For nearly a decade, most marketing and communication experts have declared content as king. This has been manifested in small ways, by companies sharing helpful information with their social media followers, and big ones, like the commitment made by Netflix to spend billions of dollars on movies and other types of video content.
That’s why we’re surprised by the results of the 2018 Sales Enablement Report from CSO Insights, which looks at the impact content quality and quantity has on sales results along with the value of developing and maintaining a content strategy.
Many people believe the content used by salespeople is developed by professional marketers. However, according to a 2017 CSO Insights report, marketing teams created only 39 percent of the content used by reps. Even worse: It fell to 34 percent in a 2018 study.
If marketers aren’t creating sales content, who is?
According to the study:
- Sales operations and legal: 11 percent
- Sales enablement: 14 percent
- Product management: 16 percent
- Salespeople: 21 percent
- Marketers: 34 percent
- Others: 4 percent.
So what’s wrong with these numbers?
To start, salespeople are spending too much time developing their own content. According to the CSO Insights 2018-2019 Sales Performance Study, they spend less than one-third of their work hours doing what they’re supposed to do: selling. From a profitability perspective, this is simply not sustainable. Sales reps need to find additional time to sell, so they can contribute more to the bottom lines of the businesses they represent.
One of the most effective ways to do this is to turn content creation over to the experts in the marketing department. Rep involvement should be limited to things like customizing materials through a sales enablement system, which can be done quickly and easily.
This will give salespeople many more hours each week to focus on closing deals.
Another issue: With so many different parts of organizations developing content, it’s impossible to align on branding, positioning and messaging. This contributes to completely incoherent customer experiences. If prospects and clients can’t understand what a business does and how it does it, why would they buy products and services from it?
Sales enablement programs encourage organizations to map-out their sales processes, along with the sales support materials that go along with each step. This leads to coherent experiences that buyers understand — making it more likely they’ll purchase from you and not take their business elsewhere.
Did you know: Once you’ve aligned your sales materials with your sales process, you can take a more sensible approach to
Finally, with so many groups creating and distributing content, it’s impossible for sales reps to know which pieces to use and for sales managers to understand what’s working and what’s not.
A sales enablement program and system brings order out of chaos and provides the data needed to figure out which parts of the sales process — and what marketing pieces — are performing as intended. Over time, the insights gained will improve the customer experience and related collateral, which will help close more deals.
A content strategy makes organizations take a thoughtful and rational approach to developing content. Instead of producing it haphazardly, it makes content creators take the time to understand:
- The reason for each piece of content
- What goals it is supporting
- How it should be designed, created, distributed, delivered and managed to support a strategy or sales tactic.
Unfortunately, CSO Insights reports that only about a third of businesses have content strategies. That means far too many are developing materials randomly.
This presents a great opportunity for businesses willing to take a more systematic approach to developing content. The study reports much better win rates (+12.2 points) for organizations that are highly confident of — and committed to — their content strategies versus those that aren’t.
So, what are you waiting for? Isn’t it time for you to develop a content strategy for your business?
The first step is to implement a sales enablement program and system that will help you make sense out of how you sell to prospects and align content with every step of the sales process. The experts at Mobile Locker will work with you to map things out while introducing you to a system that will make it easy for you to execute on your content strategy.