To distribute content, marketers typically use sophisticated tools and methodologies, focusing on how to quickly spread the word to their target audiences. But they may be overlooking a powerful channel that’s inside the box – their sales teams.
That can be a critical oversight. In a recent planning meeting with a client, I was surprised to hear the sales manager complain to the marketing manager that she didn’t think they were producing much in the way of good content that her sales team could use. In fact, she argued that a major focus for next year should be producing better quality content!
I had to wonder – what happened to the amazing product launch content we’d just spent hours of creative energy to complete? Why was the sales team unaware of this bounty of fresh assets?
Turns out this is a common issue that can contribute to the rift between marketing and sales. Let’s face it: As a marketer, you can fine-tune your product message, develop terrific graphics and build gorgeous new assets for a launch … but if you leave sales in the dark, they won’t even know you’ve delivered new tools they could use.
I can relate, as I had this experience while working on a global marketing team in a F500 company. It was a hard lesson when our content survey later told us that less than half of what we’d developed was being utilized and distributed by the sales organization.
How did we correct this?
We discovered that inviting sales to participate in the planning and strategy of our next campaign was the best move we could have made. This approach allowed us to learn about customer needs from an expert source, and, as a result, we hammered out these best practices to fix the process gaps:
- Communications between marketing and sales teams: Manage discussions with tools such as online calendars, web conferencing, intranet notifications of upcoming releases, or, depending upon the scope and size of your organization, arrange in-person meetings.
- Collaboration in creating useful, engaging content for customers: Make the most of your well-researched content by taking time upfront and throughout the project cycle to align with your sales teams for input and feedback.
- Consistent accessibility for sales to acquire and use the content: Keep it simple by leveraging any centrally accessed systems your organization has in place to avoid the need for retraining (CRM’s, CMS’s, LMS’s, cloud, DAM’s, etc).
Look inside the box for content enlightenment
Here’s the best part: By mining the perceptive insights of your sales teams, you can apply informed guidance at every stage of a marketing content project, from concept and creation to distribution and measurement.
You may find the simple act of opening those lines of communication can develop a world of new opportunities in your marketing plans!