“The sales profession is going through a transformation.”
These are the words of Profitable Channels’ Stephen Diorio in his recent Forbes article, It Takes Marketing Leadership to Drive Sales Transformation. He goes on to discuss the key pieces for driving growth in this changing sales landscape, which “will involve a combination of better training, better technology, and better customer content.”
And he’s right. With more people involved in the buying process, not to mention more informed buyers, there is a huge need for reps to learn how to deliver more value. How to differentiate themselves. And how to tell the right stories. (Better training.)
As the stakes increase, executives are also turning toward sales enablement technologies that “make it faster and simpler for salespeople to find the right thing to say, to the right person, at the right time to advance the sale,” writes Diorio. (Better technology.)
He concludes, however, that technology still requires a strategic approach to enable reps who are failing to execute, or for content that is hard to find and missing the mark. “Sales enablement programs and technologies need well designed, organized, targeted, and actionable content to run effectively…. and marketing [needs to engineer] the content it creates to be easy to find, customize, and deliver to the sales person.” (Better content?)
So, is it just an issue of better content? Or is it better organized content as well? Content creation is often fragmented rather than streamlined. While there may be content for multiple channels (social, web, email), various personas (job title, industry, company size), and even different stages of the sales cycle (prospecting, qualification and so on)—they are not necessarily organized that way.
Thus, if there is content that can kill two birds with one stone (say, a great blog article promoting a whitepaper that can also be used for prospecting to executives), it’s not tagged as such and often gets lost in the abyss of several content repositories. The opportunity for reps to deliver valuable content in context with their selling situation has been lost—not because the content didn’t exist, but because it wasn’t organized or mapped such that it could easily be prescribed or found.
Diorio’s article ends with suggested starting blocks for aligning marketing and sales to support the sales transformation. While one of the four suggestions entails the creation of more valuable content, the remainder speak to the organization, packaging, and distribution of said content.
Organization and awareness are key to effective content utilization.
There is no doubt that content needs to hit a homerun with buyers—and sometimes that means creating something new using the right messaging. But of equal importance is that the existing content has a route to reach the buyer. After all, how can you hit a homerun, if you never get a chance at bat?
To learn about how sales enablement technology can make it easy to find the right content for every selling situation, check out the Brainshark Sales Accelerator.