“What is the state of B2B selling content today?”
That was the first question Barb Giamanco asked me on her sales podcast, Right Message, Right Support, Right Sales Content, on the Razor’s Edge.
How would you answer that for your organization? How would you know?
Is your selling content considered short life collateral, or mostly long-life assets? What criteria would you use to audit the quality and usefulness of your content? Do you have an inventory that would make an audit possible?
These are some of the questions we discussed. Below is an outline of key points I addressed that you might want your organization to consider.
Key Considerations for Effective Selling Content
If your sales team conducts a complex, solution or value sale, situation-ready selling content is essential for your success. If you are trying to shift your selling model from a traditional product-feature-benefit approach to a value sell, this goes double for you.
Selling content is much more than documents, presentations and video. It’s about delivering the right selling Knowledge for each key engagement scenario. Knowledge is required by both sellers and buyers. It’s similar, but must be produced and packaged differently.
Selling content provides Communication Support for key customer engagements and conversations. This helps both communicators and recipients. One of the most neglected communication support requirements is content customers can use to enroll and convince colleagues of the value of changing in a particular way.
Selling content is “situation-ready.” It is always used in a specific context, for a specific purpose. This means it must be created “on purpose, by design.” Several approaches to accomplish this are discussed in the podcast and are available in related content referenced below.
Marketing organizations generally have little expertise about what selling content to create, and how to create it. But your situation is probably worse. Marketing thinks they do create the right content. Without good methodologies to identify and specify exact content specifications, this is not possible.
The way content is prepared and deployed for sales teams — or not — is critical for sales success. Typically, individual content assets are deployed — documents, presentations and videos.
Sales people need complete sets of content for key selling scenarios. It should be packaged, grouped and ready for delivery. In many cases it must be editable and configurable to enable tailoring so it is relevant for a specific situation, audience and communication purpose.
Selling content, defined as sales knowledge, communication support and situation-ready content created on purpose, is indeed a complex endeavor. With the right program, process and supporting frameworks, it doesn’t have to be complicated.