Content Awareness: Does Your Sales Team Know What to Look For?

Content Awareness: Does Your Sales Team Know What to Look For?
May 5, 2014

One of the core challenges facing sales and marketing teams is that sales knows they want to share content, but don’t know where to find it.”

That’s a quote written by Jamie Shanks in a recent Sales for Life article, How Can Marketing Sales with Content Sharing?, in which he adds that marketers often don’t understand why reps fail to share the content they create.

What he’s describing here is absolutely correct, and represents one of the most common gaps in many B2B sales enablement content strategies: it’s usually not a creation problem, but a sharing problem. In other words, marketing will create lots of great content for their sales teams to use, only for the reps to never actually use it.

So… why does this happen?

It’s not due to laziness of lack of interest (sorry marketers); as Jamie points out in the quote above, “sales knows they want to share content” – they just don’t know where to find it.

Not long ago, I wrote a post for the Eloqua blog on the 4 A’s of Sales Enablement Content Success, half of which dealt with the issues of awareness and access.

While the latter is certainly a critical piece – reps need to be able to access content quickly, ideally from a centralized location or content portal – the former is probably even more important. After all, enabling reps to easily find content resources isn’t much help if they don’t know what they’re looking for in the first place.

Overcoming the content awareness challenge is tricky business, as no matter what you do, you’re still likely to have reps approach you with question like “Do we have any content on this that I can share?” [And that’s not to assume the answer is always yes; marketers don’t always create the right content either, after all.] What you can’t do, however, is just assume that your salespeople will automatically find/read what you’re putting out there on their own.

So how can you improve sales content awareness? In the Eloqua article, I shared a few simple ideas (and I’ve added a few more):

  • Send weekly emails updating reps on the latest content

  • Subscribe all salespeople to your blog RSS feed

  • Share resources via an internal communications platform (like Salesforce Chatter)

  • Encourage reps to share content socially by providing pre-written tweets, LinkedIn messages, etc.

  • Present new content assets at sales and marketing meetings (show a new marketing video, highlight an eBook, etc.)

It’s also a good idea to add context to the content you are showing them, with (for example) details on who the audience for each resource is, the purpose of the message, why it’s important and so on. That way you’re also illustrating the value that content can bring to the job the reps are trying to do.

Again, it’s not just about enabling reps to find the right content to share, it’s also about enabling them to know what to look for.

For more details on the value of developing a sales enablement content strategy, check out this whitepaper, Effective Sales Content: The Key to Sales Success from Stephen Diorio of Profitable Channels.

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