As a teenager, the highlight of my Monday nights was watching the show 24 with my family. Without fail, after Jack Bauer saved the world, the same PSA would come on after every episode:
“It’s 10 PM. Do you know where your children are?” an ominous voice would ask (seemingly neglectful) parents. To my family, this was the signal that it was time for my brother and me to get to bed. But for some parents who may not have the same Monday night 24 tradition, it probably served as a prompter to check in with their kids and ensure they get home safe. I’m not here to argue about the PSA’s effectiveness, but it’s been 10 years and that ominous warning line is still ingrained in my memory. It even made me realize that B2B marketers need to address their leads in the same way:
“Your leads have been generated and passed to sales. Do you know where your lead insights are?”
Admittedly, this doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, but it is something that really should matter more to marketers. For those who use marketing automation tools to generate leads, scoring and passing leads to sales for further interaction typically means losing all lead visibility. And the passing-over process isn’t smooth either: reps usually don’t fully know what content leads have already seen, information they’ve consumed or website pages they’ve visited. Lead engagement is poorly tracked and regulated by reps, either in the CRM or not at all. But most importantly, lack of marketing visibility means reps aren’t armed with the collateral they need to have a relevant conversation with a specific buyer. This disconnect is ultimately a dead-end for marketing content ROI; when you can’t see how leads that turn into customers are interacting with marketing content, it’s impossible to measure how content is contributing to won deals.
Poor lead visibility is a double-edged sword, inhibiting both sales and marketing from success. If marketing is unable to see what content is being used in different types of interactions, it can’t assess the value of content or create more of what is working. Sales reps, too, have no idea what content they should use for specific sales conversations, so they end up sharing generic or irrelevant content that simply doesn’t stick with prospects. Marketing teams need to work with sales to determine what content should be created to support reps in the mid- to late-stages of the buying process, such as hyper-specific case studies, competitor battlecards and testimonials. These types of content will help to push leads through to the final phases of the buying process, and with the right strategy and tools in place sales and marketing organizations will see increased alignment and visibility.
This is where sales enablement comes in. A sales enablement tool should not only ensure that sales reps have the right content right when they need it, but should help marketers understand what content is successfully supporting sales conversations. When marketing is able to further support sales reps with the right content and insights in the customer-led buying process, sales interactions are more meaningful and relevant for buyers. Connecting marketing automation and sales enablement paints a more holistic lead view, so successful content, interactions and processes can be repeated for similar leads in the future. Bonus points if the sales enablement solution also integrates with the CRM, so reps can access only deal- and lead-specific content right from the opportunity and automatically track content usage. This will lead to less time spent searching for content, shortened sales cycles and higher win rates, not to mention better sales and marketing alignment.
For marketers looking to quantify and improve marketing content’s contribution to the bottom line, a great first step would be connecting your marketing automation and sales enablement solutions. It will give you a more holistic lead view and increase your sales and marketing alignment, which according to HubSpot can result in 20% revenue growth per year. Knowing where your leads are and what they do after leaving marketing’s hands can be the perfect push towards sales and marketing success.