Marketing portals are a great way to get your best marketing materials into sales’ hands. But do your sales teams use your marketing portal and do they know where to find your content on it?
Why Content Matters, And Your Marketing Portal Too
B2B buyers are increasingly disillusioned with their interactions with sales people. Buyers simply don’t get value from the interactions they have. Sales people need to focus on delivering value in each conversation. For many, this will be a challenge.
Fortunately, there’s a solution. And it’s already in the control of the Marketing department. It’s the marketing materials — the videos, papers, blogs, and other materials — that your team produces.
You already know how important great marketing content is to the top of the funnel. But it is equally vital in the middle and bottom of the funnel. When sales teams are interacting on a personal level with prospects is in fact when salesforce content is needed most.
Where Should They Look? Your Marketing Portal, Of Course
However, there’s a challenge. Sales people rarely get their hands on that great content. They may know the value of using content in the sales process, but they may be unaware of where the content is.
Or, the effort required to find something relevant and meaningful for prospects is just too much. Especially in situations where they work with large numbers of opportunities or prospects. So, let’s talk about a content portal or a marketing portal.
So, How Can Marketing Get Content to Sales?
You want to get that content to sales people. To do so, think about three primary items:
- How do you make it easy for sales people to find what they need?
- How do you centralize content regardless of where it sits?
- How do you measure what content is actually being used?
1. Make it Easy for Content to be Found
What tools do sales people work in every day? They work in a CRM like Salesforce.com where they are researching leads, updating opportunities, and more. Any time that you compel a rep to leave the context of their tool, it needs to be for a valuable reason. So, make your marketing portal accessible from or within Salesforce.com so it can be quickly found.
But even better, don’t make your time-sensitive reps search for content. Use your marketing portal to match your content to the sales situation they are in. For instance, surfacing content that is specifically relevant to their leads and opportunities. That makes a marketing portal a salesforce portal.
2. Centralize Your Marketing Content
Today’s marketer has content in many sources. In a blog, on YouTube, and in the “classic” document format in a tool like Box or others. But with content in multiple sources, it’s not easy for sales people to filter through and find relevant information. Putting your content into one place like a content portal makes that possible.
But how can you do that if you have it in a whole lot of places that simply can’t be consolidated, like a blog, plus YouTube, plus a Box account? You can use a classic marketing portal approach that Marketing curates, which amounts to a web page. That means you have one single location for your materials. And when you can recommend a great blog, or video, or case study from one place you’ll have a lot more traction with sales.
But a more effective means is one that is accessible from the CRM and is smart. That is, it knows the sales person’s sales context, so the marketing portal can intelligently recommend relevant content.
3. Measure What Content is Actually Used
Metrics are the lifeblood of your marketing approach. You use them to determine which campaigns are working, which content generates leads, and more. And the same applies to content when it’s used through one of the most important (if overlooked) channels — your sales team.
You want to understand whether the content marketing you’re investing in is actually being used by sales people. And if it is, which content is performing best? Look to your marketing portal to help measure content usage by piece so you can determine which content needs to be better promoted, and which content needs to be eliminated. Save your budget for content that performs well and can be tied to advancing deals.
Start on your marketing portal now by understanding what content makes the most sense for sales teams to get their hands on. Talk to your most successful reps and learn what materials they use. And start getting that material out to the rest of your team.