Avitage

Sales Content for Knowledge and Sales Performance Support

Avitage

This article is a deeper consideration of some of the questions and answers raised in my article, Marketing and Sales Content — Differences that Matter. A category of sales content I highlighted is Sales Knowledge and Performance Support. Outside of onboarding, periodic training, and informal sharing, this is an area that is largely left up to individuals.

Sales 131

The Content Focal Point is Different for Marketing and Sales Content

Avitage

In Marketing and Sales Content — Differences That Matter I identified the problem that few people explicitly understand the difference between sales and marketing content. Does this really matter? During 20 years creating sales, marketing and training content for B2B organizations we discovered it really does. I believe this misunderstanding is a primary cause of poor or missing situation-ready sales content.

The B2B Value Sale is Actually Three Distinct Sales

Avitage

Companies trying to execute a B2B solution or value sale must overcome selling problems that start at the prospecting stage and persist to the end. Symptoms include too few quality additions to the sales pipeline, protracted and lengthening sales cycles, and low win rates.

Sales 235

Marketing and Sales Content – Differences That Matter

Avitage

What IS the difference between marketing and sales content? This is a good question to ask across your organization. The answers will reveal people’s thinking and understanding about “content” in general. Notice how clear, specific, consistent and actionable the responses are. Or not. Why does this matter? Effective sales content is a strategic imperative when selling in a digital age of hyper-connected, hard to engage, low attention span buyers.

The Sales Enablement Handbook

In the sphere of sales, it helps to get your definitions down. You might have thought sales operations and sales enablement are the same thing - but there are important differences. Both have the objective of improving sales performance, and although there is some overlap, they do this in different ways.

Challenger Customer Implications for B2B Sales Professionals

Avitage

Most sales executives I’ve asked about their view on CEB’s book Challenger Customer have completely missed the value for their sales program. “Oh yeah, I read Challenger Sale a couple of years ago, good book.”

How to Define Sales Use Case Requirements for Your Sales Content Strategy

Avitage

The design point for your B2B sales content strategy must be your buyer’s engagement model, mapped against your sales strategy. Fundamentally, it must be conversation centered. Without well-defined and documented sales use case requirements, effective sales content strategy is not possible.

Case 215

Why You Need a B2B Sales Content Strategy

Avitage

If you sell the way you did 10 years ago, you don’t need a sales content strategy. There’s little strategy required to tell people about your company, products, features — just don’t forget those benefit statements!

Marketing Professionals Constrained by Content Strategy and Operations Accenture State of Content Report Reveals

Avitage

Don’t be distracted by the hyperbole associated with this important Accenture report on the state of content. “Marketers are drowning” in a “tidal wave of content,” are phrases from the press release and early articles that have picked this up.

Report 215

How to Prepare Contact & Account for an Account-Based Marketing Strategy

Among B2B communities, 2017 brought upon several new concepts, trends and technologies… But perhaps none captured more attention than the re-emergence of account-based marketing as a viable growth strategy.

Use Knowledge Delivered Strategy to Show Content Value

Avitage

A Different Approach to Content Marketing Justification B2B content marketers must continually defend budgets and tactics, especially content investments, by proving performance. This is part of a persistent struggle to raise marketing credibility and awareness of its impact in the business.

How to Uplevel Your Content Operations

Avitage

At some point B2B executives realize that adding resources and technology to the traditional content operations process produces only marginal improvements. Digital era content requirements are rising exponentially. They will not be addressed with the current process. This will become even more evident when marketing begins to adequately support B2B sales content requirements, as well as those of the sales channel. That’s the time to uplevel content operations.

Domain 120

10 Questions About Sales Content Sales Leaders Should Ask Marketing Leaders

Avitage

I’ve written that sales and sales channel content requirements are some of the most under-served in most B2B organizations. Selling in a digital era characterized by hyper-connected, hard to engage, low attention span buyers makes effective sales content a strategic imperative. While research indicates 65% of the content created by marketing for sales is never used by sales, the situation is in fact much worse.

How Content Operations Can Create Marketing and Selling Breakthroughs

Avitage

Marketing and selling content operations isn’t sexy. But it could be one of the most important focus areas for marketing leaders. See Is Content Operations Your Next Focus Area?

Knowledge Delivered

Avitage

Our theme this year is Knowledge Delivered. We are all knowledge workers. Knowledge is actionable information. We operate inside organizations where knowledge creates value and competitive advantage. This makes knowledge and content strategic imperatives for any business.

GDPR & Demand Generation: What Your Team Needs To Know

Speaker: David Crane, Head of Content & Thought Leadership, Integrate

The coming month will test the boundaries of change management for marketing organizations (and their colleagues in sales, finance, IT and legal) as they ready their teams for the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will go into effect May 2018. Much of what we’ve seen in B2B marketing publications, martech vendor blogs and from word-of-mouth borders on fear-mongering. Not to say this isn’t understandable – a lot of rather quick changes must be made to ensure GDPR compliance, and they can feel overwhelming. However, some of the wisest B2B marketing experts continue to reiterate one very important point: GDPR, while causing significant stress now, will lead to more efficient and effective marketing and sales down the road.

A glaring omission in B2B selling systems

Avitage

The epidemic in B2B sales prospecting

Avitage

Many B2B selling organizations hit a wall in their new customer acquisition and revenue growth rates. This is the result of a critical underlying cause they unaware of, and do not fully appreciate even when they become aware. Sales pipeline quality, volume and conversion rates are both symptom and impact of this condition. This condition is especially evident in companies that are engaged in a complex or solution sale. Sometimes this is called a system or platform sale.

Objectives-Based Content Strategy Framework

Avitage

With guidance from SiriusDecisions and other analysts firms, many B2B organizations have evolved their go-to-market, messaging and content strategy. They have shifted from a product-based to a persona-based content framework. This is often in support of a solutions selling model. “As b-to-b organizations place greater focus on both inbound marketing, and optimizing content for the sales force, the skills and behaviors required for content ideation, writing and delivery are rapidly changing.

Objectives-Based Extension to SiriusDecisions Persona-Based Content Framework

Avitage

With guidance from SiriusDecisions and other analysts firms, many B2B organizations have evolved their go-to-market, messaging and content strategy. They have shifted from a product-based to a persona-based content framework. This is often in support of a solutions selling model. “As b-to-b organizations place greater focus on both inbound marketing, and optimizing content for the sales force, the skills and behaviors required for content ideation, writing and delivery are rapidly changing.

Top 20 B2B Marketing Charts of 2017

Discover critical data and insights with MarketingCharts' most popular B2B marketing charts of 2017. This deck covers both the buyer’s and seller’s perspective across topics such as lead generation, vendor relationships, and content marketing.

Sell, don’t market your way to success with new paradigm offers

Avitage

B2B companies bringing new offers to market risk long delays in product or solution uptake. Too often this leads to direct failure. Failure rates range from 40% to 80%. Clearly a risky and expensive bet. This risk isn’t limited to startups. Often we see large companies struggle to gain traction with new offers or new markets. One senior executive told me, “we are buried in our core brand.” ” This isn’t about direct replacement offers.

6 actions for sales leaders to get the right sales content

Avitage

Sales performance suffers due to poor or missing situation-ready sales content. However, this is still a near universal B2B selling problem and performance constraint. Despite significant investments in sales and marketing content management technology, most B2B organizations don’t provide their sales and channel sales organizations enough of the right content. Sales content simply isn’t designed or created “on purpose.”

Sales 120

Microcontent — the most important content type you don’t manage

Avitage

Microcontent isn’t widely understood or consciously used. When it is, it’s usually by marketing for social media content. But micro-content may be the most important content type you have, and you probably don’t manage it. Microcontent is simply what the words imply. The term is credited to user experience expert Jakob Nielsen: “microcontent is a small group of words which can be skimmed by the reader to understand the wider message of the article.”

Micro-content — the most important content type you don’t manage

Avitage

Micro-content isn’t widely understood or consciously used. When it is, it’s usually by marketing for social media content. But micro-content may be the most important content type you have, and you probably don’t manage it. Micro-content is simply what the words imply. The term is credited to user experience expert Jakob Nielsen: “micro content is a small group of words which can be skimmed by the reader to understand the wider message of the article.”

2018 B2B Marketing Mix Report

B2B marketers like you contributed their insights to Sagefrog’s annual B2B Marketing Mix Report, a valuable asset in planning your marketing strategy for the year ahead.

Modular Content Creation vs. Traditional and Structured Content Approaches

Avitage

As content marketing practices mature, organizations look for new ways to gain advantages and improve content performance. One of the most elusive tactics is to optimize content for audience and situation relevance. Numerous studies have shown business outcomes improve significantly when content delivers highly targeted, useful and relevant insights to audiences.

What is a Leveraged Content Supply Chain?

Avitage

In What is a Content Supply Chain? I identified the shortcomings of the traditional and still prevalent process by which B2B organizations create content. I concluded by saying the question is, How do you design a content supply chain process that will optimize 10 essential content criteria, especially the need to scale without concomitant investment, or compromises to important criteria?

Change your content process to leverage accelerate and scale

Avitage

When it comes to customer facing content, much is written about content creative and techniques, tools and infrastructure. But there is little thinking or discussion about content process change.

Is Content Operations Your Next Focus Area?

Avitage

Empathy: Your Lead Generation Superpower

Speaker: Brian Carroll, CEO & Founder of markempa

Today’s sales and marketing environment is a paradox. There has never been more marketing channels to reach potential customers. But, connecting and building trust with buyers has never been harder. That's why we need to go beyond rational-logic based marketing to understand how our customers feel. Empathy is not just a “soft” skill, it's an incredibly powerful tool to understand customer motivation and increase lead conversion.

A Conversation About B2B Selling Content

Avitage

“What is the state of B2B selling content today?” ” That was the first question Barb Giamanco asked me on her sales podcast, Right Message, Right Support, Right Sales Content, on the Razor’s Edge. How would you answer that for your organization? How would you know? Is your selling content considered short life collateral, or mostly long-life assets? What criteria would you use to audit the quality and usefulness of your content?

Overlooked cause of low sales and marketing results

Avitage

In this digital era, content is a primary driver of sales and marketing performance. We have written extensively on this. Background articles are referenced at the end of this article.

Sales 170

Getting Sales Content Right

Avitage

As B2B selling organizations attempt to transition from a product to solution or value sale, they must deal with the new realities of selling in a digital era characterized by self-educating teams of buyers. This new reality has made high-performing, situation-ready content a strategic imperative for B2B organizations in general, and direct and channel sales teams in particular. Two of the most under-served B2B functions when it comes to content are direct and channel sales organizations.

Sales 120

What is a Content Supply Chain?

Avitage

The genesis for this is an article by Jake Sorofman at Gartner, “The Content Supply Chain is the Rate Limiter to Digital Marketing Maturity.” ” “Targeting and personalizing experiences requires content—lots of it, in many different forms, for many different audiences, engaging across many different channels. Managing this madness becomes an exercise in combinatorial complexity that requires a more rigorous approach to your content strategy.”

Developing a Conversational Approach

Speaker: Carlos Hidalgo, CEO & Founder of VisumCx

B2B buyers are self-guiding their purchase journey, consuming more content along their purchase path and involving more stakeholders in the final decision. Therefore, it is necessary for B2B marketing teams to align to this purchase path and to the buying committees. This is not accomplished by creating more content or sending more communication, the key to success is establishing a conversation with your buyers that engages them in a meaningful dialogue and ultimately converts them to a customer.

Use Information Interview Approach for Sales Prospecting Conversations

Avitage

B2B sales organizations with a complex, “platform,” or value sales process face some of their biggest challenges in the initial prospecting stage. The process for a value sale is naturally longer than a simple product sale. Companies risk missing revenue growth targets when sellers are ineffective or inefficient at getting target accounts to engage. A couple of big deals can make a huge difference at the end of the year.

The Missing Ingredient for Sales Coaching

Avitage

There is a generally high desire for sales coaching in B2B selling. Most managers and reps know it’s important. Done well, coaching can make a significant difference to rep and manager performance and success. Financially, everyone has a lot at stake.

Reframing Content ROI and the Case for B2B Content

Avitage

Despite a plethora of articles recommending methods to determine content ROI, this continues to be a hot and confusing topic for many B2B marketers. Why is this? There are different purposes and uses for ROI.

ROI 170

Elevate B2B Content Strategy to Business Level Execution

Avitage

B2B Content Strategy for Messages, Conversations and Content This post speaks to why B2B organizations should elevate content strategy from siloed functions to the business level, with executive accountability.

Seven Things Marketers Need to Know About Lead Generation

Speaker: Douglas Burdett, Host of The Marketing Book Podcast, Founder/Principal of ARTILLERY

If you are a marketer who needs to generate more high-quality leads that will turn into sales opportunities and revenue, register now for this special event that will show you how to get started and moving in a profitable direction.