Highspot Blog

Life After an MQL: Now Your Content Really Matters

sales content for engagement

Marketers work hard to generate good sales leads and the best marketers know that an agreed-upon set of qualification criteria with sales is an essential ingredient in a high-performance sales process.

Inbound marketing, content marketing, paid programs, and search optimization all work hard to drive interest into the very top of the funnel and then via form completion, back-end data enhancement, or activity scoring via marketing automation. This all leads to the creation of a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) that is then (generally) handed to sales for further qualification and pursuit. These leads become Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs), then Opportunities, with the goal of converting them to customers.

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5 Keys to a Powerful Sales Playbook

5 keys to a powerful sales playbook

A sales playbook sounds like a great idea — capture the best practices and most important content for your selling process to turn every rep into a closing machine. But it doesn’t always work out that way. Too many sales playbooks rest comfortably on a shelf, gathering dust, while reps use whatever content they’ve managed to pull together. What does it take to create a playbook that is a valuable tool for closing deals? We’ve found that there are five keys to making a playbook that works.

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Content Creation Is Just the End of the Beginning

Content creation is just the end of the beginning

The creation of a piece of content is really just the end of the beginning of its life.

Marketing teams work to create compelling content that will attract potential customers or generate awareness and buzz.  More recently, this content has been the fuel for the marketing automation rocket designed to automatically engage prospects identified to be most interested and prioritize them for sales engagement.

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Does Your Sales Enablement Content Balance Control and Flexibility?

balance sales content control and flexibility

Companies work very hard to optimize their sales processes and create content that facilitates the buyer journey through those processes. Sales portals have historically attempted to provide a way to centrally publish, version, and update all critical sales collateral, providing the control that both marketing and sales leaders desire.

Marketing leaders want consistent brand, messaging, and usage of content and collateral pieces that they create so that everything is of high quality and “rogue” materials don’t get released.

Sales leaders, especially ones in businesses where the transaction volume is high or sales process highly structured, want only the pieces of content that power the engine, perceiving anything else as a distraction or a detour from the scripted process.

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Accelerate Your Sales Process with Intelligent Content

how to drive sales performance with intelligent content

One could argue that content is the lifeblood of the modern customer lifecycle, from promotional materials produced to drive top of the funnel interest to collateral used throughout the buyer’s journey to win new business.

Marketing creates content to feed paid programs, populate email lead nurturing flows, and drive interest and awareness for the company as it seeks to find and attract qualified sales prospects.Continue reading article ›

Is Your Marketing Content Falling into a Black Hole?

unused marketing content

You’re looking for a file on your company’s portal or intranet. They told you that’s where it is. “Just search for it,” they said. So you’ve searched, but you couldn’t find it among the list of documents in the search results. “It’s there,” they said. Sure, it’s probably there, but you can’t find it. It’s as if your content has gone into a black hole. It’s full of Office documents, PDFs, and videos. It has engineering specs, marketing plans, sales playbooks, and maybe even human resources information. “I can’t find it,” you say. So what do you do?

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Playbooks for the Buyer Revolution

sales playbooks for modern buyers

For the past 25 years, I’ve helped drive sales at a number of software companies. That’s given me a ringside seat where I’ve seen many changes in the engagement between buyers and sellers. Most of those changes have been evolutionary, but recently we are experiencing a revolution.

Access to information over the Web and on every device has dramatically shifted the way that companies evaluate vendors and make their buying decisions. Customers have so much information that by the time they engage vendors, as much as 80% of the buying process is completed. Sellers need to be fully prepared to engage buyers on their terms and in an aggressive timeline.

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Making Search Work

making search work

We all use different ways to find what we need online. One of them is to browse through information that has been organized for you. When you go to the business section of the New York Times, or you look at the items for sale from a particular vendor, you are using a structure that somebody set up with lists or tags. It works well for managing content that is uniform, where everything is controlled by a single person or group. Inside of a company, for example, maybe you have a set of case studies and you organize them based on the product line, geographic region, and customer industry they cover. But, as we discussed in the last post, this model breaks down over time when you apply it to all the information in a dynamic organization. The structure gets more out of date, content isn’t put in the right places, and it gets increasingly impossible to find what you need.

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The Trouble with Tags

trouble with tags

Have a lot of content you need to manage and share, but nobody can find anything on your internal network?

Maybe there is an easy solution — if you could just tag each item the right way, then everyone can quickly find exactly what they need. It doesn’t sound that hard. First, you have to figure out the right tags to use. If you are dealing with marketing material, you might label everything with a type — “pitch deck,” “whitepaper,” or “price sheet.” You might label it with the set of products that it covers. And the relevant technology trends. And regions where it applies. And so on. Now you have to tag all your items. Well, not all of them — that would take way too long to be practical. So, you choose a small subset and hope that you picked the right ones — did you leave out anything that somebody might really need?

Even with just a small fraction of your content, it takes a lot of time to do all that tagging. But just maybe, with a little discipline, your problems would then be over.

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Machine Learning in the Workplace

machine learning in sales enablement

Why is it easy to find the information you are looking for on the Web, and so hard to find it at work? I continue to be amazed that you can find the diameter of the moon, or an inexpensive yet highly rated TV, or the largest city in Ohio, with just one or two queries and a few clicks. Now contrast your experience on the Web with your experience at work, where finding a spreadsheet, or the latest planning memo, or the most applicable sales deck, can take forever and a day.

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