4 Tips to Ensure All Four Generations of Sales People will Actually Use Your Content

Content management and delivery, especially when delivered through a distributed sales team, can be exceptionally challenging. According to IDC, upwards of 80% of all content produced by marketing goes unused by sales. To put that into perspective, if a company is spending $500,000 on sales collateral, nearly $400,000 is wasted. It is no wonder marketing budgets are being scrutinized and slashed like never before.

To complicate the matter, sales and marketing leaders have a new challenge — developing and delivering content used by four distinct generations of sales people. Whether a sales team is made of Silents, Boomers, Gen Xers or Millennials companies need to accommodate the way they work in order to be successful. And, not only are their sales people ranging in age from 20 to 70, their customers are too. From print to email to mobile and more, each generation wants to engage with marketing messaging in the say they want to or they will move on.

Sales content management tools, often called through-channel marketing automation or sales enablement can help companies with their content delivery challenges. To ensure the system will actually be used by sales, the key to success is actually the way these systems are implemented. There are six essential keys to implementing and using a sales content management system to support omni-channel marketing content delivered through four generations of sales people who work in very different ways.

  1. Centralize all marketing assets into a single, intuitive sales content management system with robust search capabilities.
    A successful sales content management solution will manage and deliver personalized and co-branded content print and digital content; multi-channel campaigns; branded merchandise and promotional products; trade show displays; marketing kits; presentations and more. The right platform will consolidate multiple vendor portals into a centralized solution, allowing sales people on place for all things sales and marketing related.
  2. Deliver a single piece of content in multiple formats through the sales content management system.
    In order to minimize content bloat, the ideal sales content management solution will allow a single marketing asset to be re-purposed in the format requested by the sales person. Marketing should not be required to create an additional title or SKU for every delivery method available.
  3. Offer on-the-fly content customization by the sales person including custom messaging, offers and personalization.
    The sales person has the closest relationship to the prospect and/or customer. Hence, it is sales who should customize marketing content before it is delivered. The right sales content management system will allow sales to customize content, proof their work and have instant access to the asset created.
  4. Sales content management systems equipped with ratings and content effectiveness scores will guide all sales reps to the right content to assist with the next sales call.
    Both Silents and Boomers likely use the content repeatedly because there is proven track record of what works at each stage of the sales cycle. Likewise, Gen Xers usually reuse revered content but are willing to try something new if it has been proven successful by their peers. And finally, Millennials have very little experience with the majority of content needing information and immediate assistance. A sales content management solution offering weighted effectiveness scores, peer-to-peer reviews, and user ratings will allow your team to quickly find the content needed to move the sale to close.

When implemented carefully, a successful sales content management solution will help support all four generations of sales people. With the right combination of features, these systems will help companies improve sales and marketing alignment to increase quota attainment while maximizing marketing ROI.

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