It's a challenging time for sales teams. Virtual selling and a hyper-competitive economy have made it difficult to get a product in front of others. And you, as a marketer, are probably feeling the pressure.
What sellers need now is for involved marketers to work directly with their team and create the best sales content for nurturing prospects and closing deals.
Unfortunately, many marketers have found that their material does not meet the expectations of their sales teams. You've probably created dozens of solid content pieces that sales reps never even touch.
Even with the best intentions, a lot of content that marketers create can be misunderstood or kicked under the rug, leading to more work on both sides—with fewer results.
But you have the power to alleviate that stress by collaborating closely with the sales team, figuring out what works, keeping up on market trends, and actively creating new content that sales reps will actually use.
For better sales content, collaborate
Collaboration is key. But don't just pay lip service to it. I'm talking real collaboration.
Marketers and sales reps need to communicate regularly, sometimes daily, with each other as well as with managers, other departments, and subject-matter experts throughout the company who can give insight into the current state of affairs.
Don't favor one department or rep over the other; if there's a breakthrough or a new lead, share it with everyone involved to figure out the best approach and prepare the team.
If, for example, you publish a video for your sales team and something has changed in the market or with prospect needs, allow comments that lead to constructive discussions and solutions for future content. There's no better way to find out whether your work is delivering results than to ask.
Communication on both ends provides Marketing with valuable insight, which often leads to better content with tangible benefits for the sales team.
An open, direct line allows for quick and easy problem-solving.
As a marketer, rather than just publishing new content, you can activate new collateral by sharing an overview of the resource, its intended audience, and potential talk tracks so sellers know how to use the resource. A brief video explaining the new asset is easy to create, and quick for sellers to review on their own schedule.
Sales teams can review the material and quickly respond with questions and suggestions. A conversational style will involve both parties far more than transactional models of communication where there's little to no dialogue (which happens more than you might think).
Give feedback and show transparency
New sales opportunities can happen anywhere, at any time. Constant communication between all parties involved gives everyone live updates, making a marketer's job easier and more efficient while creating more opportunities for the sales reps to use their content.
As with prerecorded videos, feedback helps everyone involved and leads to better collaboration on future materials. Teamwork in every step of the sales process helps marketers figure out what works and how to effectively produce fresh content.
You can also ask your sales teams to share relevant intel. Presentations and videos showing "what good looks like," competitor updates, and insights from conversations with prospects allow you to improve and adapt your work to current market trends and buyer pain points.
The best thing a marketer can do is understand what the sales team needs from them. With effective feedback, marketers have access to information on what they can repurpose for better use in the future and what is simply not working.
Take advantage of virtual tools
Now that sales teams are working remotely and virtual selling has become the norm, you should use the tools at your disposal to figure out how to give teams easy access to content and peer collaboration across time zones.
A website or desktop application is good, but take it a step further and make sure it's available on mobile devices. That way busy sales reps can access your content wherever they are and stay updated on relevant content when away from their computers, particularly at the moment of need, when they're talking to prospects and customers.
Live Web calls are a great way to check in, but they don't always fit with a team's schedule. Pre-recording videos of new content, marketing updates, and general news is a great way to teach sales teams about new material without forcing them to carve time out of their work.
Videos can explain current campaigns, future strategies, weekly goals, or anything relevant to involved parties. Sales teams will be relieved to know they can watch and engage on their own time, and your material will be put to better use.
Like prerecorded updates, events such as sales kickoffs and national meetings excite sales teams and keep them updated on what's what in their market. Capturing and repurposing those events as marketing tools is an excellent way to remind sellers of important goals.
To keep the team energized, record those meetings and break them apart into easily accessible sections. Reps can then watch them on their own time without having to be present during the event. Even late in the year, the clips can serve as a refresher on your team's priorities.
Streamline your sales content efforts
The biggest challenge with creating sales content is making the entire process intuitive and dynamic, thereby ensuring that the content is easy to access. If you have 10 apps to solve 10 different problems, constant communication becomes cumbersome and time-consuming.
By incorporating new content natively within reps' day-to-day tech stack, your team will save time, effort, and, in the long run, money. Streamlining things for the sales team will pay immediate dividends.
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The best way to create sales content that actually gets used is to look at previous results. What are reps using the most? What assets are never used and why? Look at analytics to see which pieces of content are moving the needle and receiving positive feedback. And if you can, listen to sales call recordings to hear for yourself which messages work best.
From here, focus on new content that emulates previously used content, and continue to update it. That creates an easy transition for sales teams and less time spent on onboarding.
By encouraging more consolidation and collaboration, you can create relevant content that sales reps can quickly and intuitively learn.
More Resources on Sales Content
You may like these other MarketingProfs articles related to Content:
- Moving From Content Marketing to Content Strategy: Four Actions to Take
- Build B2B Marketing Trust With Evidence-Based Content: Melanie Deziel on Marketing Smarts [Podcast]
- The Cost of Poor Business Writing
- 12 Reasons User-Generated Content Is Important for Brands [Infographic]
- Why You Need a Branded Podcast (And How to Create and Brand Yours)
- Five Trends Fueling the Rise of Visual, Data-Driven Storytelling [Infographic]