Have you heard these excuses about why sales isn’t using your content? (Here’s how to fix it!)

It’s no secret that your content isn’t getting used, marketers.

“60-70% of content churned out by B2B marketing teams isn’t getting any play. And when you pour blood, sweat and tears into creating great content…that stings.”

According to SiriusDecisions

So, what are some of the most often-heard reasons why sales isn’t putting your content to work, and what can you do about it?

1. “I can’t find it!”

A refrain not unfamiliar to both parents of small children and marketing teams.

While it isn’t exactly ‘fair’ that the burden of accessibility falls to the marketing team, if we want our content to be utilized (and we do!) it’s a fact of life.

So, here are a couple of tricks for making your content accessible to the sales team:

  • Create a simple, easy-to-understand folder structure for the sales team to navigate. This is as simple as creating a universal folder for sales-ready content that has subfolders for content types: case studies, presentations, ebooks, collateral, etc. and keeping those files up-to-date.
  • Get out the bullhorn. Every time you publish fresh or updated content assets, send out an email announcement to the sales organization linking to the new content and reminding them of what it is most useful for and where to find it. If your organization uses Slack, create a channel that is solely for announcing new content so that your announcement doesn’t get lost in the shuffle of other busy channels.
  • Consider a technology solution for document automation or sales enablement.

2. “It’s not relevant!”

This response can feel more like a sales rep’s opinion rather than an objective reason but remember, perception is reality.

If a salesperson doesn’t feel that the content adds value to their dialogue, they won’t use it. It’s time to evaluate why they don’t feel a particular content asset isn’t relevant. Don’t try to force content on the sales team because you THINK it will work. Sales are the front lines, so as marketers, we need to facilitate communication about what they will find effective.

3. “I don’t understand it”

Red flag alert! It’s possible that your sales team needs more training — either on your industry and personas or around how to use a particular piece of content.

Or perhaps your content simply isn’t sufficient. In this case, you should work with sales to better define what content would be useful to reps and their prospects. Then, it’s back to the drawing board to either rejuvenate and reposition your existing content or start fresh.

4. “I don’t need it”

Ouch. Nothing hurts more than being told your work isn’t needed.

But try not to take it personally. Not all salespeople are created equally, nor is all content.

A single piece of content may be an absolute necessity to one salesperson, while another rep may find it completely superfluous to their own successful sales approach.

That’s absolutely okay! Content should never be a burden; rather it should be a tool to help reps crush their quotas.

That being said, if the majority of reps are doing fine without your content, it may be time to reconsider if the content you’re producing is adding the right value to your sales organization. Could a different type of content or message add more value than what you’re currently creating?

To put it all in perspective:

If you hear any of these phrases from your sales organization, don’t try to take the batteries out of their Yak Baks.

Instead, pull up a chair and have a real conversation with the sales team.

The goal of this chat should be to understand what content assets are going to drive the most value for the salespeople as well as to identify any potential stumbling blocks that could prevent content from getting the most airtime and ultimately, helping to influence revenue goals.

Kathleen is a marketing and sales consultant for high growth startups. She provides strategies, tactical plannings, and content for startups, SMB and enterprise companies.

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