Content is important in today’s marketing and sales efforts. And marketing is already taking care of the top of the funnel content to drive inbound leads, leverage SEO benefits and drive traffic to the website. However, content is also needed in the middle and later stages of the sales funnel.
- Increasingly SDRs (Sales Development Reps) are relying on content to engage and nurture prospects
- Sales need content to help drive their opportunities from qualification to close serving different content assets through the buyer’s journey.
- Customer success teams depend on content to keep customers updated and create growth opportunities.
Interestingly, not all the content needed by frontline revenue teams is coming from marketing. In a study conducted by CSO Insights in 2018, they found that only one-third of the content that is needed by salespeople along the entire customer’s path comes from marketing. There are other groups that are key content contributors to drive the pipeline and win deals.
When different groups are contributing to the content needs of salespeople, it is important that consistency and clarity are maintained through the enablement process. Whether marketing likes it or not, the sales team is going to look at marketing to meet their content needs. This is where a sound sales enablement practice led by marketing can make a big difference. We have earlier talked about the benefits of consolidating access to content for the revenue teams. And when consolidating access, marketing should consider the broader content needs of the salespeople and not limit themselves to marketing-created content.
Therefore, it is important that your enablement process goes beyond consolidation and makes it easy for other constituents within your organization to contribute content to help revenue teams. Democratizing the content contribution is key. When marketing is looking to democratize content contribution, there are some important factors to take into consideration.
Formalize the Process
Marketing should formalize the process of content contribution. They should get buy-in from the key stakeholders from different groups within the company. We should remember that these groups are already doing the work. They will welcome a formal process where their contributions are quantified and they get credit for their efforts. So there should be little resistance to formalizing the process.
Exercise Quality Control
In today’s world, organizations are evolving more frequently and with this evolution, we see tweaks and updates to messaging, market positioning, and branding. Therefore it is important that content supplied to the salespeople is consistent and aligns with the overall corporate strategy. When different groups are contributing content to drive enablement there is a risk of inconsistent messaging and compromising content quality. Marketing is in the best position to exercise quality control and make sure that the content is
- correctly branded
- on message
- consistent across the board
This means marketing reserves the right to approve or disapprove content contributions from other groups. Formalizing this process and sharing it with everyone involved helps exercise quality control. Contributors understand that this is not personal and the reason behind the in-place approval process.
Measure and Share
It is important that marketing not only measure the different attributes of this content contribution process but also establishes a regular cadence of sharing these metrics with the involved stakeholders. Here are some important metrics to measure and their benefits.
- Who is contributing content? – When contributors see their name on the board, they feel motivated to contribute more. This also creates a healthy competition within different groups to support the higher enablement purpose.
- Sales Engagement on Content – It is important that contributors see how their contributions are helping sales. Without this feedback loop in place, contributors are likely to stop contributing quality content. This process also highlights why content quality is critical.
- Content Coverage – The coverage of available content versus content gaps highlights where additional content investments are needed. This tells contributors how they can align their content to the sales needs and not just randomly create their content.