Content Marketing The Answer For Sales Success As Well?

We all know that today’s consumers have changed, and they are buying differently. They have access to mobile, social and digital media to help them learn and gather information on their own before making a purchase decision. This has massive implication for everyone in sales and marketing.

And I often talk about how marketing has been impacted by all this. But the sales process is also now longer and more complex.

Consumers are more informed and have higher expectations. Selling has become more costly and collaborative. So what can those in sales and marketing do to drive sales success in today’s challenging environment?

Interestingly, content may be the answer for sales as well.

Leading sales performance experts believe sales is going through a major transformation, and sales success will require better and more customer-focused content, training and technology:

  • Better customer content: Well-designed, organized, and targeted sales content is a must to achieve top sales results. Sales and marketing teams must collaborate to create content that directly supports sales conversations.
  • Better training: Training needs to enable sales professionals with “value messaging” skills to deliver better insights that differentiate themselves from competitors and communicate real customer value to close sales.
  • Better technology: Sales enablement technologies should help solve the problem of shrinking training budgets and costly face-to-face selling time. Social, mobile, and targeting technologies should enable sales professionals to identify the right prospects, deliver compelling messaging at the right time, and close the deal faster.

This formula sounds pretty straight-forward, doesn’t it? But recent sales benchmarks have shown that most sales organizations are struggling to deliver top sales results after investing millions of dollars in their sales content, training and technologies.

Many executive buyers still feel that most sales professionals are too focused on pushing products and are unable to effectively communicate relevant value messages. And most of the marketing content created does not deliver compelling messaging to motivate customers to buy or to disrupt their buying process or mindset.

So why has sales enablement failed?

It appears the missing puzzle for successful sales transformation is the buy-in and support from marketing leadership, including the Chief Marketing Officer.

Marketing leadership is critical to the success of sales transformation for several reasons:

  1. Sales enablement programs cannot run effectively without well-designed, targeted, and actionable marketing content.
  2. Value messaging will not be fully adopted until marketing starts to deliver content that supports this sales methodology.
  3. And for sales enablement technologies to work, marketing needs to ensure the content they create is easy to find, customize and use by their sales force.

Marketing needs to take on a bigger role in driving sales transformation success. And marketing leaders can do so by creating greater alignment between sales and marketing within their organization.

4 Steps To Marketing And Sales Enablement Succes

There are four practical steps marketing leaders can take today to drive successful sales enablement:

  1. Take ownership of marketing content

Assign someone or a task force to be in charge of managing, measuring, and improving your content marketing strategy. This ensures your marketing content is relevant and directly supports sales conversations.

  1. Reorganize marketing content

Create a content architecture that helps marketing to better structure, plan and target their content, and enables sales to easily find, repurpose and use content relevant to the selling situations they are facing. An effective content architecture will help marketing identify the weaker content areas of the buying process, to deliver better marketing content that will add real value and drive sales success.

  1. Create a process for content creation, management and distribution

Leading marketing organizations are creating cross-functional teams to establish a publishing process with systems that support the management, creation, distribution and measurement of content through a variety of channels, media, devices and marketing programs.

  1. Package your content assets

Make your marketing content extremely easy to find and access to support all the selling situations and interactions your sales professionals may possibly face throughout the buying process. Sales playbooks are one example to make it fast and easy for sales to deliver the right content to the right prospect at the right stage of the sales process.

These four steps alone will ensure your sales and marketing teams are aligned, and are working together to deliver top sales performance and results for your organization.

Do you need help educating your marketing leadership team on how to create content that will actually support sales and improve marketing performance? We can help!

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Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner  is a Top CMO, Content Marketing and Digital Marketing Influencer, an international keynote speaker, author of "Mean People Suck" and "The Content Formula" and he is the CEO and Founder of Marketing Insider Group, a leading Content Marketing Agency . He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael helps build successful content marketing programs for leading brands and startups alike. Subscribe here for regular updates.