Two of the Worst Sales Enablement Headaches (and How to Fix Them)

Pain points – everyone has them.

Typically, when B2B marketers and salespeople discuss pain points, they’re referring to their customer’s problems. But we can’t forget that marketing and sales departments have their own pain points, too. Sadly, those pain points often arise from a shaky sales enablement relationship.

Let’s look at two of the most annoying problems that sales enablement faces today. Plus, we’ll give you actionable tips on how to fix those problems.

1. Your Marketing and Sales Collateral Isn’t Easily Findable

Compared to a decade ago, we have better search capabilities today. We have better storage capabilities. Yet, marketing and sales teams can’t find better ways to organize their content. Sales teams spend far too much time searching for marketing collateral.

In 2009, salespeople spent:

  • 5 hours a week looking for marketing material (IDC)

Over time, those numbers have not improved. In 2015…

  • Sales representatives spend 31% of their time searching for or creating content (Docurated)

Why are sales teams spending so much time looking for content? In part, it’s because marketing teams are relying too heavily on email.

  • 49% of the respondents indicated that their content is distributed by email (IDC)

If you’re like me, your inbox is a black hole for content. It’s impossible to find anything.

The Solution

Invest in creating a content library, where salespeople can find content and sample messages that marketing has approved. Ensure that this portal is…

  • Easily accessible
  • Flexible enough to group content according to your sales team’s needs
  • Available on mobile devices so that your sales team can find content wherever they are
  • Designed to facilitate easy social sharing

2. Your Content Isn’t Helpful

We, marketers, spend a lot of time and money on creating content. It pains us to know that much of our content is not getting used – ever.

The numbers vary slightly, depending on the source that you consult. But generally speaking, a lot of content isn’t used:

  • Over 40% of content doesn’t get used (Qvidian)
  • 33% of marketing assets go unused or under-utilized (IDC)

Why aren’t people using your marketing assets? On the one hand, it could be because your content is hard to find. On the other hand, it could be because the content is not good.

Even though we, marketers, know that buyers want educational content, we have a tendency to create content about us and our product – not about the buyers and their needs.

  • 56% of sales representatives say that their library is purely product-centric (IDC)

Other times, our content is too generic. Buyers read our content and think, “This could apply to anyone.” As the Demand Gen Report writes in an ebook on content preferences:

Sometimes, your sales team needs industry-specific marketing collateral because that’s what buyers want. They want to know, for instance, if other tourism boards are using your product.

The Solution

Ultimately, content marketers aren’t in the business of reading minds. They shouldn’t guess what the sales team needs or what their customers need. Instead, they should take the time to interview customers and speak with salespeople.

When meeting with salespeople, don’t let your conversations turn into pointing fingers. Instead, make your sales and marketing meetings about the customer. It seems simple, but we often forget it.

During those meetings, ask:

  • What do our buyers need?
  • How do we know what our buyers need? (For instance, have we met with them and asked?)
  • What are the common questions that our buyers raise?
  • What kinds of content is currently resonating with our buyers?
  • How do we know which content is resonating with buyers?
  • Can we map our content to the stages of the sales funnel?

Alleviate Your Pain

If you really want to alleviate the pain points between sales and marketing, make a few of these tweaks in your content management process. Take the time to figure out what your customers want, and once you have that information, curate great content that your sales team can easily find.

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