Content marketing. It’s all about “team” marketing, right? Wrong.
We believe that sales should be involved in the content marketing efforts at your organization also.
Now, before anybody panics and screams “my salespeople don’t know how to write!” Or “but that’s marketing’s job” or “my salespeople don’t have time for this,” hear me out.
Teaming Up with Your Content Marketing Team
I’m admittedly a very fortunate Marketing Manager. I just so happen to have a Master’s degree in writing and also just so happen to have worked as a salesperson for many years. This experience makes my situation somewhat unique. I am comfortable writing, and I also understand the sales process.
The reason I mention this is because we get a lot of push-back from clients when we tell them to leverage their salespeople for content marketing.
On the sales management side, there tends to be a lot of skepticism. Management seems to believe that their salespeople aren’t the right people to be writing content. Whether it’s because they think it’s marketing’s responsibility, they’re worried about the writing skills of their team members, or they simply don’t want their people giving up precious time—there is often something that prevents sales managers from encouraging their team members to participate in the content marketing efforts.
Why Content Marketing Matters
But here’s the thing: content marketing matters.
In the world of selling today, content marketing is king. And no, I’m not just saying that because I’m on “team” marketing! In fact, I consider myself to be on both teams.
Content marketing is all about creating relevant content for our ideal prospects and clients.
Sure, marketing has ideas, analytics, and research to help them navigate which content will attract these ideal buyers. But team sales has something that team marketing likely doesn’t have: face-to-face interaction with clients in selling situations.
Leveraging Your Sales Team
They Have Experience
This hands-on experience holds a lot of power. Salespeople that encounter the same sales problems over and over—like objections, push-backs, and radio silence—develop methods for handling these situations over time. In doing so, they gain powerful insights on buyer behaviors and how to navigate these types of situations.
They Find Gaps
Salespeople are great at finding gaps. This of course comes from their daily interactions with prospects and clients.
If the product or service a salesperson is presenting consistently has the same issue, salespeople are quick to note this. This is critical, and very valuable, information for team marketing.
Maybe prospects are pointing out issues in pricing. Or maybe it’s that a competitor is offering something they’re not. Or maybe the product or service doesn’t fully eliminate the pain points on the prospects’ end. Whatever the case, these interactions with clients provide salespeople with great insight.
They Have Industry Knowledge
This is perhaps the most important point, in my opinion.
I recently met with a Marketing Manager at a logistics company. To protect her privacy, I’ll refer to her as Jane.
Jane recently joined the company, and while she was experienced in marketing, she was new to the logistics industry.
Jane certainly had a lot of learning to do! But she knew she wasn’t going to learn everything in a week, so did the next best thing. She met with each salesperson and learned about their specialty areas and industry experience.
Next, she assessed the ability for each person to contribute to the content marketing efforts at the company.
Lastly, she put together a plan for each member of the sales team to contribute a piece of content for marketing to distribute.
Jane’s approach not only assured that she would disseminate content with industry language, but it was also backed with experience and knowledge—30+ years of it!
Brian Honigman, content marketing expert and CEO of Honigman Media, recommends leveraging “your employees’ expertise” and recommends incentivizing them to contribute. Brian shares:
“Perhaps the biggest benefit of a chief of content or an editorial owner is their ability to recognize the overall value that internal stakeholders can contribute and the capacity to elicit that value effectively.”
They Increase Exposure
Just in case you needed one last reason why teaming up sales with marketing is a good idea—here’s one more! Brian believes that:
“Involving key stakeholders also has the added benefit of prompting them to share their content in their own personal network. Especially in the beginning, this increased distribution can help your content reach critical mass.”
Our team here at CFS couldn’t agree more with this. In our experience, salespeople that are involved in the content marketing process are more likely to share content—in turn, increasing exposure.
. . .
Now, let’s move beyond sales and marketing. What about your other teams? What about your customer service team? Your operations team? Your company CEO? How might they help your content marketing efforts with their experience and knowledge?
We’d love to hear more about your experience with this topic. Comment below; I’d love to hear how you leverage your teams for your marketing efforts.