As a B2B marketer, you understand how important content is to accelerating sales cycles and winning deals. But you also know that there might be a disconnect between marketers’ content creation and sales reps’ content usage, and think that there must be a better way to deliver that content to sales. SiriusDecisions estimates that between 60 and 70 percent of collateral created by marketing goes unused by sales reps, which costs enterprise organizations an average of $2.3 million each year. This leaves a huge opportunity for improvement when it comes to packaging and delivering sales content to the reps that use it.
B2B marketing teams put so much research, time and effort into creating the best content for sales teams, but if that content isn’t presented to sales the way they need to consume it, it won’t get used. There are a number of ways that marketers can better package and deliver their content to sales to ensure optimal usage.
Create content for activation and empowerment
SiriusDecisions recommends creating and packaging content for two specific use cases: empowerment and activation. Empowerment content is designed for internal use and should help sales reps prepare for buyer interactions. This should include product information, competitive differentiators, battlecards and more. Activation content includes resources that are customer-facing, and should incorporate proper messaging and branding. These two types of content shouldn’t be interchangeable, and reps should easily be able to tell the difference between the two.
Analyze and understand sales’ consumption patterns
Salespeople undoubtedly have individual and differing preferences when it comes to consuming content. These preferences depend on the stage of the sales cycle and the rep’s specific role. For example, inside reps working with buyers in early stages may be more likely to access content from a desktop, CRM or other online portal, while outside reps meeting with buyers face-to-face may prefer content to be accessible from mobile devices or tablets. Marketing teams should take notice of these preferences and package content accordingly.
Serve content to reps when and where they need it
Buyers today are in the driver’s seat when it comes to making purchase decisions, so sales reps need more supporting content than ever to engage with these buyers. Activation content should be specific to the buyer’s role, industry and stage in the purchase process, and should be segmented by these buyer characteristics for reps to easily locate and share. If possible, content should be mapped and tagged to CRM opportunity characteristics and served up to reps within the CRM.
Get constant feedback from sales
In order to understand how specific reps or groups of reps prefer to receive content, marketing teams should be receiving constant feedback from sales. Reps’ preferences likely change over time, so their consumption patterns and usage rates will as well. Marketers should have full visibility into how content is used: which reps are using what content, what device(s) they are accessing content from, and how, when, and with who content is shared externally. The ultimate goal is to be able to serve content to any rep wherever they are—directly within email, CRM, or a universally accessible portal—and have it be as relevant to their specific buyer interaction as possible. Constant content usage analytics can help gain these insights and adjust content offerings accordingly.
When arming sales reps for success, creating good content is only half the battle for marketing teams. It’s important to understand how to package that content properly so sales is able to easily access, consume, understand and share that content with the appropriate audiences. Taking the tips above into consideration will help your marketing team increase usage rates of the content it creates, while making sales more effective in the process.