Demand Generation

Why Is Sales Ignoring Your Content? Address the Elephant in the Room

By August 11, 2015 No Comments

Why is Sales Ignoring Your B2B Sales Content?

It’s a common tale: Content teams are crafting new B2B sales content that is bigger, better and more targeted than ever—and no one is using them.

I take that back. Marketing might see it, social may be using it, but likely, the rest of your internal teams are left in the dark—scratching their heads and wondering if a specific asset even exists, and if it does, where?

And, most the time, content is literally being wasted. 65% of B2B content goes unused and it’s seriously costing you money—about $0.25 per dollar spent on content, to be exact.

Meanwhile, B2B marketing as we know it is seriously evolving, and fast. No, I’m not just talking about the proliferation of content marketing as a trend. What I am talking about is a major shift in the way we conduct business: through thought-leadership, building trust, and establishing authority in our respective industries. This is best achieved via targeted messaging through—you guessed it—content.

To summarize: “content” doesn’t stop with an arbitrary blog post or an entertaining infographic—it has to engage and propel your audience forward through every single point within the buyer’s journey—from their very first engagement to remaining delighted customers.

Content is an especially critical tool for your sales team. And if you’re not equipping sales with the content they need, you’re losing the attention and interest of your most valuable prospects at the most critical times in the buying stage.

So if content is everything, and us marketers are creating tons of it, why are your sales teams still ignoring your content? Let’s address that elephant in the room, shall we?

Enable Sales with an Internal Content Repository

“Sorry—Where’s That Sales Sheet Again?” 

How many times do you have to answer that question every week?

Didn’t you just send out an email with that sales sheet a month ago?

Content is getting lost in the shuffle, causing internal nightmares and frustration when it comes to content findability. The reality is, email is messy and shared drives are not innovative enough to support cross-departmental content operations. But your sales teams need to be able to find—and use—your content.

House Content in One Central Location

Like any major business initiative, your content marketing operation needs to be treated like a valuable, quantifiable business asset for all of your internal teams. In order to enable your sales team with the B2B sales content they need to close deals, a central location that is easy to access, search, and measure is mission critical.

A lot of time and money is spent creating assets, so why are they getting stuck in silos, inaccessible to the teams that need them most? Without a central location to house it all, efforts are duplicated, content is created ad hoc and off-message, and ultimately, your brand suffers. Your sales team needs to be able to easily access your content in order to deliver consistent messaging to their prospects.

Tag Content for Easy Filtering

The B2B buying process is incredibly complex, and your content should not be a “one size fits all” scenario. Your sales teams are interacting with a wide range of prospects, all at different stages of their buying process, with varying pain points and business goals.

To make your content easily searchable for your sales team, it should be tagged so your teams can quickly filter your behemoth of a content library to find what they need. Content might be tagged by persona, sales stage, product, content type, or any other parameter that makes sense to the team that needs it most. The key is to build filters that are relevant and intuitive to sales—not to you.

Survey your sales team to see how they think about their prospects’ different needs across the buyer’s journey, and build your tagging system in a way that is intuitive to the way they would want to search for it.

Measure the Internal Reach of Content

You measure external content metrics to know what’s resonating with your prospective buyers. Likewise, measuring internal reach metrics can tell you what is resonating with your sales teams. Which content are they using and when? And maybe even more importantly, which content types aren’t they using—and why? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you to optimize your content to better serve their needs, and help you waste less time and resources on content that isn’t valuable or used by sales.

Don’t leave your sales team hanging with irrelevant or hidden content—address that elephant in the room!

Erica Lindberg

About Erica Lindberg

Erica is a former Content Marketing Manager @ Kapost. Equal parts creative and strategic, Erica loves to the push the envelope of what's possible on the new marketing frontier. Most of her ah-ha! moments come while hiking in the backcountry or while riding her bike around the Colorado Front Range. Get in touch @EricaLindberg_