Sales Enablement and the New Content Marketing ROI

June 30, 2016 | Brendan Cournoyer
Sales Enablement and the New Content Marketing ROI

This post is an excerpt from Demand Gen Report's B2B Marketing and Sales Teams Converge with Sales Enablement Technology report.

It’s no secret that B2B marketing organizations sometimes struggle to prove return on investment (ROI). This is certainly true when it comes to content. In fact, Content Marketing Institute reports that more than half of B2B marketers cite “the inability to measure ROI” as a significant challenge.

As you’d expect, marketing metrics are most often focused on earlystage engagements: website traffic, email click-throughs, and of course, leads generated. But what about the content-related activities that occur after a lead is delivered to the sales team? Later stage interactions like these are typically a “black hole” for marketers, who have no visibility into the content used and shared by reps. 

And make no mistake – salespeople, now more than ever, rely on content to support the conversations they have with buyers. It’s a core component of any successful sales enablement strategy. This includes content to prepare for calls, share via email or social media, present live, or send along following a meeting.

It can range from thought leadership assets to customer testimonials to product demos. 

Who creates and delivers the bulk of this content? Marketers – the same folks who then have hardly any idea how it’s being used by the sales organization. 

Think  about it – that’s a lot of content activity to be left unchecked. As you can imagine, if marketing teams can find a way to track and report on this activity, it opens up a whole new world of potential ROI. And in this world, the story doesn’t end with a converted lead; it’s ends with actual closed business. 

Related Article: B2B Content Checklist: The Four “V”s that Power Content Strategy

Content Analytics Meet Sales Enablement

Many organizations today have a defined sales enablement function. Those same companies are investing heavily in technology to fuel their strategies. Content is a primary consideration for selecting the right solution; 44% of leading companies value sales content analytics that help identify the best content to drive results, reports Forbes Insights.

Sales enablement technology provides visibility into what works and what doesn’t by empowering reps to find and share content right within the CRM. This allows organizations to log content usage by salespeople right along with other data specific to different opportunities and accounts in the system. With the right technology in place, marketers can use that data to better understand the impact content has on the sales process.

For example:

Buyer engagement: Clicks and views of content shared not by marketers, but by sales teams;

Content usage: The content that is used and shared most often by salespeople in the field; and

Closed opportunities: The content that is shared as part of closedwon deals. 

Together, this helps tie content directly to revenue, creating a new link between content and ROI. 

Are reps actually using the content marketers create? Is it resonating with buyers? Is it advancing deals? Is it helping reps close? These are the questions marketers need to answer to measure the ROI of their efforts. With sales enablement technology, now they can. 

Get your free copy of Demand Gen Report's B2B Marketing and Sales Teams Converge with Sales Enablement Technology report here

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