3 Ways to Create Content That Sales Loves

This piece is part of an ongoing series we call Seismic’s Expert Perspectives Unleashed. The series provides insights from Seismic’s Customer Success team. Every day they work with professionals to empower their Sales and Marketing efforts through better content creation, management, and analytics. Today’s post is from Jon Freeberg, Customer Success Manager.

3 Ways to Create Content That Sales Loves

This might be hard to believe but, your sales team is probably ignoring the vast majority of your marketing content.

At Seismic, our Customer Success team is involved in managing content of all shapes and sizes. We have customers with 50,000 pieces of content and we have customers with 200 pieces of content. Regardless of how much content a customer has, we see one key trend among most of our customers: there is a small subset of your marketing content that your sales team uses over and over again — the rest of it sits on the shelf.

Translating that into metrics, we see that 95% of marketing content is used infrequently and only 5% of marketing content is used at a high frequency (defined as content that is used 5x or more on a rolling 3-month basis.)

Let’s stop and think about that number for a second: 95% of the content that Marketing spends countless hours building is rarely being used by Sales. Conversely, there are just a handful of pieces they are revisiting time and time again.

Here’s a real world example: One of our customers has a medium sized content universe (fewer than 5,000 pieces of content). We found that just six of their documents make up 50% of all of their content usage. When we relayed this information to them, they were able to go to their sales team and ask why those six pieces of content were so often used. It turned out that the content being used was relevant to specific products. These pieces were also built using Seismic’s LiveDocs® Technology which allows the sales users to customize the documents for their customer on the fly. They were able to take that feedback and use it to build more effective content that had relevance to their customers, and delighted their sales team in the process.

Here are three key tips from this customer experience that every marketing team can benefit from:

  1. Focus on content your sales team loves. Less than 5% of content is used at a high frequency. Instead of focusing on what your sales team isn’t using, focus on what they love using. Build them more content that delights them. Building 15,000 pieces of content that no one uses is wasted energy. It would benefit any marketing team to channel their efforts into building effective sales content over building large volumes.
  2. Speak to your sales team. You might be asking yourself, “How do I know what Sales is using all the time?” Unless you have usage statistics you might not know the answer to this question. The easiest way to find out is to ask your sales team directly. One of the first things we recommend during the implementation process is to set up a few 10-minute interviews with members of your sales team. It is always fascinating to hear how different sales people think about content and what they use most often. During this process we always hear about major themes across the organization that can help shape your content strategy. If we hear from Sales that they use case studies all the time, then we should make sure they have up-to-date case studies that are easy to find and deliver.
  3. Keep your content fresh. It is paramount that the content available to Sales doesn’t get stale and that it constantly evolves. If you dump all of your current marketing content into a system and don’t touch it for the next year, your sales team will probably stop looking for new content. If your sales team knows that they can operate within a system like Seismic and always find up-to-date and fresh content, they’ll be all smiles.

There is a very real possibility that your marketing team has a large amount of marketing content that no one is using. If you are like most of our clients, your sales team most likely loves using a few specific pieces of content over and over again. Find out what those pieces of content are and why they like using them. Once you identify common trends, you can shape your content strategy moving forward to make sure your content is constantly fresh and used by your sales team. By following these key tips you will give Sales the tools they need to sell more efficiently!
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