In my humble opinion, marketers are carrying an unprecedented load: branding, website and advertising, creating content for sales teams, keeping it organized and accessible, anticipating industry trends and surfacing relevant information. And as if all this isn't enough, they also must manage the constant stream of internal company knowledge, sift through it, and make it applicable to sales. This aspect of sales enablement is being overlooked and it's causing a real problem.
It leads marketers to face a major challenge: ensuring their content is timely and relevant to the sales process, and delivering it in the ideal format and at the opportune moment.
Sometimes it seems marketing is bombarding everyone with new content and burying commercial teams in decks and playbooks. But is it really the fault of marketing? Aren’t they the barriers that protect everyone else from being flooded with irrelevant data?
Company knowledge is ever-changing and dispersed in multiple tools and locations, making it hard to access and organize. Many documents created may not even be necessary or useful for customer-facing teams. Transforming internal company knowledge into useful external material is difficult.
So yes, sales reps are bombarded with information from all directions and usually don't have the time to handle it all. As a result, they might feel overwhelmed and unable to find the information they need quickly when they need it most. This means company knowledge isn't being used effectively by your salespeople. Bad news for the bottom line!
Consequently, a lot of them just keep using what they know best and what has proven to be useful to them before. While this might be more effective at that moment, it makes them blind to all the latest and up to date information from the business.
Marketing to the rescue! Most of the time it is up to marketing to sift through everything and find the gems after which it should be easily accessible for sales.
The best way to ensure that your marketing efforts are aligned with your overall business strategy is by working closely with all departments that have or need business information. It’s up to marketing to understand the challenges of everyone involved.
Salespeople need access to information quickly so they can make decisions based on facts rather than assumptions or guesswork, which means you have less time than ever before to deliver relevant content once it's been requested by a prospect or customer (or even internally).
The commercial team also benefits from having this knowledge available when planning meetings or preparing calls. However, sales might have other priorities than keeping up with the marketing stuff, so you must make sure to make it easy for them to find and use it. And it’s relevant enough to keep ‘em coming back.
As you build your content, it's important to keep your finger on the pulse of current trends in your industry and market. The last thing you want is for someone who is looking for information about a product or service in their industry to find an article that was relevant when it was written, but no longer applies today.
To ensure this doesn't happen, marketing is not only checking with engineers, consultants, and other roles within the business. They’re also in contact with sales so they can get feedback from their external contacts. Next to this, they also need to keep tabs on industry news through newsletters and social media channels related specifically to their field.
I hear you thinking now: “This guy is in marketing, of course his focus is on that specific team.” And you might be right. They’re the greatest people on earth. However, in the end, it's all about making sure that our sales reps always have the most relevant information at their fingertips.
Sales teams are constantly bombarded with information from all directions, and if there isn’t someone doing the cleaning and formatting for them, it won’t happen. They have other fish to fry than search for knowledge and create pitch decks. They need to be able to access company knowledge quickly and easily so they can prepare and go out to sell.
This means marketers are the spearpoint to streamline company knowledge into relevant content for commercial teams, while keeping in mind what is relevant at any given time. No bias, but they’re the real heroes of sales enablement!