From Content Management to Sales Enablement

This is the first post in a series where Meg Guarente, a Product Marketing Manager here at Seismic, will chronicle her journey of discovering sales enablement. In this post Meg walks you through her first inklings of sales enablement based on pain points she was experiencing. Stay tuned for more in this series!

They say content is king, right? It’s why 95% of b2b purchase decisions are directly influenced by it, according to DemandGen. But I’m going to coin a new saying: Content can also be the enemy.

What do I mean by that? Well, if Sales can’t find the right content, for the right buyer, at the right time, it’s essentially worthless. The finger then points to Marketing to blame because they are the ones responsible for creating, storing, organizing, managing and distributing it to Sales.

While this is all true, I’d like to pose a few questions to those finger pointers: How is Marketing supposed to keep content up-to-date if it lives in multiple places? And how can Marketing make content easy to find when they live in a 50+, folder-on-folder-on-folder hierarchy structure, with different permissioning rules for each? And my final question: how is Marketing supposed to improve content over time without any visibility into how Sales uses it, or how engaging it is with prospects today?

And so, it was about a year ago that I set out to answer the above questions. In hindsight, it was the beginning of my journey from content management to sales enablement, however at the time, I had no idea I was even on such a journey. Like most B2B purchases, it all started with a problem, or multiple problems (everything I laid out above just to name a few).

I realized that as a Product Marketer, I couldn’t say with 100% confidence which content repository I was supposed to use to create new or update existing content for Sales. When I asked my fellow marketers, they all had different answers. I confirmed sellers felt the same pain when I heard them say things like “we have a ton of material, but there’s 25 different decks and not all of it is up to date” or “it takes me days to pull a presentation together for a client meeting, which pulls me away from doing other activities for my other accounts”.

Our content libraries (notice the plural), had thousands, and I mean thousands, of pieces of content, some dating back to 2013. Sellers would frantically email Marketing before client meetings asking for help customizing their presentations (the majority of the time their presentations would include a slide I had never even seen before). Not to mention, we had just gone through an entire rebrand, so message consistency was crucial, but seemed impossible to achieve in our current state.

“There has to be a better way” I said to myself. I started googling what I knew – content management systems – but would use phrases like “content management tools for sales and marketing” or “content management for enterprises”.

What I discovered through my searching was an entire world I never knew existed. Those initial problems and searches would eventually lead me down the path to sales enablement. I would then come to realize that sales enablement does a lot more than just solve content management problems—and my journey was just beginning.

smarter selling


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