Some 60 – 70% of content developed by marketing is not being used by sales. If you work in marketing, that’s a pretty soul-sucking statistic. But rather than get depressed by it, let’s look at why that might be, how to solve it, and how to get salespeople to sell more.
Reason: Sales doesn’t know where it is
Most likely the sales team was notified when the content was created. It was probably emailed over and is also saved on the system, together with all the other marketing materials. You know how it goes. A few dozen more emails come through and the one from marketing is buried.
Sales reps spend on average 440 hours per year searching for the right content. (Source: Inc.) That’s 440 hours that could be spent generating revenue.
This is the kind of problem that causes a lot of frustration between the two departments – and is also a common bottleneck. Either sales is not using the material at all, or they’re creating their own, or – perhaps worst of all – they’re saving marketing content in a completely different space and missing out on important updates. Presenting out-of-date material is a crime against humanity marketing and doesn’t do sales any favors either.
Solution: A shared space controlled by marketing, with flexibility for sales
Marketing and sales need a shared platform or server where marketing can create, update and store content for sales to access. Every time the content is used it should be accessed directly from this space, not saved to desktop and used ad infinitum while the data grows mold and dies.
While marketing has complete control over content, however, sales has the final responsibility for the sales conversation, so your salespeople need the flexibility to adapt content to suit their needs. This doesn’t mean they get to change anything – it means they get to select the most appropriate materials for each scenario.
Utilizing a Sales Enablement Platform with an app for mobile devices gives both control and flexibility. As well as storing and distributing content, a good Sales Enablement App will have a content collation function. Within iPresent, this function is called the ‘Playlist’ and it enables the user to assemble a presentation using any of the marketing collateral stored on the app, selecting your resources according to the specifics of your meeting and weaving them together for a seamless presentation. In essence, Playlists help sales make the most of marketing content.
Reason: Great marketing content isn’t necessarily great sales content
Marketing is often focused on brand awareness and lead acquisition. By the time you get into a sales meeting, you’re stepping beyond this. If your sales team doesn’t believe the content fits the tone or topic of their meeting, why would they use it? At this stage the content needs to be geared entirely towards the customer they are meeting – telling them specifically how your business will bring them value.
Solution: Sales and marketing need to talk
Of course, the problem is not that marketing doesn’t know the customer – they spend their lives thinking about customer profiles! The problem is more likely that marketing has handed the customer over to sales and gone back to the business of generating more leads.
There needs to be a much greater overlap between the two departments, so that marketing is not only passing on a lead, but also continually developing that lead by providing content relevant to all stages of the customer journey. Ideally, there should be content that is tailored to the customer type (big business, small business, new customer, existing client), the meeting type (presentation to the board, walk and talk, 5 minutes over coffee) and, if you can, to the decision-maker you’re meeting with (do they like numbers, videos, infographics?).
Of course, it would be impossible for marketing to create standard content sets for every client, but with the fundamentals in place and a Sales Enablement Tool in your pocket, it is possible to create a Playlist for every scenario. With the tap of a finger, users can choose entire documents or select relevant pages within documents and stitch them together into a deck that meets their needs. For example, a salesperson might want a 5-minute introductory Playlist for customers visiting the stand at an exhibition for a niche market. This could include a couple of key slides and a short video introducing the company to a brand new customer. Mixing and matching media is easy with the Playlist tool. You could also create Playlists for 10, 20 or 30-minute presentations; Playlists for big customers showing the breadth of your company’s experience, and Playlists for small business customers showcasing your hands-on approach. Playlists that focus on particular products. Playlists that concentrate on after-sales service. Playlists that…well, you get the gist. You can create a Playlist for any scenario you can imagine.
Marketing-approved content for a sales-approved presentation
Tailoring your content to meet your customer profile may sound complicated and time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be. Utilizing your marketing department’s knowledge of your brand and customer profiles to develop content and refining it using the sales team’s customer-facing experience can generate customized marketing collateral that works for every sales conversation. A good Sales Enablement Platform provides the functionality you need to deliver on this closer alignment and gives both the control and flexibility needed to help your company assist the customer on their journey.
Do you have any tips on how to tailor content for different meeting scenarios? We’d love to hear from you!