Get Sales Involved in Content Creation

Idea generation should be only the start of how you bring your sales team into your content creation. There are many ways they can help during the content creation process, too. This might include:

  • Shortlisting ideas that resulted from brainstorming sessions.
  • Working together to tailor content to the needs of prospects and customers at each stage of the funnel.
  • “Testing” ideas on prospects. A simple “Is this something you would be interested in/would it benefityou?” can go a long way.
  • Reviewing research and briefs and adding their two cents where possible.

They don’t have to be there every step of the way, but some input from Sales at key stages of the creative process could prove to be priceless.

60% of content created in the marketing department was never used, I also found out that 90% of content we were creating was product-specific despite the fact that 90% of our audience were in an early-stage part of the buyer stage and asking non-product specific questions.’’ ~Michael Brenner

Remember to encourage your salespeople to share content where possible, too.
Create content that allows for sales department customization wherever possible. This is mutually beneficial. It increases the visibility of the marketing team’s work, and may help salespeople close leads when the content answers questions in more detail than they’re able to themselves.

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The benefits of sales and marketing alignment

If as a business, you are not able to achieve the said revenue targets, or you are unsatisfied with the outcome of your marketing strategies, then it is high time that you get your sales and marketing teams working from the same sales book.

Aberdeen Group also revealed that the companies that have applied the perfect synchronization between marketing and sales were able to grow the revenue 32 percent faster.

If we go by what SiriusDecisions have to say then around 5 to 36 percent of an organization’s growth is driven by sales and marketing alignment. Other notable benefits:

  • Customer retention rates
  • Higher sales win rates
  • Quicker deal closures
  • Shorter buying cycles
  • Less wasted leads

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Alignment between sales and marketing

Sales and marketing teams are notoriously at odds. According to InsideView’s previous alignment report (from early 2017) 26 percent of marketers think salespeople are “a bunch of mavericks,” and 27 percent of sellers think they could do a better job marketing than their marketing counterparts. But despite these differences, both groups surprisingly agreed on the top three predictions for 2018, and were within a few percentage points on the top five.

“Alignment between sales and marketing continues to be a struggle, but sellers and marketers agree more often than they think,” said Tracy Eiler, CMO of InsideView and co-author of the book ‘Aligned to Achieve’ about bringing together sales and marketing. “We all still have a way to go to breach the divide in attitudes and stereotypes, and even communication styles. But the signs are positive in that both groups see the same business pains, and what it’s going to take to achieve success in 2018. For example, sellers and marketers will increasingly leverage AI for a more targeted, more consultative, customer-focused approach.”

One of the top five predictions from both sales and marketing pros for 2018 is:

Marketing and sales operations merge into one revenue operations team. Perhaps the most forward-looking prediction, sellers and marketers are experiencing a shift in marketing and sales goals that is translating into changes in team structure. CMOs are becoming more responsible for operations and revenue growth.  According to a report from the CMO Council, 70 percent of CEOs expect their CMO to lead revenue growth. In fact, 33 percent say revenue growth is the primary mandate of marketing.

“It’s encouraging that sellers and marketers are so aligned on strategic direction,” added Eiler. “While we have a long way to go from the ‘sales mavericks’ and ‘marketing having their head in the clouds’ stereotypes, the first step is aligning our business outlook. Based on the research, sellers and marketers are starting 2018 with a consistent view of the future, putting them directly on the path to alignment success.”

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Let Marketing Turn Your Reps Into Thought Leaders

Customers aren’t always excited to hear from a sales rep, but according to LinkedIn, 92 percent of B2B prospects will engage with someone who is seen as a thought leader.

Marketing can use the info you give them to create content that makes your sales reps into experts who share information that speaks to your prospects’ needs.

Your sales reps use their social media to send out the content your marketing team creates

It’s a win-win-win: the content makes your reps look good, prospects start seeing your reps as experts, and you can turn that newfound industry authority into trust – which will help you convert more deals..

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The Buyer’s Journey Has Fundamentally Changed

An explosion of digital channels has made information plentiful and easy to find, forever shifting the balance of power between buyers and brands and allowing consumers to wrest control of the wheel to direct their own buying journeys. It’s also raised consumer expectations. Prospects no longer want to hear about what you offer—they want to hear that you understand them.

To keep up with the rising expectations of personalization, today’s B2B companies must focus on addressing buyers’ pain points, not on selling their own solutions. This customer-centric model requires all teams to work together in order to provide a consistent, outstanding customer experience—starting with marketing and sales.

“Marketing has invested heavily in becoming more customer-centric. But despite these investments, they have yet to change how they operate internally—how their own people organize and collaborate to produce the customer experience.” — Toby Murdock CEO and Co-founder, Kapost

 

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