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It shouldn't be a surprise. It happens every year: The Earth's orbit around the sun has been pretty well established for a few thousand millennia, give or take. The end of the year is right around the corner.

The days start flying by in Q4, and that gnawing pit in your stomach reminds you that planning for the upcoming year needs to begin in earnest. Budgets have to be agreed upon, content calendars created, sales plans and quotas established, and tech stacks evaluated.

There are other activities that will help make an organization successful in the year ahead. Here are two steps that any organization can take to set up both its sales and its marketing teams for success in 2019.

1. Sales Content Personalization

Decision-makers are deluged with emails and communications. Sellers must cut through the noise and prove they can solve buyers' problems.

To do that, sellers need to communicate to buyers—on a personal level—that as sellers they truly understand the buyer's specific and individual needs. However, enterprise-level organizations with teams spread around the globe find it difficult to personalize sales content to speak directly to a buyer—especially at scale.

But just because it's difficult to do doesn't mean buyers don't appreciate it—or expect it. Gartner found that personalization brings 30% higher close rates. And because personalization is a proven tactic for improving communication with buyers, organizations are searching for ways to increase and improve their personalized sales content. The Aberdeen Group reports that 45% of best-in-class companies prioritize improving their personalization efforts.

Sales content personalization is a critical initiative that organizations can undertake to set themselves up for success in 2019. Personalized sales content gives sellers an avenue for fostering genuine connections with buyers. For large organizations, empowering their sellers with sales content personalization requires a sales experience for sellers that makes creating the content intuitive and easy.

A technological solution that lets Sales personalize at scale and reduces the number of one-off requests to Marketing is the best solution for making sales content personalization a priority.

How mature is your content strategy? Take the quiz to find out!

2. Sales Content Automation

In the same vein as sales content personalization, sales content automation is a great way to start 2019 off strong. SiriusDecisions reports that sellers spend only 18% of their time interacting with buyers. Their attention is increasingly being divided among scores of other activities that take them away from doing what they do best: selling.

The activities that can eat up a lot of sellers' time include locating and creating content. RingDNA found that sellers spend around 30 hours each month searching for and creating their own selling materials—from building their own decks to crafting content that speaks directly to a buyer's needs. A seller can quickly begin taking on marketing responsibilities, and in the long run neither Marketing nor Sales wants that.

To ensure that sellers have access to all the content they need, an organization needs to deploy a sales content automation solution that gives Marketing peace of mind, and Sales the ability to automate content when they need to.

Sales enablement personalization and sales content automation enable sellers to personalize content at scale and spend their time selling. And that should be a priority for every organization.

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Seismic is the leading global sales and marketing enablement solution, improving close rates and delivering larger deals for Sales while increasing Marketing's impact on the bottom line. Large enterprises use Seismic to increase sales productivity through the automatic distribution of relevant information and personalized content to reps for any buyer interaction. Powerful content controls and visibility into usage ensures brand integrity and reduces risk. Seismic's machine learning and analytics capabilities continuously improve the entire enablement process for large enterprises, increasing the ROI of sales content and tying it directly to revenue.

To see how Seismic is being used by companies in your industry, visit https://www.seismic.com.