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Why great content starts with sales and marketing alignment

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In many B2B organisations, the revenue stream is owned by the sales department. This leaves the sales team on the front lines using content the marketing team has created to close deals and engage prospects. However, more often than not, the content provided isn’t what the sales team actually needs. 

As a result, the materials provided are often extensively edited and changed far beyond the original. This means there is no way for marketers to track the effectiveness of their content in driving ROI and use these insights to replicate or improve. 

From here, the problems only grow. Overtime, too many edits to marketing assets mean salespeople can’t find the content they need quickly enough, they then ask marketing to create more content but, with no visibility over which assets are successfully engaging customers, it’s a vicious cycle of content chaos that is missing the mark for both teams. 

So what’s the solution? Nikki Dawson, Head of EMEA Marketing at Highspot, feels that it’s all down to cultivating a more holistic and codependent relationship between sales and marketing.

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Collaborating instead of just coexisting

As it stands, it's no longer enough for the marketing and sales departments to simply coexist. Instead they need to work together, sharing insights that add value to each other and their organisation. It's imperative that these two teams are properly aligned and collaborate effectively in order to drive ROI for the business.

Both teams face barriers to efficient working. When sales fall short of expectations, marketing assumes it was a result of poor execution of an otherwise outstanding rollout strategy. In turn, the sales departments assume that marketers are out of touch with what customers are genuinely thinking and aren’t providing them with the right content.

Marketers typically generate collateral and content for sales, and while the sales team closes leads, marketers are left in the dark about what worked and what didn't. As a result, there’s no way of truly knowing what marketing assets are doing well and where time and budget could be better spent. Just 65% of content developed by marketing is ever used by sales, most of it wasted because it’s not deemed useful.

This lack of cohesion has a negative impact on business performance. We've seen both teams stumble (and the organisation suffer) because they are out of sync with each other. In contrast, there is no doubt that when sales and marketing work well together, businesses see significant improvements in key performance measures. In fact, according to Forrester, companies that align sales and marketing teams achieve 24% faster growth rates and 27% faster profit growth.

In order to be most effective, generate more leads and close more deals sales and marketing must have a symbiotic relationship. Sales enablement facilitates this process by delivering the correct content to the right people at the right time and providing invaluable insights to learn from along the way.

Marketers need a seat at the revenue table 

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Having a seat at the revenue table and knowing how their content and campaigns contribute to a deal and revenue allows marketers to obtain valuable insight into one of their most powerful channels - their go-to-market (GTM)/sales team.

The critical task required for sales teams to predict leads, pipelines and revenue with confidence should not be handled exclusively by them. Instead, both departments should have a place at the revenue table to be able to discuss ways in which marketing and sales can work together and align their efforts to drive ROI. 

This ideal alignment can be easily achieved through sales enablement. These solutions not only give both the sales and marketing teams full visibility over assets and the revenue they drive but also help to bridge the gap between content creation and sales calls

Sales enablement is more than just a tool

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Put simply, sales enablement platforms offer so much more than just a useful sales tool. They are a full solution that helps to connect your sales and marketing teams, and technology across the sales cycle to great success for businesses. This can include assisting with content organisation, aligning your sales and marketing teams, and even making onboarding new salespeople simple and painless.

With the help of sales enablement, a new approach can be achieved, one with an emphasis on marketing playing an active role in the revenue process and enabling sales and marketing to work in harmony, driving visible and shared ROI.

With time, a culture where revenue generation is seen as a collective responsibility will provide businesses and brands with a competitive edge that is yet to be fully realised.

Header image by Rob Pratt

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