Do you have a problem with your sales content?
If your organization is typical, your sales reps use only a measly 35% of the marketing content that you create. Ouch!
Your challenge might be that your sales content is too hard for sellers to find. Or it’s aimed at the wrong stage of the funnel. It could even be because your content is too general and doesn’t connect with unique buyers.
In reality, your challenge might also be that too much of your content is filler. If you want to increase the amount of assets your sellers are using, and in turn, the level of engagement that your buyers have with that content, make every piece valuable.
Filler Content, Defined
Filler content is content that fills a need that only the marketing department has—not one that sellers or buyers have.
Filler content is the blog post that gets uploaded to the website simply because marketing has a weekly posting cadence and so they have to publish something (anything!) to fill their content calendar.
Filler content is the company newsletter article about your latest hires that gets forwarded to the sales team even though the piece is of absolutely no interest or usefulness to your buyers (and therefore to your sales reps).
Filler content is the long-winded introduction, the meaningless statistic, the irrelevant sentence, the paragraph that doesn’t serve a purpose, the elevator pitch that goes to the wrong floor.
The Cure for Filler Content
The cure for filler content is value. Every piece of sales content you write, design and publish must be valuable—for both your sellers and your buyers. Valuable content gets viewed, downloaded, and used. Filler content gets ignored.
Here’s how you create fab content.
1. Think Like a Buyer
The way to create content that is fabulous and not filler is to think like a buyer. We know that the vast majority of the buying process now happens long before a buyer even thinks about a sales rep interaction. So that means they’re likely inundated with content from every direction and from every competitor.
Make yours stand out by addressing the true pain points of a buyer:
- How does your product/service make my life easier?
- How will your product/service improve my job and/or life?
- What differentiates you from the competition?
- How have past customers found success with your product/service?
- Why should I leave my current product/service for yours?
- How much will this cost me?
Remember: The way you answer the above questions will likely shift between different funnel stages and personas. One way to be sure you are hitting the mark is to write every piece of content for a particular buyer persona and/or stage of your buying funnel.
2. Think Like a Seller
What types of content do your sellers demand? What kinds of content do they use most often right now? Examine your content analytics to discover the types of content assets that sellers actually use (as opposed to what you think they use), and then create more assets like that.
3. Think Buyer Journey
Like we said above, the buyer journey will absolutely dictate the content you create for your sellers. Discover what buyers need at every stage of their journey towards making a purchase, and then fill those gaps with valuable content. A buyer who is in very foundational stages of research will need different content than one who is in their final stage of decision-making and comparing your product/service with your top competitor.
How to Create Content that Sellers Actually Use
For a piece of content to be useful to a seller, it must be relevant, valuable, timely, and easy to find and use. This includes both buyer-facing content and internal-facing content. Check out the examples below.
- Top of funnel: Ebooks and whitepapers, blog posts, self-assessment tools, interactive tools (ex: ROI calculator).
- Middle of funnel: Sales presentations, buying guides, email nurturing, product demos.
- Bottom of funnel: Product brochures, sell sheets, product specs, case studies, use cases, testimonials, price lists, product comparisons.
- New rep onboarding: Onboarding materials, marketplace briefs, buyer personas, product training materials, competitor analysis.
- Top of funnel: Elevator pitches, cold calling scripts, email templates, LinkedIn connect request scripts, conversation starters, FAQs.
- Middle of funnel: Product demo scripts that sellers follow when conducting live demos, sales deck templates, sales presentation talking points, email templates.
- Bottom of funnel: Quote forms, proposal templates, battlecards, checklists.
The Solution to Your Sales Content Woes
The quickest way to avoid filler content is to talk with your sales team. Ask them what content they need, where in the pipeline they need it, why they need it, and how they use it. Then create this seller-focused content, and only this content. You’ll never produce a single piece of filler ever again.
Incidentally, creating fabulous content is just the first step in content success. You then have to get it into the hands of your sellers. A simple yet sophisticated enablement platform like Modus can help. Modus is the platform that hundreds of thousands of sales and marketing professionals use around the world to publish valuable content that sellers use and that buyers read. Check it out.