Marketing teams spend countless hours and budget dollars investing in and mastering the latest industry tools in an effort to reach perspective customers. But one of the most effective, yet commonly overlooked resources available to marketers is the sales department. (Be sure to check out our interview with Michelle Burrows, Vice President of Demand Marketing at inContact who shared insights on how her company reached new levels of success by aligning their sales and marketing departments.)
In today’s technology-saturated environment, customers are more empowered and informed than ever before. As a result, they are further along in the purchase process than they’ve ever been—without ever having been in contact with a vendor.
For this reason, marketers must ensure their sales team is aware of and has access to a wealth of content resources.
In the post below, marketing automation software vendor Pardot shares 3 easy ways to make your sales team on of the most valuable tools in your arsenal:
Is your content generating results?
Despite content’s rapid rise in popularity, 62% of in-house marketers say they still do not have a defined content strategy.
In their haste to push content out to consumers, many marketers are neglecting the true purpose of their content: to guide customers through the sales cycle.
Content published to your blog or your social channels has the potential to grab a passing consumer’s attention or keep a prospect interested. However, this method of content delivery is incredibly passive. In a world where 70% of the buying process is complete before the buyer even contacts a salesperson (according to Sirius Decisions data), passive channels will never deliver the same results as a sales rep armed with your same content.
Putting your content in the hands of your sales reps should be a priority for your marketing team, even before you start planning to publish. Here are three easy ways to keep your sales team up to date and well stocked with content.
Make Your Content Accessible
Communication between sales and marketing is not always the best. That’s part of the reason why marketing automation was invented in the first place. That is why it is important to clarify with sales exactly where and how they can access your content. Here are a few quick ways to make your content more accessible to sales:
- Share Updates to Your Blog: Your blog can be an indispensable channel for delivering content to your audience. Make sure your sales team is always looped in on what is being published. Having sales reps subscribe to your blog via email or RSS is ideal.
- Create a Central Content Hub: For larger pieces of content like white papers and infographics, it is important to have a central storage location that can be easily accessed by sales. Content management systems and automation platforms make uploading and organizing content easy. If your company has an intranet, creating a detailed content library there is another great location for your content.
Organize Your Content
When it comes to content, maximizing effectiveness is all about delivering the right content, to the right person, at the right time. Organizing your content can help sales find the perfect piece of content for any given situation.
- Pay Attention to Blog Categories: If you publish to your blog consistently, these articles are great resources for your sales team. Sorting your blog with categories or tags is an easy way to make the content searchable for sales.
- Organize your CMS: Content management systems and marketing automation platforms are tremendous resources for housing and accessing content. Make sure you are adding relevant tags to all your uploaded content to make it easy for sales to find the piece of content they are looking for.
Keep Sales in The Loop
Although it can be hard for marketers to admit, nobody knows prospects and the sales cycle better than the sales team. Creating content without them would be ignoring a tremendous resource. Here are a few ways to bring sales into the content creation process.
- Monthly Brainstorms: Once a month, pick the brains of your sales reps about the pain points they are seeing and any content they would find useful in the sales process.
- Use an Automation Platform: Marketing automation platforms like Pardot provide visibility into which content is actually converting customers and which content your prospects are viewing. This level of insight can shape the projects you focus on in the future and keep sales and marketing on the same page.
Making your sales team the most important audience for your content will give them the tools to pursue prospects, increase cooperation between departments, and generate more revenue.