Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Sales Team as a Content Testing Crucible

It's been a while since we've talked much about the topic of sales enablement, so I wanted to loop back to some interesting peripheral points. Marketing teams generally work hard to provide not just content and messaging that is available online, but also content and messaging that can be used directly by sales teams as they guide buyers through the buying process.

This usage pattern is very powerful, in that it allows the sales team to use their intuition, insights, and judgments in deciding what content to provide to what buyer at what moment in time. This human judgment can often provide more insight than digital body language alone, and if looked at carefully can provide the marketing team with a good understanding of what content is most valuable.

This direct use of content by the sales team provides a valuable content testing crucible for understanding both which messages are being used and which are effective in guiding buyers. For example, in the following chart, you can see that the Product Spec Sheet is not being discovered by the sales team, while the ROI calculator is being discovered by sales, but is not being used. The Video Testimonials content is being used frequently, but is not connecting with the buying audience, while the Technical Specifications, while used less, are well received by the audience they are sent to.

This ability to assess content from a sales usage standpoint, as well as from a market reception standpoint enables marketing efforts to be directed at only the most highly leveraged investments.
Many of the topics on this blog are discussed in more detail in my book Digital Body Language
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Chad said...

This is a great post Steve. To extend this, you can look at the articles that customers are viewing in your Support community as well as comments/rating of those articles and make decisions off of that data. In addition, you can look at what people are searching for and see what are the most popular searches.

Steven Woods said...

Thanks Chad,
agreed on all those points. It's often a very surprising view into what is *actually* used. Although each business will have its own unique trends, many marketers are surprised that the "in the weeds" content is viewed a lot more, and by very "ready" buyers, and the higher level content is viewed var less than they would have expected.

The data's always worth looking at.