Optimizing Your Sales Content Strategy for 2022
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The execution of a flawless sales content strategy helps to deliver the right content to the right buyer at the right time. When done effectively, a sales content strategy can be an essential vehicle by which organizations can attract, engage, and eventually maintain a larger target audience. This is especially relevant in today’s sales landscape, as prospects and customers are becoming increasingly more informed and self-sufficient.
Sales enablement practitioners can help offset the potential risks associated with the fast-changing business environment by preparing their sellers to competitively add value through thought-provoking and intriguing conversations, all stemming from effective content. This helps to create an avenue for continuous engagement, ultimately helping prospects transition to customers and building a culture of buyer loyalty.
Below are four ways that enablement can lay the foundation for an effective content strategy to support all sellers at various stages of the selling cycle.
1. Invest in a Strategic Content Governance Model
The inclusion of a solidified system architecture to manage content helps guide enablement’s decisions throughout the content lifecycle. More specifically, a thorough content governance model ensures that content is consistently organized, managed, and updated to ensure salespeople have the most relevant and up-to-date information.
It is also important for the model to seamlessly distribute content to sellers, serving it to them in bite-sized, digestible pieces. By making content easily accessible and navigable, reps are more inclined to incorporate it into their selling strategies. This increases the effectiveness of the content itself, helping enablement gain visibility and continue to define a system that ensures content is repeatable, scalable, and consistent.
“It’s not just about the content management platform that you choose,” said Giles Giddings, senior director of global sales enablement at Snowflake. “It’s also about how you’re going to push content into the field in real-time enablement.”
2. Align Content to Overarching Business Initiatives
It is also crucial for content strategy to align with the larger initiatives within a company, helping to rally cross-functional support for content efforts by tying the impact of enablement to larger business goals that other teams are also familiar with. With clear objectives for content and processes to accomplish them, organizations can align across teams to work together to increase their ability to engage prospects and retain customers with the right messages.
One way to do this is by incorporating communication that resonates with all components of the sales organization, establishing synergy between content creation and real-time enablement to ensure that all teams are aware of important assets. For example, by leveraging consistent communication channels such as an enablement newsletter, a short content highlights video series, or recurring appearances at team meetings to amplify the content strategy, enablement can relay their messages to various teams while including the voices of key stakeholders.
“I think that there are two factors that come into play when you want to deliver a message properly,” said Nicholas Ghitti, head of growth at Tymeshift. “It’s usually the type of message that is wanting to be delivered, along with the channel being used. Both of these depend a lot on each other.”
It is important for alignment to be intentional in order to fully drive key performance indicators and designated outcomes. Intentionality in aligning content to business initiatives includes clear messaging that is cohesive with the language leaders are using to discuss their priorities, designated roles and responsibilities in the creation and amplification of content, and cross-functional awareness to limit redundancies and increase opportunities for collaboration. Through this, enablement can further drive alignment within the organization, ensuring that everyone is included and on the same page when contributing to proposed outcomes as it relates to the content strategy.
3. Track the Impact of Content to Refine the Strategy
Understanding the larger impact of content usage within the sales organization is necessary in order to transform powerful, data-driven information into ongoing and effective content strategies that are extractable for sales reps. By examining the usability of content among reps, enablement can more accurately grasp how content is chosen and which resources are most helpful.
Looking into content usage across customer-facing teams can help elevate critical insights on why certain pieces of content are more popular, and how their use in particular selling opportunities results in respective outcomes within the sales lifecycle. Ultimately, this contributes to enablement’s ability to refine content in order to maximize its effectiveness.
“Success we’ve seen comes when you use tools that help you measure not only the number of times a piece of content is used, but by who, when, and for what scenarios,” said Kelly Barnard, response management strategist at RFPIO.
This visibility also provides room for enablement to identify knowledge gaps among sellers. Beyond recognizing the effectiveness of the content itself, practitioners can also see whether reps are using it adequately. This provides them with opportunities to better equip their sales teams by ensuring that they have a solidified understanding of the best content and resources available and how to use them effectively.
4. Gather Thoughtful Feedback
Maintaining a relationship with frontline salespeople not only allows practitioners to gain visibility into content usage, but also provides them with foresight on how to change strategies to align with what is actually occurring in the selling field.
The gathering of feedback can manifest in various ways, such as consistent communication with sales management, seller surveys, on-site analytics, and usability tests. Personalizing feedback cycles through different modes of delivery helps to identify strengths and weaknesses while ensuring that sellers have a wide range of opportunities to articulate their thoughts and opinions.
“Understanding and taking the time to think about how the organization is actually operating in the field and the challenges that they face is critical,” said Giddings.
Additionally, a feedback-rich sales culture gives sellers a sense of purpose where they feel that their work is appreciated and that they add value to larger goals. This directly correlates to increased engagement, encouraging sellers to continuously refer back to content and allowing them to reflect on their work in a supportive and thought-provoking environment.
Improving the relationship between practitioners and sellers with feedback ultimately improves working relationships, leading to an increased ability to provoke positive change and fuel growth through value-added and refined content.
Recognizing the value of practically applying effective content strategies is essential in curating long-term success. When sellers are equipped with easily accessible content that is founded on data-driven outcomes, they are more likely to add value in their customer conversations through compelling insights and diversified knowledge.
Backed by effective content integration, sellers are able to increase their ability to confidently enter the field and support a wide range of buyer needs to in turn transform prospects into loyal customers.