Alicia asked a question: With all these new trends, the ways that sales and marketing teams operate and collaborate will continue to evolve. How is the role of content producer going to change? So, today I talk about content marketing for sales enablement.
Alicia, content producers usually create content for inbound and outbound communications.
So, let’s look at the sales side to understand what types of content they usually need. In general, there are three types of content that sales need. Maybe there are more, here are the 3 types of content on the sales side are:
- Onboarding and training content
- Content used by sales to present to customers
- Content used by sales to pass to customers
People may not realize that some marketing content can be used for on-boarding and continuous training.
Amy Pence, Global Sales Enablement Manager, shared her typical on-boarding agenda with me.
- 9-10 am they start with storytelling
- 10-11 is about Discovery to Demos to dollars
- 11-12 focuses on sales stages and playbook
- 1-3pm is whiteboarding
- The topic for 3-4 is a Competitive corner
If you review Amy’s agenda, you can see content marketers can provide value in many ways. The first agenda item is storytelling. As a content marketer, you can share how you tell product stories that are relevant to the sales team as they work with customers. For the second agenda item, live demos are likely conducted during onboarding, but you can share with your sales training manager any show-and-tell videos that marketing has created. As for the sales playbook, you can contribute product messaging, a buyers’ guide, and customer testimonials. The next item on her agenda is to discuss the competitive landscape. For that topic, you can share product comparison guides, performance benchmark data, competitive analysis, and additional resources or reference materials. If you know the overall content landscape, you can help sales enablement or sales training managers source content and accelerate salespeople’s knowledge and performance. It’s a win-win.
Now, let’s talk about Content used by sales to present to customers
Michael King, former marketing director of DataDirect Networks, explained the importance of marketing helping sales by putting content into context. When he was at DataDirect Networks, the sales team had regular Quarterly Business Reviews (QBR) meetings. Experienced sales managers would share the challenges they encountered when they talked to prospects and existing customers. Then, they would share the solutions to address those issues and the relevant content they used. For example; “if customers inform you that they do not need centralized storage, here is what you (as the salesperson) should say and what content to use to illustrate your points…” He stressed that knowing which content to use is as important as understanding the customers’ challenges which I agree completely. Again, this is also another area that content producer can provide value.
That last one is content used by sales to pass to customers
Many of us have had the experience of going to a car dealer to buy a car. Car salespeople would hand us nicely printed brochures or booklets to help us make a decision. Those brochures are marketing materials, but they are handed out by salespeople. I call them pass-through content. For your sales team, there is a list of content that they’ll share via email or leave behind after customer meetings. If you have a regular cadence of creating new content or refreshing existing content, it’s important to communicate a list of content that you create or refresh with your sales team. Educate salespeople on a list of content and let them select the appropriate ones to use at different stages of sales journey as they see fit.
So, here are 3 ways that the sales team can use the content. If you think about it, the job of content producers really doesn’t change. Their job is still about creating content. What changes is that they need to be cognizant of the content usage on the sales side. If you’re creating content for marketing outreach and you know that your sales team may use some of the content, then you need to think about how the sales team will use them. Anticipate their needs, make necessary customization in advance so that content can be amplified on the sales side.
Ok, Alicia, I hope I answered your question.
Again, send me your marketing questions via Twitter @pamdidner.
Reach out if you’d like to learn more about content marketing for sales enablement.
Keep Hustling, my friends. You got this.