B2B marketing has undergone many revolutions in its journey towards adoption of lead nurturing processes. The concept of content marketing lies at the core of every modern company’s strategy for building awareness, generating high-quality leads and eventually converting prospects into customers.
Few vendors, however, have yet realised the potential and role of content marketing for sales enablement purposes. The general perception that content assets should be produced and used solely by marketing teams, while sales enablement is achievable by different strategies, is no longer valid. To thrive, any B2B company needs to enable marketing automation technologies, thus ensuring a synchronised relationship between its marketers and sales reps.
Content marketing + sales enablement = content selling
Welcome to the B2B sales revolution! Say hi to the concept of content selling, or how marketing automation technologies enable sales reps to exploit content assets to boost sales effectiveness. More specifically: adopting the concept provides sales enablement professionals with access to relevant, up-to-date material in a timely manner, helping them to communicate with prospects in a more targeted and efficient way. In that sense, we can't go without mentioning the role of integrated mobile technologies as an inevitable part of content selling done right.
The successful approach to content selling
Bridge the gap between marketing and sales once and for all
Spending a great amount of effort and resources in developing content assets, such as WhitePapers, Infographics, Videos, etc. will bring little to no value to the final outcome if distributed at the wrong time. Mapping content for successful lead nurturing is essential and can only be deployed correctly if marketing and sales forces become aligned. The process also requires deploying marketing automation technologies, thus assuring a synchronised analytics-driven approach for successful content-selling initiatives.
Adjust content assets according to different sales situations
Marketers and sales enablement professionals should constantly analyse and adjust content assets, guided by various factors. Marketing automation tools, such as Detailed Contact Profiles, aligned with Content Marketing Analysis, can be a good starting point for identifying “killer” content according to the specific stage of the buying cycle. Additionally, evaluating the ROI of any piece of material you produce should become an integral part of content selling investments. Meaning that both teams should be ready to "kill their darlings", a.k.a stop using any marketing asset if it does not prove lucrative. They should also heavily promote any material that has a positive ROI on the prospect advancing in the sales cycle.
Optimise ease of access to content
Provide your teams with the right marketing automation platforms to ensure that both teams can have access to any piece of content available. Time is valuable; sometimes even small details, such as a delayed response, might have a long-term outcome on the prospect’s final decision. Most importantly:
Invest in mobile technologies
Sales enablement is an evolving process that you need to be willing to constantly adapt to. Your sales reps are frequently on the go; most of the time they might need additional “weapons” (sales material) for closing a deal, those coming from your company’s range of content assets. To ensure ease of access in a timely manner, nothing will work better than adopting mobile sales enablement technologies. But before tapping into mobile, make sure you consider what tools your reps' team really needs and will mostly benefit from.
Nothing is more unproductive than introducing new technologies just for the sake of keeping up with trends. The concept of content selling might sound relatively new but it's actually been present since the discipline of content marketing was first introduced. Sales, in the traditional sense, is obsolete and sales enablement has forged ahead in a new direction.
Content selling, or providing your sales reps with an easy, relative and timely access to content assets via marketing automation and mobile technologies, is the essence of the B2B Sales Revolution. The outcome is straightforward: boosting sales efficiency so as to ensure prospects become actual customers.