The rate of use of marketing content by sales people is an interesting KPI that tells you not only about the ROI of your content marketing efforts but also about the degree of alignment (or misalignment) of your teams. Here’s everything you need to know about this critical competitiveness issue.
A textbook case of Sales – Marketing misalignment
As a sales leader, CMO, salesperson or marketer, you’ve probably witnessed this type of discussion during a formal meeting, an email exchange or a talk around the coffee machine:
- Marketer: “We need content on a certain topic for a client meeting.”
- Marketer: “We’ve already produced several pieces of content on this topic, so why bother creating more?”
- Salesperson: “I don’t have anything in my folder. Could you provide a link?”
- Marketer: ” Let me check.”
This is a textbook case of inefficiency and hidden costs that affect the profitability and competitiveness of the company. This is also a very concrete example of the misalignment between Sales and Marketing. “Poor content indexing is common… but it is still costly,” says Kathleen Pierce, Principal Analyst at Forrester.
The content usage chart to detect anomalies
Try this: make a chart using KPIs of marketing content usage by your sales team. The Touch & Sell platform allows you to collect such data in a native way, including the usage volume of each content by each salesperson.
In the vast majority of cases, the diagram is pyramid-shaped with the following characteristics:
- At the top, there are very few pieces of content that are massively used by the Sales team;
- At the bottom, a vast majority of content is used less than 10 times by the sales team.
In this diagram from a Forrester publication, 60% of the content was used less than 10 times (on average) by each salesperson. A quarter of the content was used between 10 and 99 times by each salesperson, 12% of the sales material was used between 100 and 999 times, and only 3% of the content was used over 1,000 times.
Numerous studies support the indexing problem of sales material
This empirical observation is confirmed by several studies conducted between 2017 and 2021:
- A Sirius Decision study found that 65% of marketing content is never used by salespeople;
- According to the McKinsey Global Institute, salespeople spend, on average, more than half of their working day on tasks that are indirectly related to sales (including searching for sales content);
- Another study detailed in our last white paper (The Real Face of Sales Enablement) shows that 28% of the content produced by marketing is not accessible to salespeople,
- Finally, a Spotio study explains that “finding and using content” remains the top area for improvement for 81% of sales managers.
Tips to get the sales team to use your marketing content
So, you have drawn your content usage diagram for Sales. You have found yourself in the scenario presented in the Forrester diagram. What actions should you implement to get Quick Wins? How can you build a Sales Enablement Content dynamic? Here are some practical tips:
- Find out what types of content are most relevant to your salespeople. The Touch & Sell platform provides you with relevant KPIs to understand the key features of the most used pieces of content;
- Involve your salespeople systematically in the elaboration of sales material and editorial calendars;
- Take a proactive approach and set up a communication channel (e.g. Slack channel) to allow salespeople to share feedback with the marketing team in real time;
- Implement standardized terminology for sales content. Avoid generic file names that don’t encourage clicks. Your sales reps should be able to ” figure out ” the content of a file just by reading its name;
- Use an elaborate title such as: ” A case study on how Customer X increased his sales by 30% with our product (2021) ” rather than a generic name such as: ” Case study “, for example. This standardized terminology will also make it easier to find and explore content on the fly;
- Make sure your content library is rationally organized according to criteria that are relevant to your industry.
Touch & Sell, French pioneer in Growth Enablement
Our Growth Enablement solution helps you activate the synergies between Sales and Marketing to drive your growth. Empower your salespeople, improve the usage rate of your marketing content and boost your sales performance!