Image credit: Kapost and SalesForce
Tip 6: Marketing AND Sales need to be involved in the content creation process.
It's great to have a starting point with research and data BUT....
It would be even better to have direct prospect feedback. And sales is directly interfacing with this group and is reason it's critical to have them involved in the content creation process: they know what prospects are saying, what they like and what they don't like. Armed with this information, Marketing is better aligned with what prospects want (from your company and in general to finding a solution to their need).
With that said, the Marketing and Sales team will be better equipped to convert prospects into customers when the Sales team is on board with what's included in the content. The next step: Create a content creation process that involves sales. Here's how:
Group Email: Create a group email that anyone in marketing and sales can send when there's customer feedback, an idea, or improvement to an existing piece of collateral.
Set expectations as to whether this email is for ideas only or if everyone can provide their input.
For ideas and/or improvement, indicate what the value add is and why - those are critical pieces that need to show why everyone needs to invest time in this piece, especially if a sale was generated from a sales person prior to the creation.
Identify Needs: What does Sales need? Prepare a checklist of the marketing/sales arsenal of collateral materials and identify any segments to sales, if possible, i.e. Discovery, Presentation, Handling Objections, etc. List what they need and compare it to what you have already have. Identify the gaps and what's needed from Sales. Be sure everyone understands the "why" of new materials - if it doesn't provide value to the Prospect and help them better understand how you and/or your company can solve their specific problem, reconsider it.
Brainstorm: During weekly meeting, set aside 5 minutes for a brainstorming session.
Communicate ahead of time that this will be a time to share ideas, what needs to be improved - and always share "the why" so everyone understands the importance.
Set a timer - this will respect everyone's time. Any ideas not shared during the 5 minutes can be shared via the group email or at the next weekly meeting.
Gamify to encourage participation from marketing and sales
All ideas throughout the week will be voted on and person with most points receives X
Take it a step further and have content piece that generated the most interest (likes, engagement, multiple platform interaction, a SALE!, etc.).
Store & Access: Create a location on the network, Google Drive, DropBox, etc. that everyone can access and add ideas/share comments, etc.
Include any 3rd party data, research, studies, etc. that Marketing can use in the content.
Keep the "cloud" location accessible to all new employees and make sure it's kept current with employees as they change roles.
Share: The process and outside the team.
Draft the process and indicate where Marketing is responsible and where Sales is responsible for various action items. Everyone is in charge of generating ideas but the process will involve different individuals based on who does what.
Share customer feedback as you receive it. Include in the group email and if there are opportunities to improve it, get the appropriate people on board.
Share the ideas and process with the leadership team. The executives will want to see the outcome of the collaboration and alignment as it relates to numbers, most particularly sales, revenue and profits, so share the high level details along the way. Even include them on the idea group email!
What practices do you have in place that help align Marketing and Sales with the content creation process? Comment below!
NEXT on the reading list: Showcase the Sales Rep