5 Common Sales Content Mistakes Impacting Your Revenue

sticky notes

Chances are you are making common sales content mistakes.  Your strategy is like the Earth’s moon.  You have a light side and dark side.  Your marketing team produces great sales content that generates tons of leads and traffic to your website.  Sometimes, your sale reps even use that content in their initial outreach to their prospects, but like the moon, there is dark side to your sales content strategy.  Your sales team can’t find your content.  Your marketing content doesn’t work for your sales team, and they are making their own, rogue content as a result.  Chances are you are making many of the following sales content mistakes.

#1: Content is spread around and no one really knows what you havesticky notes

Where is your sales content?  Odds are you don’t completely know.  Some may be in a content repository like Box, Google Drive or SharePoint.  Perhaps you have multiple content repositories.  Sales Powerpoint decks are saved on reps’ computers, some are on the company website and you may even have a sales portal. The fact of the matter is, with content everywhere you sales reps can’t find what they need, when they need it.  If they do find what they need, they probably waste hours searching.  In the worst cases, they don’t find anything and wing it.   CSO Insights reports that sellers waste up to seven hours per week looking for content because they can’t find it. That’s a lot of time away from selling.  That equates to wasted money in salaries and lost revenue in missed sales opportunities.

#2: You don’t have a sales journey

Notice we use the word sales journey, not buyers’ journey.   What we mean by this is how your sellers think of the stages of the sales cycle, not the marketing team.   Most buyers’ journey maps are weighted to marketing efforts and have an overly simplistic model like this: Trigger Consideration > Purchase.  That over simplifies or even ignores the content needs once the sales process starts.  Based on our research, we estimate in over 55% of companies there is a disconnect between sales and marketing.

#3: You don’t have useful content for each stage of the sales process

Most companies have plenty of content to attract and nurture leads, but often their content dries up once the lead is passed over to sales.  For sales, the process has just begun.  Is a high level thought leadership white paper or case study going to help a sales rep when they are down to the final 3 vendors and they need to differentiate versus the 2 other competitors?  If the content doesn’t exist, chances are, sales just make something up.  It’s likely to be off-message and incomplete.

#4: You don’t where your gaps lie

Countless research studies have shown sellers don’t read 70% of the content produce “for them.”  Part of the problem is probably that you aren’t producing the right kind of content for the many different sales situations your sellers will encounter.  Most marketing teams do well with early stage but lack content for later sales stages.  It is also important to remember that your sellers are trying to sell value, so if your content repository is filled with nothing but product data sheets, you are not helping your sellers sell on value.  Another problem many companies struggle with is that marketing and sales don’t communicate enough.  That results in the content creators not knowing what sales needs and wants as well as not knowing what is working and what isn’t.

#5: You have no data on content usage, let alone ROI

For most marketers this is the worst question your CFO can ask is, “I’m spending all this money on marketing, what am I getting in return?”  Responding that you produced 10’s or even 100’s of pieces of content probably will not impress your CFO.  If you can’t attribute your content efforts to sales pipeline growth, sales pipeline advancement or ultimately sales, chances are, your CFO doesn’t care.

Solving Your Sales Content Mistakes

Even if you are making these common sales content mistakes, delivering content that your sales team will use and has a demonstrable ROI is not as hard as you think. It most definitely requires alignment between sales and marketing. You will also need a well-defined sales journey/process and a sales content strategy. Whether you a swimming in content or starting from the beginning, with some simple planning upfront and alignment between your sales and marketing teams, you are well on your way to correcting these common sales content mistakes and delivering content that has real, measurable business impact.

Interested in more and getting solutions to these common mistakes?  Check out our free guide.

5 common sales content mistakes free guide