In B2B organisations, marketing and sales teams need to be aligned to be able to generate revenue. One of the factors that help companies to achieve their goals is the quality content that marketing creates for the sales team, which will help them to remain relevant to their customers at all customer journey’s phases.
However, we are sure you do not want your B2B content to become irrelevant, and this is why today we are sharing with you best practices that will ensure that your sales force makes the most of the marketing content. Keep on reading to know more about how to create the best content for your sales force.
What content can marketing provide to the sales force for sharing on their own?
First of all, communication between marketing and sales must flow. Sometimes it occurs that marketing invests time creating content, and the sales team never finds out about it. That is why you need to figure out what are the best channels for you to use for communicating with the different areas of the company and also to make sure that everyone understands how to use them to take advantage of them.
For instance, companies use different tools and channels of communication for fast communication such as Microsoft tools (for example, Teams), Slack or Google tools. In other cases, marketing often sets up meetings with sales to explain the content strategy (industry goals, content calendar, best practices to share, etc.). Additionally, marketing could also use those meetings to explain things related to the content, such as:
- Who is the content created for?
- What type of marketing assets are available? (Infographic, video, blog post, newsletters, etc.)
- Where can they find it?
- When will it be released?
- When should they share it?
- What is its end goal?
Now that you know that there is a need to focus also on the communication between marketing and sales within your organisation, here are some tips about how can marketing provide content for sales so that they can share it on their own:
1. Use Sociabble as a Hygiene Factor
Perhaps you, as a manager, have tried everything you can think of to motivate your sales teams and other employees and nothing seems to work. Low motivation can influence the quality of work an employee does and also has an impact on sales, which are two things nobody wants in their company.
According to Sociabble, “if you want to keep your productive employees motivated, it’s worth implementing an incentive program”, and this can be anything from bonuses, commissions and rewards. “If people know they’ll be rewarded for a job well done, they’ll be more likely to exceed expectations and to deliver on them consistently,” as you can read on their blog.
Sociabble has a software solution for social selling that was created to help anyone in an organization – from managers to employees – to identify and applaud high performance in sales and in related roles , which helps motivating teams.
Using this software, the marketing and sales team (and any employee on the company) can share all sorts of content to implement the right employee advocacy strategy. They can all create content and share it on the Sociabble platform so that any other person that is part of the company can share it. Sociabble is also considered as the ideal app for marketing to upload curated content so that anyone in the company can share it on their social media without fear of it causing any damage.
This handy tool is also suitable for monitoring the team’s performance. According to Sociabble, this motivates individuals to remain accountable and hit performance goals, ultimately translating into higher revenue. Besides, there is also a gamification system for incentivising and motivating employees to use the tool and share content from it and towards it.
2. Create diversified content
Diversificating content provides fantastic results for marketing and sales. Helping sales team to find the right piece of content is essential to enable sharing the information at the right moment. In our experience at Tricycle Europe, we have seen that the proportion of content that works best is: 70% industry related, 20% company-related; and 10% individual or personal content.
In today’s digital world, it is more important to diversify content and to bring new ideas for the business and industries. This tactic is possible by establishing yourself as industry-thought leaders through different topics and formats — blog posts, videos, infographics, eBooks, podcasts, etc. Therefore, marketing must think about the buyer persona, the industry and the buyer journey’s phase when creating content that they want to use for sales. To that end, ongoing communication with sales teams becomes fundamental since they are the closest contact to the client.
For instance, your blog can drive traffic to your website by offering relevant publications that draw the attention of the audience. They can also help capture subscribers which can ultimately lead to business opportunities. However, you can think about other ways you can deliver the message too. How about SlideShare presentations? Or maybe you can create podcasts or webinar series that explains the benefits of your product or services.
3. Sharing top-of-mind content: the right content at the right moment
Your content strategy needs to be aligned with what the current interest or activities of the company are. For instance, if you are going to be having an important event soon, you may want to create content that is related to the event’s topics or related to it. It will not only develop attention for your audience and potential clients but also it can be helpful for sales teams to generate new leads.
What if you are launching a new service or product? Then, it is vital to align the content accordingly. In B2B, this is a fantastic opportunity to let your business relationship know what’s new and how it can help their business to achieve more or avoid particular risk.
Your content must also be aiming for satisfying your current customer’s need, which depends on their buyer’s journey stages (awareness, consideration or decision phase). Are they facing a challenge and they don’t know what’s available? Do your potential customers know what their problem is and need a solution for it? Are your customers ready to invest in your solution? This kind of questions might help you to understand what type of content you might develop and/push out on social networks, website, blogs, or any other communication channel.
Focusing on the content calendar and actively listening to your stakeholders will help marketing to establish an organised structure. It will also allow delivering the right content at a suitable moment. By using this strategy, you will always have enough time to prepare the content and even brief the sales force about it to amplify the reach of it.
4. More activity on social networks
As we have mentioned in another article, social selling is decisive in the process. It helps to generate awareness, generating the desired trust to develop a sustainable relationship or getting your prospects/clients to reach the right decision, guiding them through their journey for right choice at the right time. It is possible through the different social networks available to give visibility about your brand and share the right insights with tailored content. Moreover, social selling is an excellent tactic for connecting with clients in the new digital world; however, not many salespeople or any other employee at the company are either aware of these benefits or willing to implement selling tactics on these online platforms. Therefore, marketing plays a fundamental role to develop their skills and mindsets towards this tactic.
To achieve so, you will need sales and other departments to transform their behaviour with the help of marketing to be able to be more active on social networks. Coaching would be a potential solution to trigger the behavioural and mindset change. By coaching your employees, you will also facilitate the proper use of tools that allow cooperation and symbiosis between every department of the company, and of course, between marketing and sales.
When your marketing and sales departments are aligned, your sales force will obtain higher quality leads and close sales with less effort, and marketing will receive on their part reliable and constant feedback to optimize their strategies.
5. Sales executives’ “right” behaviour
We, as humans, have learned to replicate or follow what we see, especially if someone does it with a sort of authority or hight-seniority level. In companies, as well as in their marketing and sales departments, it is not different. By this, we mean that the role of executives and leaders is fundamental for other team members to follow and replicate their behaviour, which will be strategically planned by marketing and the leadership team.
In other words, if sales executives show the “right” behaviour according to social selling, it is more likely for the rest of the team to follow in their footsteps. Nonetheless, we believe that when it comes to the content shared by executives, diversity must also be present. Here some tips:
- Personalise the caption in your posts. Make it about your experience and share your opinion and knowledge on the subject of discussion (thought leadership).
- The content also needs to be diverse: 50% industry related, 30% company-related and 20% individual or personal content;
- Sharing top-of-mind content, which leads to establishing themselves as leaders and experts of the industry.
- Executives must align with current marketing strategies.
- Participate in video interviews or in any trending formats to share content with the audience.
Tricycle Europe’s coaching program is created to help transforming behaviours and mindsets of the company’s employees to develop stronger alliances, bonds and teams that collaborate as one team, which will lead to stronger relationships and better deals.
If you want to keep up to date with everything related to the marketing world and digital sales tools and strategies used today that you need to start implementing, follow us now on LinkedIn.
In the meantime, do not miss the opportunity to learn from Eva-Mia Westergren – CMO Microsoft Sweden – about how you can help your organization to grow by applying social media strategies and enabling digital selling skills for sales teams. Check the full interview here.