You've heard it before (and if you haven't you've probably been living under a marketing rock for the past few years): content is a valuable component of your marketing strategy.
But content is more than just a marketing tool. Content marketing is also important for sales. The problem is that 65% of sales reps say they can't find content to send to prospects and 76% of content marketers forget about sales enablement.
So what can your sales and marketing teams do to fix the problem? Here are 3 ways to ensure your content enables sales.
1. Provides Sales With a Way to Access and Search Content
Remember that 65% of sales reps who couldn't find the content they needed? While you may know where to find each of the great pieces you've written that could potentially help close a deal, your sales team probably doesn't have any clue where to find it, much less that it actually exists.
Instead of expecting your sales team to read your mind and know exactly what pieces of content you've created, provide them with an easy way to search for the exact content that they need whenever they need it.
This doesn't have to be a fancy system. Simply use a spreadsheet that offers information about your content such as:
- Date published / updated
- Intended audience / buyer persona
- Keywords / categories
- Brief overview of the content / key points
A simple method like this makes searching for a specific topic or keyword easy, and allows your sale's team to sift through all of your content to find the right piece in no time.
2. Prepare Prospects Before They Ever Talk to Sales
One way that content enables sales is by cutting down the overall sales cycle and preparing prospects through powerful nurture campaigns. While your marketing team should be coming up with great content that captures initial leads, it should also be taking your prospects to the next level by providing more and more detailed and relevant information that naturally pushes prospects to a place where they are prepared to buy.
Nurturing your prospects enables your sales team by doing a good deal of the prep work before they even speak to the potential customer. This saves your sales team time, and will naturually create a more hospitable relationship between sales and marketing.
3. Provide Sales with Useful Sales Tools
Is your content something that can actually help close a deal?
This is an important question to ask, because often content marketing focuses solely on just that: marketing. While this is a good place to start, your content should provide a healthy mixture of marketing and sales material.
This means your team should be creating content for:
- Prospecting emails.
- Meetings and calls (presentations / sales pitches).
- Meeting follow-ups.
- Relevant information for current customers.
So what does this look like? Most likely a mixture of power points, emails, blog posts, and case studies that all offer up relevant information that helps move your prospect through the sales cycle and even continue to promote new products and offerings once you've closed the deal.
4. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Lack of communication is at the heart of many marketing and sales problems. Without clear communication, your marketing team has no idea what content would actually enable sales. Having a biweekly or monthly meeting between sales and marketing solely about content can be a powerful way to ensure that both teams are aligned when it comes to this particular component.
These meetings don't have to be long, but theydo provide the perfect opportunity to receive feedback from sales about the content that has been created, brainstorm topics that would benefit your prospects and clients based on your sales teams insights, and realign on the goals the content is supporting.
Without clear and constant communication, it will be nearly impossible to create content that enables sales.
By stepping back and looking at the bigger picture of how content moves a lead to a prospect to a client, creating content that actually enables your sales team will become a natural component of your content marketing strategy.