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Why your content alignment is hurting your results

Avitage

The long-prevailing wisdom is to align content to the customer’s buying stage and/or the sales process stage. This approach reflects an outdated content alignment and management mindset. It’s the folder mindset that says, “we need to group content within hierarchical folder categories.” ” Buying and selling stages are a rather obtuse concept.

The B2B Value Sale is Actually Three Distinct Sales

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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.

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Sales Content for Knowledge and Sales Performance Support

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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.

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The most under-served content requirements

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I received a call from a colleague who started a new sales job with a software company. “We have no good content to serve as door openers, or to nurture target accounts who aren’t ready to meet. All we have is product collateral.”

Best Practices for Selling to Government Agencies

The US government spends over $235 billion on goods and services each year. Because of this, selling your product or service to a government agency can be a great way to increase profits. A government buyer also offers consistency, at least for the duration of your contract. However, there are key differences between selling to a customer or business and selling to the government. MarketJoy VP of Customer Success, Curtis Bendt, has used his vast experience in sales industry to craft a list of best practices for selling to government agencies to give you a more specific idea of what the process involves. MarketJoy also provides you with several tips on how to increase your chances of success.

The Content Focal Point is Different for Marketing and Sales Content

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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.

Selling into the “hidden opportunity market”

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We used to say, “sell ahead of the RFP.” ” Then, for more than a decade we’ve been telling clients, “sell ahead of your competitive herd.” ” Now we’re telling them, “sell into the ‘hidden opportunity market’ ” As a result of recent client work, I’ve re-examined CEB’s Challenger Customer for clues on how to improve B2B sales practices, especially for sales content.

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B2B Sales Content Strategy

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When it comes to content and strategy, few people share a clear and common meaning of each word. Put them together, and what you have is downright perplexing. This is a sales content strategy guide for the perplexed.

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

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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.

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Paradigm of Strategic Value-Based Discounting for the B2B Industry

Competition has increased to new levels of intensity and organizations have begun to look for new ways to acquire customers. Discounted pricing is a strategic tool, which when used correctly can drive a variety of business goals, from marketing through to sales strategy

Challenger Customer Implications for B2B Sales Professionals

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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.”

Why You Need a B2B Sales Content Strategy

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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

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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.

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Use Knowledge Delivered Strategy to Show Content Value

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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.

The Account-Based Marketing Playbook

Account-Based Marketing is a strategy, not a solution.

How Content Operations Can Create Marketing and Selling Breakthroughs

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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?

How to Uplevel Your Content Operations

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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.

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10 Questions About Sales Content Sales Leaders Should Ask Marketing Leaders

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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.

Knowledge Delivered

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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.

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.

A glaring omission in B2B selling systems

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The epidemic in B2B sales prospecting

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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.

Is Content Operations Your Next Focus Area?

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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.

7 Key Insights from the "How B2B Marketing is Changing" Report

Speaker: Tom Pick, Independent B2B Digital Marketing Consultant

What are the top priorities, challenges, and trends in B2B marketing as we head into the final stretch of 2018? We conducted in-depth interviews with senior B2B technology marketers to find out. The results included a few expected areas of consensus but also some surprising divergence of opinions. Content marketing, for example, is widely viewed as the most effective lead generation tactic and area for additional spending in the coming year. But doing it effectively to optimize results is also the top challenge marketers face. Meanwhile, marketers report conflicting views about and are seeking guidance on search engine marketing, live events, and inbound vs. outbound tactics. And there's one promising avenue many marketers may be under-investing in. This webinar not only summarizes the issues raised in the study but also offers guidance from multiple sources on how to address the challenges of today's B2B marketers.

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.

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

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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.

Overlooked cause of low sales and marketing results

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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.

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How to Successfully Coach Your Sales Team to Drive Efficiency

Speaker: Steve Benson, Founder and CEO, Badger Maps

A great sales team starts with a manager who’s a great coach. To stay competitive in today’s market, you need to implement a formal coaching approach that is aligned with your buyer’s journey and internal processes to drive results. Fortunately, Steve Benson is here to help you become that great coach.

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.”

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

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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

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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.”

Modular Content Creation vs. Traditional and Structured Content Approaches

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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.

Togetherness: Achieving Sales and Marketing Alignment

Speaker: Jeff Davis, Founder, jd2 Consulting Group

Jeff Davis is here to help you think differently about how Sales and Marketing should interact. With increased scrutiny for marketing to prove ROI on their activities and it becoming increasingly hard for B2B salespeople to even get in front of customers, the old way of doing business is no longer an option. This webinar will use evidence-based research and empirical knowledge to propose real-world strategies that work.

What is a Leveraged Content Supply Chain?

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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?

The Missing Ingredient for Sales Coaching

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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

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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.

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Elevate B2B Content Strategy to Business Level Execution

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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.

Staying Relevant in Sales as AI and Technology Continue to Take Over

Speaker: John Barrows, CEO, JBarrows Sales Training

As technology and AI advance, and as companies and reps continue to look for technical solutions to increase efficiency throughout the sales process, the human element of sales is being lost.The question we need to ask ourselves is – what can we do that a computer can’t? The answer lies in context; if we as sales professionals are not adding any context to our content, then we bring no additional value to what marketing and technology are already doing. Learn about the importance of context, and where an how to add it throughout the sales process!