From “Content Marketing” to “Content-Enabled Selling” –— Advancing Marketing’s Role as an Enabler
How much energy and ink has been expended in the last 5 years on the topic of content marketing?!
Marketers love talking about and making content! In fact, it’s one of the main reasons I got into marketing in the first place. But as much as we love it, marketers are only part of the content equation. And while super-important, what gets your prospects thinking about you and loving your stuff as a thread that they like to consume doesn’t really address the problem at some of its critical points.
I’m talking here about mid-funnel and bottom-funnel activities, and I’m talking about the content that enables sellers to develop good hooks and deliver value to prospects through conversations that actually help buyers buy.
The handoff that really matters – Enabling sales with content to help drive the buyer’s journey
The content that really concerns me and that remains so hard for so many organizations to do is what you could broadly characterize as sales enablement content.
It includes the content with which you train sales people and the content you put together to initiate and manage conversations with the customer as they move through the sales interaction portion of their buyer’s journey.
You need to really focus on helping customers make the moves and the decisions that will help their business. So you need to understand their market, business and how they’re currently thinking.
Better content begins with real intent insight
The cool thing is that this kind of information is more readily available than ever. You can learn a whole lot without ever talking to someone at the prospect company. And that means you can prepare really well. But expecting sales to do all this work on their own is unfair at best.
These people have to execute a really difficult process every day. It’s an emotionally and physically difficult role. Marketing can and should be doing what it can to make things easier and more productive.
Content is a clear place to add value. And great content—content that works in sales conversations—begins with purchase intent insights into markets, buyers and customers. So marketers need to mine insights and then build from that to develop content that enables sales.
This is a big part of how our clients leverage the value in our market coverage and the purchase intent data that is derived from it.
So if your content engine is focused mostly on getting people into the top of the funnel, you might need to spend more time in the next year working on helping sales succeed more at moving people through the pipeline. That is content-enabled selling.