We talk a lot about content. We discuss the importance of a strong content strategy. We explain how to deliver content and how to gain valuable feedback. We talk about iteration and continuous improvement. But let’s get back to basics. What is content, anyway? I’m sure we all have an idea, but let’s dive into what content really is and how to create it.
Content comes in many forms and serves many purposes, but typically focus on three main areas: sales, marketing and training.
Sales content is designed specifically for the use of the sales rep. This includes sales presentations, internal reports that track goals and revenue, demo materials, scripts to guide sales calls and more. Sales content exists to help reps be more effective in their roles and close more deals.
Marketing content is created for the target audience. This includes white papers, case studies, webinars, articles and so on. This content exists to educate the buyer while building up credibility and trust for the company.
Training content, like sales content, is designed exclusively for the sales rep. Its purpose is to educate and equip sales reps in specific areas of their roles. Content like eLearning courses, training videos, flash cards and handouts from live instructor-led trainings belong in this category.
The content can be print or digital. It can be web-based or files saved on a computer. Or, Maestro’s favorite, it can be accessible through a mobile app. However you create it or deliver it, content is a collection of materials designed to support your reps.
What is content strategy?
Content strategy is the process you have in place to write, review, approve, distribute and continuously improve your content. If you think you don’t have a content strategy, think again. Your strategy consists of any methods you use (or don’t use) to pull together materials and provide them to your sales reps – however disorganized that may be. Even if you’re not creating or distributing content, that in and of itself is your strategy.
Committing to optimizing your content strategy is where you can really begin to realize results. A recent study by IDC found that instead of selling, sales people spend upwards of 40% of their time creating their own messaging and sales support tools. As a result, sales teams are not as efficient or effective as they could be.
You have the ability to create content that serves your reps and optimizes their productivity. What could this mean for your company? Plenty.
Another study by IDC found that by saving a single enterprise rep 60 minutes of prep time per week a company could realize additional revenue generation of $300,000 or more per rep. If your content can trim just 10-15 minutes each day from your sales reps’ preparation time, you could be well on your way to achieving this added revenue, too.
Who owns the content strategy?
Because content supports sales reps in three main areas: sales, marketing and training, each of these departments needs to work together to build and execute the strategy. The question of who actually “owns” it can only be answered by your company based on its unique structure.
Ideally, we like to see equal collaboration, excitement and a sense of ownership from each department. The synergy that results is powerful and achieves great results. Additionally, the work you do together can also build unity between your three departments and your sales reps. Your strategy can ensure that you are constantly providing reps with support they need in a way they can access it easily and use it regularly.
How can you master it?
Creating and executing a strong content strategy is great, but you won’t master it without one important step: iteration. You can’t become a master of content strategy without it. Launching a strategy, great as it may be, won’t get you very far if you don’t commit to continuously improving it. Both your content and your process will always have room for improvement.
Masters of content strategy collect feedback and apply the information they gather to make revisions, improvements and modifications. They are always seeking ways to better serve their sales reps, both through new content and through iterations on existing resources.
There you have it, the basics of content. It’s an important part of any sales-focused organization. And you have the power to make yours great.
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