We always give marketers props for wearing many hats – rightfully so. But let’s take a moment to honor the sales rep: The deal closer; the revenue generator — without whom we wouldn’t have customers to serve and enable.
One of the many hats marketers should be wearing is the enabler to the sales rep. Brainshark broke the habits of a sales rep down in its 2013 State of the Sales Rep report. The company surveyed 416 sales reps and managers about how they prepare for, present and follow up on meetings with prospects and clients.
Here are some research findings that offer a little bit more insight into how marketing can help support sales reps’ good habits:
Make emails count- A whopping 92% of survey respondents cited email as the most popular way to follow up after meetings. Other data shows that the majority of reps view a same-day response to those emails as a key indicator that the prospect is willing to buy. Pay close attention to your email marketing metrics. Monitor messaging that resonates and establish rules for your click through KPIs so you can report to sales on what works.
Tablet-friendly content is a must- As you'll see in the infographic below, nearly half (47%) of survey respondents would rather go commando than face a meeting without their tablets. So it’s a humorous stat, but, believable at that. It’s telling that sales is committed to modernized presentations, and that they find their tablets to be of instrumental value in the engagement process. When we’re developing content to support their conversations, let’s always keep the tablet design top of mind. If it doesn’t work for a tablet, it won’t work for your reps (who, at this point, might be without underwear. They'll need good content at the very least).
Centralize content for easy access- Common content problems cited by rep respondents include difficulty finding the content they need (51%), finding out-of-date materials (41%), or even knowing if the content they have is the most current version (39%). However, only 28% felt that the content they were provided wasn’t relevant to their prospects and clients. Keep content inventoried in a way that works for your sales and marketing teams. Consider presenting your library in a manner that enables both your end consumers and internal teams to access content seamlessly.
Check out Brainshark's infographic:
Here are some other tips to help content marketing minds enable their sales counterparts:
Give sales the appropriate seat at the content planning table- Invite a representative from your sales team to join content marketing planning meetings. If that’s not possible, provide visibility or access to your creative content calendar so they know what’s coming and can plan to use it accordingly.
Create templates that support your reps need to change and rearrange- sometimes they need to customize content and it’s not a reflection of your content marketing work or quality. Support their need by creating easy to switch formats based on tested personas.
Make time for the important discussions- alignment isn’t just about lead handoff. You just need to be in sync with your teams to understand where your conversations stand. Particularly to establish prospect-to-customer behavioral patterns, sales and marketing teams need to be talking anecdotally. Share the wealth (of knowledge)!
Click here to check out Brainshark's 2013 State of the Sales Rep Report.