"We're not engaging our ideal customers!"
Does this sound like your situation?
If your ideal customers aren't connecting with your marketing and sales content and are having trouble engaging with you, sales are going to suffer. Your reps play an important role, and if they can't find the content the customer needs at different stages in the sales process, or they don't know how to use it... they're not going to be able to have productive conversations.
Many organizations have good or even great Marketing-generated sales content. The trouble is that it's often just thrown into a SharePoint, Dropbox or OneDrive folder — and Sales is simply told to go use it. Today's customers are also actively researching solutions to their challenges on their own, so the content for customer self-service and the content delivered by reps need to work together to engage with the customer on their terms.
By following a simple content framework, you can better enable your customers to discover your products & services and equip reps to keep the momentum going with content that deepens engagement.
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 insights for the self-educating buyer, tools or resources that make it easy for customers to engage, and third-party endorsements.
Next, organize your content in a way that makes sense to both your ideal customers and 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.
Don't make customers hunt around or wait for information from reps. Whatever you do, keep it simple. Make content delivery near instantaneous for both Sales and customers. Prioritize effectively organizing your content, keeping it current, and archiving the old stuff. Having a hundred files in a folder called "Videos" means no one will 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 reps to help customers have a great experience.
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 customer 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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