A sales team without the support of strong content marketing, more specifically, a strong Sales Process Media support process is lost. If you don’t believe that, take a quick look at this and/or this and/or the other 8 million articles and blog posts written about it.. If you still don’t believe it, good luck. You’re missing the boat! (Sorry if you’re insulted…, but it’s true.)
Seems like Content Creation is nearly always the first strategy sales leaders adopt. For good reason! If you create content yourself, it is highly customized and targeted with great precision to your audience. It doesn’t take long, however, to learn that creating good content is hard and time consuming. Sales reps, for the most part, cannot or will not do it well or consistently.
Personally, I think they should, as expressed here, but that’s a different discussion. The fact of the matter is, most sales leaders find getting their reps to create content is an important, but uphill battle.
For purely pragmatic reasons, Content Curation becomes the strategy that is actually implemented. No don’t get me wrong, I’m a HUGE fan curated content. For some aspects of Sales Process Media – notably providing broad perspective from a wide variety of relevant sources – curated content is clearly more effective.
Better yet, Content Curation is something that all good sales reps are doing already. They’re all reading and learning and scouring up new insights for self-improvement. It’s quite easy, quick and inexpensive to simply collect what they’ve read, listened to and watched and re-distribute it via your Sales Process Media Platform.
Content Creation and Content Curation by themselves, however, don’t cut the mustard!
Content Extraction also needs to be part of the mix. Sales Reps may not curate content well or create it at all, but they most certainly do have the knowledge necessary to make a Sales Process Media strategy catch fire. So yank it out of them!
Actually, sales reps probably won’t even balk at the extraction. They might even like it. Shoot, I know they’ll like it! Start, oh sales leader, with the two fundamental Content Extraction techniques; interview and sanitize.
Interview: Grab your smart-phone, make like a radio commentator, and interview one of your reps. Pick any topic of interest to your customers and about which that rep is knowledgeable. Chances are, with a few minor edits to the recording, the content will be pretty darned good. (Especially since you as a sales manager have honed your ability to ask great leading questions for so many, many years.) If not, transcribe it, edit it and publish it as text.
Sanitize: I’ll make another assumption here… Your team writes great proposals with great value propositions based on astute analysis of current customer situations, rock-solid transition plans and financial justifications to implement your products and services. (Certainly, at least a few of your reps do.) Take those proposals, those incredibly great examples of the value of your stuff, make them generic so customer confidentiality is not compromised and distribute it via your Sales Process Media Platform.
Extract, Baby, Extract!