How to leverage content across sales and marketing

When you hear the word “content” in a business context, you probably automatically associate it with “marketing”. This is a fair association. In reality, however, content no longer lives exclusively in the marketer’s domain. Content is the lifeblood of your entire organization.

Content certainly starts with marketing, playing important roles in generating awareness, engagement, and of course, leads. But this is only the start of a buyer’s journey.

As a lead converts to an opportunity and enters the sales realm, content can (and should) be leveraged by sales teams to build relationships, handle objections, and target key accounts. Providing content for sales enablement is a powerful way to educate and nurture potential customers, clarify value proposition, and ultimately, expedite the sales cycle.

Content also plays an equally important role once the prospect has converted into a customer. Your customer support or success team can (and should) leverage content to coach and empower your customers.

Building a knowledge base or resource center with product-centric content improves customer marketing effectiveness by allowing the nurturing process to be continued even further. Filling your knowledge base with bottom-of-the-funnel content that enables customer self-service will increase your success team’s productivity and, more importantly, improve your customer retention rates.

A healthy relationship between Sales and Marketing is vital to any B2B organization’s success. Sales can provide valuable insights that can fuel Marketing’s content strategy, and Marketing (as the central source of content creation) can provide content that Sales can tailor and leverage to help them close deals. This can happen through a variety of use cases, including:

Build a library of content

Arming your sales team with content — that is, creating middle and bottom of the funnel content specifically made for your sales team’s usage — is key to educating prospects and expediting the sales cycle.

However, creating content is only half the battle. In order to truly enable your sales team, it’s imperative to centralize the content and make it easily available to them to use and send to opportunities and prospects. This centralization and management is otherwise known as building a content library for sales enablement.

Provide a tailored content experience

Personalization has a massive impact on marketing conversion rates — personalized CTAs have been proven to convert up to 42% better than generic CTAs. As such, it only makes sense to provide a highly tailored content experience, especially when you understand exactly who you’re selling to.

Salespeople should be providing the most relevant content in a highly targeted content experience whenever possible. Providing a highly personalized content experience with a B2B copywriter can be a lot easier said than done, however. In a recent study by Econsultancy and Monetate, the most commonly cited barrier to adapting personalization was IT roadblocks (47%).

Account-based marketing

Account-based marketing (ABM) is a strategic approach in which organizations consider and communicate with a defined universe of target accounts, each as markets of one. Similar to providing a tailored content experience, ABM requires a high-degree of personalization in order to be successful at reaching and communicating with key accounts.

The sophisticated personalization that’s required to implement ABM highlights the difficulty in scaling such tactics using legacy technology. Most content management systems simply aren’t equipped to provide the experiences that are necessary to satisfy the entire buying journey.