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Content Marketing and Sales Effectiveness Survey

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As content marketing becomes more main stream, the big question now is how to optimize efforts and investments to actually drive revenue. We have many clients who struggle with how to bridge the gap …

As content marketing becomes more main stream, the big question now is how to optimize efforts and investments to actually drive revenue. We have many clients who struggle with how to bridge the gap between the provocative content and thought leadership marketing creates and their sales team’s ability to use that content to find new customers, win opportunities, and grow strategic accounts.
To learn more, we (along with our partner, SellingPower™ Magazine) conducted a survey to better understand what is working and what is not.

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  • *http://www.percussion.com/community/blogs/web-content-management/2013/0128-content-marketing-sales-three-reasons-why-your-sales-reps-should-always-be-sharing  Bridge GroupJust about 80% of your company (sales reps and managers) read the content your company publishes, but only 50% of your sales reps understand your strategy. Managers read content more, and their understanding of the company’s content marketing strategy is higher as well.
  • If your sales reps understand your company’s content marketing strategy, they will read each piece of content you publish. Managers read content more, and their understanding of the company’s content marketing strategy is higher as well.
  • Sales reps do not fully understand your strategy. How canthey draw the line of relevance and value for your customers? What are they doing in place of this (drawing relevant and valuable connections for customers) now?
  • Sales reps and managers agree that the content your company is producing is not for the sales process. Rather, the focus is set on the company brand and awareness. Lead generation happens to be at the bottom of the barrel, for less than 40% of your sales reps and managers believe the content your company publishes assists with generating qualified sales leads.
  • Sales reps and managers seem to be most confident in creating new opportunities and influencing existing opportunities with the use of thought provoking content, yet the least confident in disrupting a customer’s mindset and motivating a customer to buy. Is your content assisting your sales reps and employees beyond the first stage of the buying and selling process? How else can your sales reps communicate value to your customers with the content you are publishing?
  • To support their selling efforts, managers would like a stronger link between the content and solutions your company sells. To support the selling efforts of your sales reps, your sales reps are requesting improved content relevance to your customers. Linking content to selling solutions and to customer relevancy, is just as important as linking your sales reps and managers to your content. Make your people aware.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Content Marketing & Sales Effectiveness Survey
    • 2. Executive Summary Copyright © 2013 Richardson. All rights reserved. Overview of Findings • Sales reps do not understand your company’s content marketing strategy • Your sales reps and managers are reading and reviewing your content, but are struggling to find value that is easily transferrable to your customers • Your content’s purpose is not meeting the objectives and initiatives of your sales team • Although thought provoking, your content is not assisting sales reps and managers throughout the selling process • Sales reps and managers are looking for content that is relevant and applicable to the solutions your company sells We have outlined additional detail in the following pages of this report. As you consider your content marketing strategy, we encourage you to think from the perspective of your sales team and your marketing team, in hopes of more closely aligning the two to generate more opportunities.
    • 3. Copyright © 2013 Richardson. All rights reserved. Recommendations • Establish a two-way communication stream between your sales team and marketing department • Supply content that enables your sales team • Connect your sales teams with your marketing efforts – establish integration and identify any existing blind spots • Tightly align marketing initiatives to specific sales goals and objectives to generate more high-quality leads • Recognize the need for a collaborative effort between marketing and sales, and ask for feedback “B2B companies’ inability to align sales and marketing teams around the right processes and technologies can cost them upwards of 10% or more of revenue per year” (IDC, 2011) Executive Summary (continued)
    • 4. Copyright © 2013 Richardson. All rights reserved. © Richardson 2012 • www.richardson.com 54% 65% 46% 35% 0% 50% 100% Sales Reps Managers Disagree Agree Key Takeaways: • Nearly 50% of your sales reps and more than 1/3 of your managers do not understand your content marketing strategy Implications: • 57% of sales pipelines are generated by marketing* • Without an understanding, your sales reps and managers cannot employ an “Always Be Sharing” attitude. • Your company is missing out on the following benefits: • Continuous learning among sales team • Credibility as a trusted resource • Growing your pipeline I understand my company’s content marketing strategy.
    • 5. Copyright © 2013 Richardson. All rights reserved. © Richardson 2012 • www.richardson.com 77% 83% 23% 17% 0% 50% 100% Sales Reps Managers Disagree Agree Key Takeaways: • Much of what you publish and sponsor is being read, but nearly 1/4 of sales reps do not read your content at all. Implications: • Lack of integration and communication between sales and marketing leads to missed opportunities • Without reading the content, sales reps are less informed. • According to Genius.com, 66% of buyers indicate that “consistent and relevant communication provided by both sales and marketing organizations” is a key influence in choosing a solution provider. I read the content my company publishes or sponsors.
    • 6. Copyright © 2013 Richardson. All rights reserved. © Richardson 2012 • www.richardson.com 65% 74% 35% 26% 0% 50% 100% Sales Reps Managers Disagree Agree Key Takeaways: • Only 2/3 of your sales reps believe your content is valuable and relevant to your customers, while more than 1/4 of managers do not agree. Implications: • Lack of preparation for sales presentations, buyer interactions, and conversions • It is possible that your sales reps and managers do not know how to use your content effectively in the sales process. • Your sales reps may be spending more time trying to find valuable content, decreasing their efficiency and adding on more time to close the deal. The content my company publishes is valuable to our customers.
    • 7. Copyright © 2013 Richardson. All rights reserved. Your content is not supporting lead generation for sales reps or managers. The content my company publishes helps to: © Richardson 2012 • www.richardson.com 75% 78% 37% 52% 50% 51% 25% 22% 63% 48% 50% 49% 69% 69% 33% 43% 41% 42% 31% 31% 67% 57% 59% 58% 0% 50% 100% Differentiate our brand Create market awareness Generate qualified leads Improve my sales effectiveness Retain key accounts Grow key accounts Sales Reps Agree Sales Reps Disagree Managers Agree Managers Disagree
    • 8. Copyright © 2013 Richardson. All rights reserved. I am confident in using thought provoking content to: © Richardson 2012 • www.richardson.com 61% 64% 64% 59% 53% 36% 39% 36% 36% 41% 47% 64% 54% 50% 49% 40% 44% 29% 46% 50% 51% 60% 56% 71% 0% 50% 100% Support my prospecting efforts Create new opportunities Influence existing opportunities to my favor Upsell existing customers Motivate customers to buy Disrupt a customer's mindset Sales Reps Agree Sales Reps Disagree Managers Agree Managers Disagree Is your content assisting your sales reps and managers beyond the first stage of the sales cycle?
    • 9. Copyright © 2013 Richardson. All rights reserved. How can your company better help you use thought provoking content to support your selling efforts? © Richardson 2012 • www.richardson.com 36% 20% 59% 51% 46% 37% 39% 39% 35% 64% 80% 41% 49% 54% 63% 61% 61% 65% 52% 23% 57% 65% 46% 47% 51% 40% 48% 48% 77% 43% 35% 54% 53% 49% 60% 52% 0% 50% 100% Self publish content more frequently License thought provoking content and research more frequently Improve content relevance to our customers Create a stronger link between the content and the solutions we sell Better inform me when we release new content Help me understand how this content relates to our customers Help me better understand how to use thought provoking content… Help me better understand how to use thought provoking content… Sales Reps Agree Sales Reps Disagree Managers Agree Managers Disagree “I don’t need more, I need better.”
    • 10. Copyright © 2013 Richardson. All rights reserved. Content Marketing & Sales Effectiveness Survey

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