In this digital age of the customer, high-performing content is a strategic imperative for B2B selling organizations.
Content is a primary driver of top business outcomes as well as functional performance.
Poor-performing or missing customer-facing content adversely impacts strategic business objectives:
- new customer acquisition and organic revenue growth,
- sales and marketing productivity and efficiency for lower selling costs,
- data acquisition
- customer experience.
For B2B selling organizations, sales conversations are content. And content extends as well as amplifies sales conversations.
Companies that are shifting from a product to a value (or solution) selling model discover that sales conversations, and poor use of content to sell, can be two big success constraints.
Unfortunately, B2B sales and channel functions typically lack the content they need. This isn’t new. But many of the use case requirements for content in the sales process are new. Lack of well defined use case requirements are an important cause of ineffective or missing sales content.
With little experience using content to engage and educate buyers, sales managers and their people often are ill prepared to leverage good content even when it arrives.
There are many causes of the missing or ineffective content problem.
Over our twenty years creating custom content for B2B sales and marketing organizations we discovered the root of this problem are three critical new realities most organizations haven’t understood or addressed:
- The digital era and its audiences have created new criteria for effective content (see video below).
- As companies bring content operations in-house, they lack content operations design and management expertise to meet these requirements.
- Most importantly: the traditional, project-oriented, creative craftsman content production model is outdated.
It will not meet the new requirements of empowered buyers, their digital channel and format preferences, and the many content dependent constituents across the enterprise.
It cannot scale without compromises.
Ironically, what to do to fix these problems is known and generally agreed on.
Companies fail in execution.
Effective content execution requires managing many complex and inter-related factors. Without deep experience, formal programs, and mature operating frameworks and checklists, mistakes inevitably abound.
At this point you might consider these issues in the context of your business functions:
- Senior business executive
- Channel Sales and Marketing
- Digital, Content and Product Marketing
- Content Operations
This short video explains 10 content criteria that must be optimized:
This short video explains “the knowing doing gap”: