects to help you win the deal?”
- Find out where there are gaps. Where does Sales need more or better content to help them make the sale? Align your content production around the biggest gap in the pipeline.
When you get Sales and Marketing on the same page, everyone wins. Align your strategies to get the most benefit from your marketing content.
This post first appeared on the Sales Bench Index blog.
Prior to his current role as consultant and thought leader, Matt Sharrers held an executives sales leadership position at Cintas, a Fortune 250 multi-national company. He was the Vice President of Sales for $370 million business unit where he was responsible for over 300 sales reps and 46 sales leaders.