Helping Reps Overcome Content Overload

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Imagine this classic scenario: a marketing team has invested significant time and resources to create compelling, quality content – but the sales team isn’t using it. While it can be easy to jump to the conclusion that the content simply wasn’t valuable, there might not actually be anything inherently wrong with the content itself. Instead, consider how reps are consuming content being delivered to them.

It might be lacking adoption due to content overload.

Content overload is a way to describe the exhaustion of an audience (reps) through too many ideas (in this case, new content to leverage with buyers). As robust as new content might be, it often has a lot to compete with internally. Reps are often strapped for time with multiple teams across the business vying for their attention and buyers to attend to.

“Sales requires mental focus and execution, so in my humble opinion, I feel as if information – and this information overload right now – can be one of the biggest challenges, for almost anyone, but particularly for those in sales,” said Wesley Ulysse, vice president of sales, North America at Red Points.

Cutting through the noise of what sales reps are inundated with every day can be a daunting task. In fact, a recent report found that 20% of people feel overloaded from today’s information-saturated world. But it’s a task that enablement can be perfectly teed up to solve.

Below, learn three key guidelines on how enablement can help reps overcome content overload for their teams.

Curate Content That Matters Right Now

Studies show that, on average, the longest sequence a normal person can recall on the fly contains about seven items. This can be disheartening to sales reps tasked with staying continually up-to-date on the latest offerings from their company. Enablement can be a key driver in prioritizing what content should be leveraged by reps when it matters most to buyers. This is especially pertinent when it comes to understanding buyer personas and specific audiences that sellers are trying to reach.

“I tell my team that we need to be masters at sourcing expertise from the field, and we need to be able to enable our SMEs [subject matter experts] to create content that is accurate and valuable and current and that can be easily shared with the broader organization,” said Marcela Piñeros, head of sales enablement at Stripe.

Even better, Piñeros says, is to automate the process in how an enablement team sorts through potentially thousand pieces of content and assets to deliver to reps. Whether that’s through a robust content governance strategy, a dedicated repository that is efficiently managed, or a digital tool, implementing a process for enablement to easily prioritize the right content at the right time sets the entire revenue organization up for success.

“I encourage everybody to get off the hamster wheel, shift away from being a content generation function and focus on what processes you can put in place to be a content curation function,” said Piñeros.

Bring Clarity and Alignment to Organizational Goals

With an abundance of information comes, unfortunately, an abundance of confusion. In order for reps and sales teams to be adept at making the correct decisions that serve the company’s overarching goals, there is a need for clarity.

“If you make it really clear what success looks like and bring people into alignment so they all have the same goal, they’re all pursuing the same definition of success, it’s amazing how people naturally just clean up in their efforts,” said Tim Ohai, global director of sales effectiveness at Workday.

To help level-set on how to bring more clarity into the sales organization, particularly when it comes to feeling overwhelmed with the amount of information out there, enablement professionals can ask sales leaders the following questions to crystallize the issue and work toward solutions:

  • What does success look like and what is the desired outcome?
  • What are the metrics you are prioritizing?
  • What are the requirements you’re expecting as a sponsor of this initiative that we should all know?

Aligning on the goals and priorities of sales leaders can help enablement communicate and deliver content within a context that reps are familiar with. This ultimately helps increase mindshare with reps while streamlining the experience for customers with consistent messaging.

“Our reality is that our customers need us to show up in the most coordinated way possible and that means we need to think like systems thinkers, not just function thinkers,” said Ohai. “It’s not just about helping sales, it’s about helping the sales experience and more importantly, that customer experience.”

Review, Evaluate, and Adjust as Needed

A final piece to keep in mind when trying to overcome content overload is to continually adapt and refine the programs in place that help reps in talking to buyers. Enablement teams can leverage a variety of data and metrics that show how initiatives are being received, how it’s helping reps, and how it aligns with the business strategy and goals.

Once the enablement team defines the metrics that matter most, it’s time to start prioritizing and building out the programs that help paint a clear picture for leaders on what to implement and how it is impacting performance for the whole team. With this information tracked and analyzed consistently, enablement can help evolve the content strategy as needed to stay ahead of changing buyer expectations and business priorities.

“Part of what we need to do is to figure out how to increase the value of the work that we’re doing, and not necessarily turning up the volume and trying to send more emails than the competition,” said Henry Adaso, author of “Content Mapping”. “That means constantly reviewing and evaluating our content strategies to make sure that whatever we’re doing is actually working.”

Content overload, although daunting, can be navigable. Through collaboration with sales and marketing, enablement can ensure that the content that is being used is relevant, timely, and overall effective in moving conversations with buyers in the right direction.

“We have a proliferation of content today, and our problem’s not that we need more content,” said Juliana Stancampiano, CEO of Oxygen Exp. “[Enablement has to] keep it up to date, curated, easy to access, and understandable.”

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