An IDC Survey found that up to 80% of marketing generated content goes unused by sales teams. While building Pitch.Link one key issue we wanted to address was sales and marketing alignment. This we did by ensuring that while Marketing is building entire pitches (not only a particular collateral – but the flow where they envisage it will be used) they could ask for feedback from the sales team and fine tune the messaging and narrative to make it most useful for the value communication process.
Alec Shirkey, Content Marketing Manager at BrainShark wrote in his post on the Inbound 2018 presentation by Kelsey Raymond, president of Influence & Co. where she shared thoughts on how the sales and marketing disconnect, typically coming out of two areas of “purpose and accessibility”, can be tackled. Kelsey Raymond said that sales people didn’t find value in what the marketing team was delivering and suggested the following to cross the chasm.
- Making it easy for Sales and Marketing to talk – both virtually online and face to face – putting the departments closer together ensuring water-cooler moments.
- Joint Brainstorming sessions – Marketing must take feedback from the sales team and ask questions like :
“Which questions do our prospects most often ask?
What about our process or offering confuses them?
Why do certain prospects choose to do business elsewhere?
What information could use visual representation?”
3. Enable Sales team to ask for specific content / collaterals : Creating a process that involves sales people to be part of the content creation process – either suggesting topics, add inputs to content in the making or writing pieces themselves,
4. Get Marketing out in the field and “shadow sales calls” to help them “better understand prospects and tailor content strategy accordingly”. Listening to recorded sales conversations could potentially help this understanding too.
5. Getting more sales authored content – Sales can share their stories and learnings and provide deep insights that marketing can then convert into useful collaterals.
According to Raymond start with 3 pieces of content that answers the prospects most pressing problems, get sales to share it as much as possible over a 30 day period and evaluate if it saved reps time or got more business.
There is more to learn and think of in this piece by Alec and I found it a good place to start orienting my thoughts around Sales and Marketing alignment.