"Our reps are unprepared for today's selling!"
Does this sound like your situation?
If your reps can't find your sales content, they're not going to be effective. Even if they can find it... if they don't know how and when to use it, they're still not going to be effective.
Many organizations have good or even great Marketing-generated sales content. The trouble is that it's often just thrown at Sales — or more likely, thrown into a SharePoint, Dropbox, or OneDrive folder — and Sales is simply told to go use it.
By following a simple content framework, you can better enable your reps to sell your products & services and get more ROI on the content that Marketing generates for Sales.
This may seem pretty basic, but this step gets skipped more than you think. Many factors have bearing here, including:
- How you're going to market
- What the markets are
- Your ideal customers and how they buy
- How your portfolio segments
- The role of Sales in executing your Marketing strategy
Set some measurable goals that will let you know how you're doing in executing your strategy. If this is a new step for you, keep them simple to start. You can always add more.
This is the fun part (at least for me). What content do you have that's going to help you hit your goals?
First, make a list. Next to each area, write "got it" or "need it." Don't worry too much about identifying that something you need is specifically an infographic, video, online tool, etc. Instead, think about areas of content — such as third-party endorsements, insights for the self-educating buyer, and tools or resources that make it easy for customers to engage.
Next, organize your content list in a way that makes sense to Sales and start tackling the content that doesn't exist to fill gaps. Essential Tip: In addition to rounding out your content, start testing "context" for the content and coach reps on how to use it.
Reps will reject over-complicated methods and difficult systems by not using them. Whatever you do, keep it simple — so there's very little time away from selling. To your reps, your content delivery method should feel they're a doctor calling for an instrument in surgery. The right tool shows up in their hands, and they're ready to go. Having a hundred files in a folder called "Videos" means reps won't be using your videos as much as they could.
Remember, onboarding reps to effectively use a content delivery system is never a one-and-done. Your audience is a "moving parade" that changes continually before your eyes. You not only have to keep onboarding the new folks, you also need to continually advocate the best ways for all users to get the most out of your content delivery method.
You set some measurable goals, right? When you have a clear picture of your goals, metrics are a wonderful thing. This data can be used to refine content effectiveness for reps, or it can simply be: "Hmmm, now that looks interesting." You might be amazed how often it's the second one. Analytics provide telling data, answering questions like:
- Which reps are using the content?
- What content are they using?
- Which content shows the most engagement?
The answers might surprise you. Remember, sometimes seeing who is not using your content is just as important. Why? Is it them? Is it you? Use what you learn to refine your approach, reset goals, and do more of what works.
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