Sales Isn’t Taking Advantage of Content. Here’s How Marketing Can Improve Its Efforts.

October 17, 2016

This article is included in these additional categories:

B2B | Brand Metrics | Content Marketing | Internal Collaboration | Personalization | Sponsored | Technology

seismic-b2b-marketers-pressing-content-challenges-oct2016[SPONSORED CONTENT] The old saying goes: “Half of my advertising is wasted ”“ I just don’t know which half.” This maxim might as well also apply to the B2B content marketing sphere, according to a new study from Seismic that’s based on a survey of 100 senior B2B marketers in the US, primarily from enterprise companies.

The survey, carried out by Gatepoint Research, found 52% of respondents saying that content goes unused because the sales team doesn’t know where to find it. Almost 4 in 10 respondents likewise said that they can’t decipher between content that works and content that doesn’t, and fewer than one-third know how sales reps are sharing their content.

The disconnect between marketing and sales in content marketing efforts has been documented in other recent research of late. A recent study from CSO Insights sponsored by Seismic found, for example, that fewer than half of executives at B2B companies feel that the content provided by marketing to sales meets or exceeds expectations.

Perhaps this is a symptom of how the content is being provided. Content is commonly being delivered to sales reps as one-off email links or attachments (74%), or sales reps are asked to download the content from a portal (72%). One-off update requests from sales reps are a pressing content management challenge for 56%, outpacing all other challenges.

It stands to reason then that sales enablement could benefit from more personalized, easy-to-access content. Indeed, when asked which improvements to content marketing efforts would be most helpful for sales enablement, the most popular responses were hyper-relevant content served up to the sales reps in specific selling situations (54%) and reducing the time it takes a sales rep to find the content they need (53%).

seismic-b2b-content-improvements-for-sales-enablement-oct2016

Presumably a central repository for content management and delivery (which 45% noted as being critical to sales enablement improvement) would help, yet these aren’t that widely used.

Currently, the most common types of repositories marketing teams are using to house their content are SharePoint (67%) and a shared drive/portal (46%). And while the lack of a central repository isn’t seen as a big content management challenge, more than one-third (36%) of respondents reported not having a content management solution in place at all. Moreover, only half are at least somewhat happy with how they’re managing their content.

Improved content management efforts would likely lead to more satisfaction in the type of content being used by sales. Roughly half of respondents, for example, said that it would be helpful for sales enablement if they could have peace of mind that sales reps are sharing up-to-date assets. Likewise, an equal proportion feel that providing sales with easily customizable content would improve sales enablement efforts. Considering that for a strong majority (69%) of respondents, post-branding change content updates take at least 3 months, this is not a small issue.

With better content management efforts leading to more seamless internal content sharing and more relevant materials for the sales team, B2B marketers should feel more confident that their content efforts won’t go to waste. This will in turn further enable content marketing to fulfill its primary goals of brand awareness, lead generation and demand creation.

See more results from the Seismic study here.

[This Sponsored Content was produced by MarketingCharts in collaboration with Seismic, a provider of sales enablement solutions.] More about MarketingCharts’ Sponsored Content here.

About the Data: The data is based on a survey conducted by Gatepoint Research among 100 executives, 69% of whom identify as Director-level, 28% as VP-level and 4% as CxOs. Respondents hail from a variety of industries including business services (29%), manufacturing / high tech (26%) and financial services (16%).

Some 71% of respondents are from companies with more than $1.5 billion in annual revenues, and another 14% are from companies with revenues between $500 million and $1.5 billion.

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