Aligning sales and marketing messaging and reusing the messaging “content objects” in various “information products” has been a core part of my work over the past 10 years.
When I read David Meerman Scott’s article on WebInkNow, entitled “Adding context to content to create sales magic” it resonated clearly with my beliefs on how marketing and sales can work together more effectively.
Central to this idea is how marketing and sales enablement can adapt and reuse content in context to facilitate transitions in the buying process.
In the article, David, in conversation with Greg Alexander of Sales Benchmark Index offered, “that marketing must create the content that salespeople need to be successful in the selling process. It could be in some repository somewhere where salespeople could access it or it could be free on the web. But the salesperson knows how to get it where it’s located.”
Greg suggests that “What the salesperson has to do is implement context,” He added “Sales reps take the information and say: ‘How does this idea, this theme, this concept apply to my account and my decision-makers inside those accounts?’.
This is great insight, however there are a number of obstacles that have to be overcome before it can be implemented.
Context + Insight + Responsiveness is a Strategic Investment in Sustainable Competitive Differentiation
Content Creation and Reuse Challenges
1. Entrenched behavior
Reluctance to change in sales and marketing leadership, who view the buyer through the lens of an obsolete sales process, is a major barrier to realigning sales and marketing to better serve today’s buyers.
2. Enabling technologies and skills
Few companies are able to deliver the first light-touch leads from buyers early in their journey to people who know how to engage early stage contacts and stay engaged via content and helpful insight.
3. Messaging is not in a usable form:
- Most messaging is out of date,
- It’s inconsistently used and exists in anywhere between 5 and 50 different versions,
- It’s product-centric, i.e. not easily adapted in a buyer-relevant context
- It’s trapped in documents or presentations and not easily shared.
4. Messaging is inaccessible in Sales Portals
Sales Portals, once thought to be the panacea for the content management problem for salespeople could hold every conceivable document that salespeople might need, but the problem is they are typically in documnet form in sales portals and the sales rep must negotiate the VPN, not easily accessed via an iPad, smartphone or laptop over the Internet
Enabling Technology and Methods
- Inbound marketing technology and strategy is essential to engage buyers who begin their journey with a Google search at the outset and where a combination of content, insight and skills are required to remain relevant and engaged.
- Messaging structured for reuse in a Messaging Architecture that captures core “win-themes” as reusable content objects or “wits” that can be combined and reused in countless information products so that marketing and sales speak with one voice.
- A content delivery platform that enables marketers and sales enablement professionals to cost-effectively create and share Messaging Architecture elements, collateral and sales-ready-messaging. track its use and rate its effectiveness
- A Desktop Widget that enables salespeople instantly find useful atomized content, templates, letters, proposals, scripts and personalize them on-the-fly.
- A simple drag and drop metaphor to use the appropriate content “wit” or content combinations “combo-wits”, into the email or word processing or presentation applications.
Context is critical for engagement today and combined with responsiveness is a huge competitive advantage.
In addition, if salespeople can create insight on the value of their approach and help buyers understand and overcome the risks in adopting their technology/solutions/service, they will remain relevant and of value in the buying process. What are you waiting for?
Join us for a Sales and Marketing Alignment Webinar where we discuss the above topic and showcase WittyParrot in creating and delivering content that is contextually relevant, on message and instantly usable.