Content is a key part of any sales cycle; this goes for your representatives as well as for your prospective buyers. Content is a great way to add immediate value to one end and move prospects forward in the sales cycle at the same time. Recent studies have shown that 90% of buyers today will buy from the company that shares the most relevant content.
Controlling your content, however, is a daunting task. Do it right and you’ll get a massive edge over the competition, do it wrong and your sales revenue will plummet, in addition to a significant marketing-sales misalignment . In this post, we’re giving away a 3-step process for structuring, managing and optimising your sales content for massive results.
What will you learn:
1. How to structure your content in a way so you can deploy it strategically
2.How to close the gap between marketing and sales by managing your content
3.How to optimise your sales content so you can focus on what works
Step 1: Structuring your sales content
Most organisations already have a reasonable amount of content at their disposal. And yet, ask almost any salesperson and they will tell you they need more content. They will use it to sell more, position themselves better, convince more people. You can probably think of these reasons yourself. Especially when using multiple platforms to store and distribute content, finding the right fit can be difficult.
Adding structure will lessen this burden significantly. Structuring means analysing the content you have and how you can break it up into bite-sized chunks which can be standardised.
A content audit is a very effective way to analyse the content you have. Not only that, but it will also help you identify the sales content needs of all stakeholders. Steps to take during a content audit:
- Interview your representatives, as they spend the most time with your prospects and customers they have a strong sense of what works and what does not.
- Do the same with prospects, as they can tell you exactly what their likes and dislikes are.
- Look at the data your Marketing team already has from their previous exploits. Or even better, if you have a sales enablement platform you can simply pull the data from there. It will show you precisely what works and where the gaps are.
- Get a proper understanding of the Customer Journey, take a critical look at every step of the process and see where things go well and where you encounter resistance. The better you understand this, the easier it is to create tailor made content later on.
The results of your content audit will have to be summarised to create the overview you want. Doing this will give you a better understanding of how your content is related to each other as well as for which media outlets it is created. That last one is a very good question to ask yourself every time you browse through your content.
Step 2: Managing your sales content
Having created a structure, your task of managing content has suddenly become a lot easier. We are a little biased, but we can tell you from our own experience that having a sales enablement platform running for you will enable you to manage all of your content from one place. Even so, to make sure that managing sales content remains a reasonable task, there are several steps you can take.
Metadata tells you where the content came from and what the overall quality is. Part of the data is already present, but you can add information as well. This is necessary, as metadata will allow you to map out which content has to show up where. Not only that, but you can also prioritize content based on this, as well as indicating the relationship between different content types and elements.
During this process, we recommend mapping content to certain stages of the sales cycle as well as assigning tags to make content easier to find. The SCAURA platform comes with a tag functionality that allows you to label content to ensure perfect findability even when your representatives are out in the field. Keep this in mind, as it will make your life easier later on!
Keeping content up-to-date and evaluating regularly
It may seem strange right now, as evaluating what works and ensuring everything is updated sounds logical, right? Think again. Especially when managing a vast amount of content, it is easy to forget to evaluate regularly – let alone altering content so it meets the changing standards. To be honest, evaluating is always going to be an effort as it involves meeting with your teams. Using the data from your content management system will support these evaluations greatly.
Distribution lists and alignment between Sales and Marketing teams
Who creates content with the idea that nobody will ever use it? No one. At least, no one should. Take a critical look at the distribution of your content. Map out who needs what type of content and make sure they are on the distribution list. Also, make sure that Sales and Marketing are working towards the same goals at all times. Involve them, engage them and challenge them. It will make your life easier.
Step 3: Optimising sales content
Who said your job is done once that piece of content is created? Everything around us is changing constantly and so are the demands of your target audience. Finding new ways to use existing content is useful, but by far the most important question to ask yourself is: ‘Is this relevant for my prospect? Does this pique their interest and answer their questions?’.
During the Customer Journey, people will get in touch with your organization on more than one occasion. Sometimes through your website, they will see a video ad or maybe even through social media. Based on the data you collect and analyze; you can optimize your content for each of these encounters.
While we are talking about optimization, we want to stress the importance of proper Analytics functionality, as SCAURA provides. With our platform, Analytics means getting all the data you need on 3 levels: what and how content is shared in the application, how users are utilizing content and of course, the content itself. Which content performs best and why are other types lacking? This is management information for optimization, as you get to back up your sales enablement decision with irrefutable data!
We will close step 3 with a few tricks to optimize your sales content:
- Use the data from your content management system to target key areas to improve;
- Keep ongoing dialogue with your Sales and Marketing teams;
Seek relevance for your target audience;
- Only aim for A-grade content, if you doubt the quality – review and approve before you put it out there;
- Make sure content is visually engaging;
- Do not forget your Calls-To-Action;
We hope you found this guide useful. Implementing the steps described in this guide in your sales process will already put you on your way to take control of your sales content. However, if you want to turn it up a notch and see how a sales enablement platform can enable you to manage all of your content from one place, consider SCAURA. You’ll be amazed about what analytics-powered sales can do for your revenue…
SCAURA is a leading-edge sales enablement platform that helps medium-sized companies to align marketing with sales by delivering the right content to the sales team at the right time, the customer buying experience is enhanced and sales results will increase.