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Sales Effectiveness

How to Approach Content Effectiveness as a Sales Team

June 25, 2020

Revenue teams have been obsessed with automating and maximizing messaging and content at the top of the sales funnel in the last several years. Sales engagement platforms, account-based marketing approaches, and SEO tools are just a handful of the weapons we now regularly use to hone our messaging effectiveness. The associated A/B testing, conversion rates, engagement scores, intent signals, and keyword rankings allow us to key in on the most detailed aspects of our top of funnel content. 

But, we don’t have the same level of granularity and testing when it comes to middle of the funnel content. Documents like RFPs, Security Questionnaires, Proposals, and POCs all exist in the crucial stages where your prospect is short-listing solutions and validating you are a fit, yet we don’t approach these documents in the same way we do email campaigns, blogs, digital ads, or web copy, for instance. 

If we treated these documents like we do top of funnel content, we’d be customizing all of these evaluation- and decision-stage documents for each industry, company size, competitor, and region while tracking the effectiveness over time and closely monitoring their effectiveness. 

Here’s how to start re-thinking your middle of the funnel content:

Audit & Contextualize Your Content

Start by creating solution pillars for your messaging around multiple dimensions: regions, industry, competitors, or any other aspect of your business that drives the organization of your content. Look through the deals you’ve won with current messaging, and even ask your current customers what resonated with them in RFP responses or SOWs. Then, start re-crafting your messaging and responses to target each of those specific areas. 

After updating the content, storage and content sharing are the next items to address. With users across the globe and collaboration as a cornerstone, the need for a cloud-based solution for content management is paramount. Many teams have only taken the first step: utilizing a content repository. Solutions like Box and Sharepoint are great for storing top of funnel content, but what happens when you have to customize your content to your prospect? 

Investing in a sales content collaboration solution like Ombud, where you can store, customize, and author content straight in the platform, allowing for more flexibility and context around those different buckets you addressed above. This will help your team save time down the road - and empower you to look at this content more granularly, just as you would your prospecting email campaigns. 

Inject Automation & Integration Everywhere

Compiling and contextualizing content is only a piece of the puzzle. Now that you’ve laid the groundwork, it’s time to think about the associated processes and workflows that can really make your content sing - for your sales team especially. 

This is why a sales content collaboration system is imperative to success. These systems are created with integrations and automation in mind. For instance, with Ombud you can link straight to the Salesforce opportunity, and the system will automatically categorize the content based on any or all of the salesforce opportunity fields (industry, company size, deal size, region, the list goes on.) 

However, automation and integration shouldn’t stop there. Set up triggers to be notified in Slack when a comment or change is made to the content. Link your Google Drive account so you can re-upload final deliveries straight to your team without having to send an email. All of these integrations and automation are standard in these systems and help reduce effort drastically, making your sales reps happier and more effective. 

Track Your Results & Iterate

The last piece to optimize your middle of funnel content is generating robust tracking and reporting. Your goal should be to find metrics that have few variables and high predictability/trackability. For instance, tracking sales content effectiveness against win rates may not be the best option, because the content you deliver to a prospect is only one of the many factors resulting in a closed sales opportunity.

Want a detailed look into sales content metrics with high predictability and low variability? Check out our recent blog post “3 Sales Content Efficiency Metrics You Should Be Measuring.”

You may not get it perfect the first time. That’s why it’s important to use an agile workflow so you can adjust and iterate as necessary. With algorithms, regulations, and messaging trends changing by the week, you can’t be bogged down by cumbersome processes. 

Look Beyond the Top of the Funnel

Scott Barker (from Sales Hacker) recently said, “until the deal is done, it’s falling apart.” By only focusing on testing the top of funnel activities, you may generate high-quality leads, but those won’t reliably turn into happy customers if you neglect content in the middle of the funnel. In the age of both high-powered artificial intelligence and some of the lowest customer loyalty we’ve ever seen, investing as heavily in these activities will pay dividends in the long run. 

Are you still wondering if you’re ready to upgrade to a sales content collaboration platform? Check out our infographic and see if your team has experienced any of these signs that it’s time for a change.

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