The conversation around B2B sales enablement has certainly gotten louder over the past year, with a lot of the talk focused on the role of content. What do reps need? Where do they find it? How do they use it? You know, questions like that.
Recently, I listened in on a great webinar hosted by Mark Synek of Sales Benchmark Index (SBI) titled Equip Your Sales Team with Content That Creates Value, Not Noise. The panel of experts covered quite a few topics and issues that can impact a sales enablement content strategy, primarily dealing with one question:
Why is there so much noise around sales enablement content?
As Oracle’s Phil Aaronson explained:
- “In many organizations, the sales organization sees what is being put out into the world as a lot of noise. It comes back to the fact that these organizations tend to be siloed around sales enablement; [with each] adhering to different KPIs from different leadership. So it’s difficult for sales to get what it needs.”
This is a pretty common problem, but it’s typically born out of good intentions at least. Product management wants to send along updates on new releases, marketing wants to provide selling tools to share with prospects, learning and development wants to provide training resources – everyone wants to help! It’s great!
That is until you realize that with all of this great stuff flying in from all angles, sales reps will often begin to feel overwhelmed. Rather than being enabled by all the noise, they’ll simply start to ignore it. And when that happens, all the great sales enablement content gets viewed less than a copy of Gigli on VHS (now only $2.90!).
As Phil pointed out, it’s up the company to orchestrate an agreed upon framework to deliver information to sales in the right way, at the right time. A content portal can play an integral role here, but the panel stressed that organizations also need a strategy go along with the technology they choose. Otherwise you could end up with other problems, such as…
The office refrigerator problem
The topic of noise led to what I thought was a great metaphor from Jim Moliski of Launch International, in which he compared sales enablement content confusion to an office fridge, where food gets left there over time until it’s hard to tell what’s good and what’s well past its expiration date.
As Jim explained:
- “That’s also the problem with content. These portals get layered with more and more content, and what often happens is that the people who are creating that content leave the company or get promoted, and they leave behind a lot of stuff that potentially could be really good. But there’s no one that’s been given the job to say ‘Here are the standards, here is how we judge what is good or stale, and here is what we’re going to do with this stale content and how we’re going to get it updated.’”
It’s pretty easy to see how content portals can quickly start to resemble an office refrigerator when so many different people are adding resources and leaving them there without providing reps with any context as to what’s good and what’s not.
As you can see, the issue isn’t necessarily a problem of quality – the content being created for and shared with reps in many cases might be really great. But it’s the context in which it’s delivered that can turn that value into noise.
The SBI panel offers some interesting thoughts on maximizing the value of these sales resources, and you can view the full webinar on-demand here. Does your organization have a problem with sales enablement content turning into noise? Sound off in the comments below, and visit our Sales Enablement topic page to learn how Brainshark can help.