First 3 Pages
Creating Buyer-Focused Content That Helps Sales Win
Creating and implementing a content strategy is not an easy feat. It requires a full content audit, measurable goals for content creation and distribution, and especially the right individual or team in place to succeed. One of Seismic’s recent guides, A Content Strategy Leader ’s Roadmap for Success in 2016, covers the challenges facing marketers when developing an entire content strategy, as well as the ways to succeed—from content manage
-ment to delivery. Here, we’ll dive into the process of actually creating that content.
SiriusDecisions estimates that between 60 and 70 percent of B2B content goes unused by sales. While content marketing continues to grow in popularity as a marketing tactic, there is little strategy around what is created, where it is stored, and whether it’s actually helping close deals. As a result, less than a third of content is rendered useful by sales because content is either impossible to locate or is considered irrelevant in sales interactions.
There’s no doubt that B2B marketers understand this disconnect, but with limited visibility into sales’ usage of content, it’s difficult to see what content is working and what needs to be revised or retired altogether. In order to bridge the gaps between marketing, sales, and buyers, SiriusDecisions created its Sales Content Architecture Framework, which enables marketing and sales leaders to create and implement a winning sales content strategy.
This guide applies the SiriusDecisions Sales Content Architecture Framework to the entire B2B content lifecycle. It will explain how marketing and sales enablement leaders can identify gaps in their content strategy and offerings, how to align the sales process with the buyer ’s journey, and how Seismic can help optimize the entire content lifecycle from creation to delivery and usage analysis.
Key elements of SiriusDecisions’ Content Architecture Framework
SiriusDecisions’ Content Architecture Framework hinges on the assumption that B2B organizations are committed to taking a consistent, structured approach to auditing, creating, distributing, and measuring content. The following three steps are offered to fulfill that commitment:
1. Identify audience needs and how content meets those needs
Organizations should be able to identify and target all relevant audiences and/or personas that content will reach. For internal audiences, content should be segmented by organizational breakdown (such as different sales departments), and content for external audiences should be created for each different persona or audience. Organizations should understand fundamental buyer needs for each persona in order to best address those needs in content.
2. Align the buying process and the sales process
Many organizations blindly approach the sales content creation process and only use one-sided sales insights to create content. Buyer feedback and insights are integral when creating sales support resources, and organizations aiming to align sales with buyers should map the sales process to the buyer ’s journey. This can be done using buyer feedback and content usage analytics, and these metrics will help sales and marketing teams better understand the needs, preferences, and value requirements of each buyer during each stage of the buyer ’s journey.
How to align the buyer’s journey and sales process
Forrester has found that 77 percent of executive buyers don’t think salespeople understand their issues and how they can help. In what it has coined the “Age of the Customer
,” Forrester asserts that it’s more important than ever for sales organizations to understand how their buyers are seeking information, identifying their own needs, and making decisions. Sales reps are no longer in control of the buying process, so aligning sales reps and buyers—and ensuring sales reps understand buyers’ needs and priorities—is imperative to sales success. Marketing and sales leaders should meet to lay out the perceived
processes for both buyers and sales reps and find where steps overlap and intersect. SiriusDecisions offers a sample buying cycle (below), but each organization should research and map content to its own buyers’ specific processes.