Here’s a frightening statistic for B2B marketers: 90%of the content produced by marketing is NOT used by sales.[i] For all of our focus on carefully crafted messaging, we have largely missed the mark.
Forrester’s Laura Ramos recently blogged about this startling statistic from the AMA, noting that as marketers, we need to do a better job of helping sales truly own the messaging we create. As she says, “It’s about creating content that can play dual roles: attracting and educating buyers while giving sales a deeper understanding about what’s attracting their prospect’s attention in the first place.”
Yet, in our zeal to craft key messages for prospective buyers, it seems we’ve largely neglected that other vital audience: our sales team. This little oversight is borne out by another revealing AMA statistic: Salespeople spend 30 hours a month searching for and creating their own selling materials.[ii]
Clearly, simply providing good content doesn’t suffice. Rather, the salient question is: how can we enable sales to engage in more powerful conversations with prospective buyers?
Given the statistics cited above, the natural place to begin is by crossing the departmental divide to engage in open and honest dialogue with sales regarding their needs and how our content is falling short in meeting them. No matter how brilliant our content might be for the end buyer, if sales isn’t finding it useful, it’s a wasted effort. Central to marketing’s role is the ability to communicate value – if our own sales teams aren’t “getting it,” we need to adjust and determine how to work with them in a more effective manner. We cannot assume that they know how to use our content. Sales must be a key audience.