To get content right

To get content right, you must enable sales

Most organizations have a boatload of content these days. But a disconnect with the needs of sales renders that content to low value status. Barb Mosher Zinck shares fresh insights on how to avoid that fate – and how marketing can enable sales with content done right.

I had the opportunity to watch a few webcasts from the Content Summit (a virtual conference from Sweet Fish Media), and there was a lot of good information shared on content marketing. One that caught my attention particularly was with Tracy Eiler, CMO of InsideView, on the topic of content for sales enablement.

Sales enablement is interesting to talk about for a few reasons. First, Sales needs content. Second, Sales needs similar, if not the same, types of tools that Marketing uses to find and build relationships with customers. While we can see both these things are necessary, we can also see that many organizations fall short in providing one or both of these.

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Fortunately, this can “easily” change. Here’s a quick definition from Forrester just in case you aren’t completely sure what sales enablement means:

Eiler talked about the challenges her organization faced supporting the needs of the Sales team. She said that making sales easier is a top priority but what they found was that the Sales team didn’t know what content was available and when they did, they didn’t really know how to use it or how it could augment their Sales process.

To make things even harder, unlike Marketing, Sales tends to work on the fly, needing content “just in time.” That makes it harder for them to figure out what content is available and useful, particularly in their particular context at any specific time.

All of this often leads to more requests for content, Eiler said. Content, that very likely is already written or isn’t necessary.

It’s not as simple as just telling the sales team what is available, though, said Eiler. The problem is a little more complex than a simple list of content assets can resolve. She provided a few stats from CSO Insights research, including:

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Content, she said, can help. You just need a really good plan.

This is what Eiler recommends Marketing does to help with sales enablement.

You probably have a ton of content already created and even more in the pipeline. But it’s spread everywhere. You use many tools to discuss ideas, store topics, create and store content. Sometimes you have multiple versions each used by a different person or team and no way to tell who’s using what and where. You may also have a lot of people in your organization authoring content making it very hard to track.

Take the time to figure out what you have, where it’s located, how it’s used or could be used, who owns it, manages it, publishes it, what campaigns and web pages it is used on, and so on.

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