One of the most important, but often forgotten consumers of content marketing programs are sales professionals.
In many organizations, Sales and Channel Enablement groups are responsible for leveraging and building best practices so that sales professionals are aware of available content and how to use it effectively in the sales process. Engaging early and often with these groups can help assure that the content is used to best effect by sales professionals when engaging with clients, yielding dramatically expanded content adoption, use and measurable impact on sales cycle and deal flow.
However, research indicates that sales is not always using the content to best effect. According to the American Marketing Association:
- 90% of marketing deliverables are not used by sales;
- Salespeople spend 30 hours a month searching for and creating their own selling materials.
According to SiriusDecisions, the average company invests over $43K in marketing per salesperson, an estimated 3%-7% of the opportunity value of the sales pipeline. From the research however, content marketers are clearly not getting an adequate return on investment from most sales and channel organizations. Buy-in from these important groups can help drive adoption of content, key improvements in customer engagements, reductions in sales cycles and improved deal flow helping to bolster the case for more content marketing investments.