Why Content Marketing Should Partner With Sales Enablement
There are a few teams that enterprise tech content marketers should partner closely with. Some are obvious, such as brand, digital marketing, web marketing, and product marketing.
But one team that often gets overlooked? Sales enablement.
According to HubSpot, “sales enablement is the technology, processes, and content that empower sales teams to sell efficiently at a higher velocity.” In many B2B technology companies, this is manifested as a team that’s responsible for everything from sales on-boarding to developing content for prospecting. Depending on your org structure, it may sit within sales or marketing.
Why Should Content Marketing and Sales Enablement Work Together?
While most content marketers are aware of the usual content distribution channels, sales doesn’t always make that list. But your sales reps are talking to your customers and prospects all day, every day.
The connection here is pretty straightforward. Content marketing wants to provide value to its target audiences, and sales reps want to provide value to their accounts. In most cases there's overlap - the content you’re creating for marketing purposes is relevant to the customers and prospects your sales team is targeting. For example, a third-party analyst report that you’re using as a top-of-funnel asset in a marketing campaign can also be used as a prospecting offer.
So how do you make sure your sales reps know when and how to use all of that amazing content you’re creating? Partner with your sales enablement team. There are some clear benefits associated with this approach:
You get more leverage from your content, as it gets distributed via a new channel (sales)
The content you’re creating provides sales with a compelling offer when prospecting or following up with existing customers
It begins the conversation around “content in context” and how content is delivered to your field organization. This will ultimately include discussions on topics like standardized content tagging across marketing and sales
The content you’re creating becomes an integral tool in the sales toolbox, and is included as part of sales on-boarding and training
How do I start a relationship with sales enablement?
Start by asking yourself a simple question: is sales using marketing content during the sales cycle? If you don’t know, you’re overdue for a conversation with your sales enablement team. And that’s really all it is - a conversation with a few key questions you should ask:
How does sales currently use marketing content?
This is your baseline. If sales isn’t currently using your content, that’s OK, that’s why you’re having this conversation. The goal here is to see if the content you’re creating can help make sales’ job easier. In most cases, they’ll already be using some of your content, such as case studies and videos.
Is marketing content easy for sales to find and use?
Finding marketing content is likely straightforward to you, but that may not be the case for your sales teams. Sales reps will rely the path of least resistance for finding content, because every minute they’re looking for content is a minute they’re not selling. They have a quota to fill, so understanding how reps find content, and then optimizing how it's delivered, can have a tangible impact on rep efficiency and productivity.
What are the priorities for prospecting teams?
Many BDR/SDR teams report into marketing, but that’s not always the case. While you may not have direct alignment with their priorities, you can at least propose content that can assist in prospecting. Long term, you’ll want to incorporate topics for call/blitz days into your content planning, so you can adequately arm your BDR/SDR teams with compelling content in their campaigns.
Have you heard any feedback about marketing content from sales?
Sales enablement will have relationships with your sales team that you may not. They often have a great perspective on content that's working and where there may be gaps. While your content strategy needs to be bigger than supporting reps directly, incorporating their feedback into your planning will help your content have a larger impact than if it was only created with marketing in mind.
A few things to keep in mind
The goal here is to develop a long-term partnership that makes it easier for sales to do their job. Here’s a few things to keep in mind as you start the conversation with your enablement team:
It’s not about you, it’s about the sales rep. The enablement team’s job is to make the sales organization successful (this is arguably part of your job too, btw).
Not all of the content you create will have alignment with sales priorities.
If you’ve recently done a content audit, make sure to have your content inventory on hand, so you can share a full list of marketing content with your enablement team.
Do you have any tips for how content marketers should partner with sales enablement? Post your thoughts below!