All signals point to a paradigm shift in content creation. In 2022, Sales Enablement Content and Sales Empowerment will take over. Read on to find out more about this fundamental trend…
Sales Enablement Content vs. Marketing Content
Marketing teams are in charge of branding, awareness, and attracting a qualified audience with quality content through an Inbound marketing strategy. They use their creativity, their in-depth understanding of their business sector, their communication skills and their design and SEO skills to generate leads.
Simply put, marketing has always focused on the top of the funnel, i.e. Awareness and consideration in the typical Inbound Marketing model. The marketing team produces blog posts, white papers, infographics and social media content focusing on the main challenges of the target audience. These pieces of content focus on the company’s business rather than its product offering and value proposition. Today, all signals point to a paradigm shift in content creation strategy.
According to Forbes, marketing teams will have to reconnect with a somewhat neglected aspect of their business, namely sales content in its two dimensions.
#1 Sales Content for Hot Leads
This is the content for the hot leads that have found their way to the bottom of the funnel, into the decision-making stage.
Privileged content formats include case studies, customer testimonials, product demos, promotional videos, multi-product comparisons, company sales performance figures and any other type of content that shows the relevance of the company’s value proposition in addressing the prospect’s issues.
This type of content can be delivered in a self-service environment (website), delivered by a salesperson in a meeting, or both.
#2 Content requested by sales representatives
This is on demand (or ad hoc) content, specifically designed for a particular industry or even a named prospect, mainly in an Account Based Marketing (ABM) approach. This type of content complements the salesperson’s sales pitch and gives it some substance during meetings. Although it requires prior work to align sales and marketing teams, this type of content improves the performance of salespeople in prospect meetings, boosts conversion and speeds up the sales cycle… which is crucial in B2B.
Heading towards a Sales-Centric content strategy in 2022
Actually, marketers have always produced some sort of content for the sales force… but the “Branding prism” has usually outweighed the Customer-Centric approach. According to Forbes, the extent to which marketers and salespeople collaborate will be the focal point in 2022.
This shift is driven by 4 key factors:
- Globally, branding budgets have been declining for the past two years at least, most often to the benefit of Go-to-Market strategies (Forbes and Gartner);
- The accessibility of data on the buying behavior and the emergence of more intuitive tools for data processing now allow General Management to fill in the “gaps” between Marketing and Sales. As a result, marketing efforts will be increasingly measured by sales metrics such as Sales Qualified Leads (SQL) rather than by the volume of generated leads. This is consistent with the last DemandGen Benchmark’s findings: “B2B marketing will shift from quantity to quality KPIs”;
- As we have witnessed at Les Rencontres Internationales du Marketing (RIM), the BtoB Summit and other major business events, Account-Based Marketing (ABM) will be a major trend in 2022. This sales approach requires highly personalized content that is tailored to high-potential accounts that have been carefully identified. ABM strategies cannot be achieved without sales and marketing alignment! To find out more about this topic, check out our recent post “Why Sales Enablement is key to a successful ABM strategy?“;
- Finally, the economic recovery is encouraging companies to put sales back into the marketing routine. On a broader level, the sales mindset will prevail throughout the value chain. What better way to align talent, process and technology than Sales Enablement?
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