7 Ways to Use Content to Facilitate Sales & Marketing Alignment

If you are a marketer, you know that sales and marketing alignment is a thing. When marketing & sales work together, it’s a powerful combination that leads to magical results: more customers, more revenue, and higher customer retention. But, not enough companies are moving toward better alignment. Salesforce included a staggering stat in a recent blog post: 

According to a report from Forrester Research, just eight percent of B2B companies have achieved proper marketing-sales alignment, meaning 92 percent of companies are operating with poorly aligned, disjointed strategies, visions, and content.

So how to we fix this? Well, maybe it starts with content. If we can align both sides in terms of content, it’s at least a step in the right direction. And we’re not the only ones who think content represents untapped potential for sales & marketing to combine forces. We’ve curated a list of tips to get you thinking about how you can use content to bridge the gap between what marketing is saying to buyers and how sales people are interacting with those very same buyers. It’s all a funnel—from the first message to the first sale and beyond, and when that funnel is seamless for the buyer, it helps accelerate their journey.

 

1) Rally sales & marketing around the content

KnowledgeTree said, “At the end of the day, both sales and marketing are working toward the same goals: bring in new business and increase revenue. Through ongoing communication and more targeted marketing efforts, each group can be satisfied and mend the fence. Working together, the joint teams can use content to qualify better leads, create interest and close more deals.” 

@KnowledgeTree  

2) Make sales the customer

Michael Brenner is always good for content marketing wisdom. He boiled down a list of seven things marketers can do from their end to foster better alignment and at the top of the list was, “Marketing needs to make Sales the customer.” 

@BrennerMichael 

3) Don’t recreate the wheel

Before you freak out and feel like in order to achieve alignment you have to do some major shuffling and reorganization, breathe. Seriously, get in your best yoga pose and bust out some ohms. Dave Hubbard, CEO of Marketing Outfield says, “The goal is not to boil the ocean or redesign the company. It’s to make a few meaningful, impactful tweaks to the existing Marketing and Sales processes; to deliver measureable positive impact within a short period of time.” 

@MOutfield 

4) Map content to the buyer’s journey

The buyer’s journey serves as a roadmap, the primary decision point and benchmark for all future content creation. Align content according to the three stages in the buying journey: awareness, consideration, and decision-making.” 

@salesforce 

5) Embrace content change

Marketing should periodically review the changing needs for content with the sales team and have them actively participate in the content creation effort.” 

@TheSalesLion 

6) Facilitate an environment of two-way communication

Marketing and Sales NEED to communicate. Both sides have a lot to learn from one another. “Clearly, communication needs to be a two-way street. Both sales and marketing need to realize that lively conversation can bring about better-quality and better-positioned content. This dialogue should serve as a forum to explore the needs of each other, not defending a long-held position just for the sake of a he-said-she-said argument.” 

@CarlaJohnson 

7) Create a meaningful Digital Dialogue

This one is super personal to us, because we eat, sleep and live it. Interactive Content (which in the interest of full disclosure, is what we do) gets that digital dialogue going.  “Whereas digital body language is about inferring things from subtle behavioral cues, digital dialogue is when a prospect comes right out and tells you the information that is most relevant to their situation.” 

@ChiefMarTec

 

Where are you with sales & marketing alignment. Which of the above are you using? And what should we add to the list?