In an age where customers respond to valuable information and flee from hokey sales pitches, salespeople have started embracing content that converts leads to sales.
The (good) problem is the increasing demand for content at each selling stage that benefits every type of customer. The link between content marketing and sales enablement produces a healthy mix of content that attracts customers, makes sales, and improves business performance. But how can work together to produce the content that drives those results?
3 Types of Content Needed at Every Sales Stage
Working together, content marketing and sales enablement can develop content for each stage of the sales cycle. Michael Brown, blogger at Hubspot, defines the content types that satisfy the following sales activities:
- Lead generation: Used to attract leads and customers, content pieces include blog posts, white papers, and case studies.
- Inside Sales Support: This is content kept on hand for inside sales or sales associates to reference as they speak to customers on the fly. These include sales scripts, product sheets, and competitor comparisons.
- Sales Conversions: These are content pieces to help move a sale along the customer journey. Marketing will typically draft email templates, fact sheets, presentations, and social messages for sales people to use and disseminate at will.
Highlighting content pieces for each part of the sales cycle is only one part of helping support sales enablement. Other critical elements involve developing a cohesive strategy and measuring sales enablement efforts.
4 Ways to Support Sales Enablement
Here are few additional recommendations for helping link content marketing and sales teams:
- Share updates and new campaigns regularly. Depending on the size of your organization, you might want to hold a quarterly meeting or call with both content marketing and sales enablement teams to review campaigns and new content pieces. Have content available for internal use and public distribution within an intranet or CMS accessible to everyone in the organization.
- Develop a content development process. It could become overwhelming for marketing to start receiving numerous requests for case studies and testimonials when the sales team is closer to the client story. To relieve some pains, develop templates for salespeople to fill out gather details together for content writers.
- Track the customer journey. Using a CRM application, track a customer’s first touch point from when they visited a website to when they downloaded a white paper or e-book. Debbie Farese, blogger at Hubspot, mentions using the lead-to-customer conversion rate as a means to identify trends and measure the impact of sales enablement activities.
- Solicit feedback from Sales. The best feedback for your content marketing efforts comes from your very own sales team. Create a short survey covering topics such as what content is most effective, what topics they’d like to see developed, what’s going well, and opportunities available for improvement.
It goes without saying that Marketing and Sales often have difficulties working together bring in business. To be successful, they must realize there’s a symbiotic relationship needed to drive lead generation and sales. Start by developing a strategy that aligns both groups and communicate regularly the progress of campaigns, ensuring constant sales support when and if needed.