Despite all of the effort that goes into creating content, an eye-opening 60 to 70% of marketing content sits unused. This means that a significant portion of the time and resources going into content creation is really just going to waste.
How can you ensure that your sales team will use your marketing content? Here are five tips to create content that your sales team will not only use, but love.
1. Align sales and marketing with the buyer’s journey
Because 54% of sales and marketing professionals say that collaboration boosts financial performance, it’s impossible to overemphasize the importance of communication between the two teams. This is especially true when it comes to effectively engaging buyers during the stages of their buyer’s journey. After all, marketers’ interpretation may not always match what is happening in the field.
Sales reps, on the other hand, are in the field every day, gaining valuable insight into the unique decision making processes of targeted buyer personas. Incorporating sellers’ perspective can greatly benefit marketers looking to create effective content.
Using reps’ intel to inform how you develop content that maps to each stage of the buyer’s journey not only drives better shared outcomes, but also ensures that marketing is appropriately set up to deliver the content that reps need for various selling scenarios.
2. Know what your sales team needs
Reps need to be able to anticipate and overcome obstacles that buyers will inevitably present — and marketing content is a key part of achieving that. In fact, 95% of B2B deals are influenced by content.
But how does the marketing team ensure that they’re creating the right content for the sales team? The answer is simple: ask the reps! With their experience interacting with buyers, sellers will have a clear idea of what works. Use their feedback to map existing assets to the buyer’s journey and identify content gaps you may need to fill.
Working collaboratively with sales to strategically plan content ensures that marketing is meeting defined needs, not blindly creating new assets.
3. Build content that can be personalized
Recognition of the importance of customized content has driven the digital transformation of many businesses. It’s so important, in fact, that business buyers are 65% more likely to switch brands if a vendor doesn’t personalize communications. That’s because no matter how much your product can optimize processes or eliminate bottlenecks, ultimately a human will be making the purchasing decision — not a machine. Content should not just focus on what the product can do, but how it’s going to make buyers’ lives better.
Because every buyer is going to be different, it’s important for reps to be able to customize content. One way of achieving this is by creating modular content that’s easy to remix and customize. This will help your sales team stay on-brand and, more importantly, enables reps to provide personalized value that will truly make an impactful impression.
4. Make sure sellers know where to find content and how to use it
You may be producing fantastic content, but it will all be for naught if your sales team doesn’t know how to find it and maximize its potential.
There are many ways to approach content management, but the best solution is to implement a powerful sales enablement tool. Major companies have seen huge success by empowering their sales teams this way. For instance, after rolling out Highspot to more than 1,200 sales reps, Twitter saw reps go from spending hours searching for content to finding and sending it to clients in less than 30 seconds.
Sales guidance is another important feature that you’ll want to offer to reps. Top-tier sales enablement solutions will allow you to deliver sales guidance in-step with content, so reps stay up-to-date on content updates and understand how to make the most of the assets that the marketing team creates.
Be sure to choose a platform that allows marketers to easily manage content and empowers reps to easily find what they need. Highspot provides guidance on what to look for in our Definitive Guide to Sales Enablement.
5. Use analytics to understand what works
Only 35% of teams are tracking the effectiveness of their content, meaning most marketing teams are creating assets without any understanding of their performance. Without analytics, marketers have no way of knowing whether the content they produce is actually helping sellers close deals.
Powerful content engagement analytics can help marketing teams understand how reps are using content and how buyers are engaging with it. For instance, you may find out that the top reps are closing deals with customer stories, or that whitepapers are most effective early in the buyer’s journey. Using these insights, you can build a repeatable, effective content strategy while optimizing the assets you create.
Analytics close the feedback loop, ensuring that when you make a decision, it’s backed by data—not guesswork.
With the steps outlined above, you can ensure that your marketing team is creating content that sales reps love. Learn more about the role of high-performing content by downloading our eBook, Winning Over the Modern Buyer.