Your sales organization has changed dramatically over the past year or two. Let’s know more about how to support your outbound motion with a sales content supply. 

Technology has taken over many steps that previously required manual labor and is now used in most outbound sales communication.

It’s time to make a decision. You can either create an independent sales content supply chain or risk not being able to scale.


Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following:Ā 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. šŸ˜€

What is the sales content supply chain?

The more input end users have in the sales content supply chain creation process, the higher chance there is of a SEP being successful. There are some companies that create too much rep-generated content and it ends up looking like an assortment from Aldis miscellaneous aisle.

To avoid the problem of reps being too involved or not, there needs to be a content supply chain for writing and approving content. This will make sure that your strategy is supported by it while also capturing the voice of your sales team.

If you don’t create a sales content supply chain, your processes cant scale. This prevents more prospects from being reached or the promotion of tool adoption which in turn means that there is no predictability when it comes to SEP.

The Problem with Digital Content Adoption

If sales reps don’t have confidence in your sales process, they’re going to create their own. When this happens, you lose predictability and visibility. You also run the risk of some really interesting content being sent out with your brand on it.

As technology has allowed the sales process to scale, it’s fallen on marketing to create content. Marketing knows how to make a lot of content quickly and understands what buyers want.

Marketing content is usually one-to-many, whereas sales should be more conversational. If you read an email aloud and it’s very different from how you would speak to your prospect in person, then the email needs work.

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It’s not a power struggle or culture war, but the reason is that sales content differs from marketing content. Sales reps need to have confidence in what they are saying and be written by people who understand sales.

If salespeople are not confident, they will not adopt the technology. They’ll continue to use their old methods, and you won’t see any of the hoped-for gains in process effectiveness.

It will be like you just bought the team iPhones, but they keep going back to texting with T9 on flip phones because their new ones have been set up in a foreign language.

Functions of Digital Sales Content Supply Chain

What is digital content? Well, you may have already known the answer.

]When you welcome salespeople into the writer’s room, it will be important to distinguish between their roles and responsibilities.

There are many departments that should be involved in the production of content. The size and volume of your company will determine how many people you need on each team.

Digital Content Production, Delivery, and Management

You need to have a central person in the supply chain for content. This person should be able to communicate with leadership, strategists, writers, and end-users.

A content manager is responsible for ensuring that everything in the supply chain happens as it should. 

  • It’s hard to stay on deadline with writing projects.
  • Feedback from the end-user is important at every level of the company.
  • Removing content that is no longer relevant and reiterating the most engaging ones.
  • Reporting any problems to the chain’s program owner.

To make sure your digital content manager is successful, you should first define the different functions in the supply chain and then put a decision-making structure in place before rolling it out to them.

Digital Media Content Creation

When you have a dedicated sales content writer, it falls on them to manage and produce new content. If not, then the responsibility is handed over to marketing or someone in sales enablement.

One of the most important things to remember when writing sales content is that you need to consult with your team. If they create it without consulting and letting their voice have an influence, then you’re setting yourself up for failure because people will not adopt what was made.

Digital Content Enablement

Your sales teams need content to be able to do their jobs well. Without a strong marketing enablement motion, you put your best work at risk of sitting unused and underutilized in the engagement platform.

Content is like the signs in a supermarket; it helps you find what aisle something can be found. Without these guideposts, how would someone know where to look for that BOGO?

A content enablement strategy is to make sure reps are notified when new content is ready, monitor their activity metrics, measure the efficacy of your content and promote a cohesive system for organizing it. You should also flag the best pieces (like avocados on sale) and facilitate feedback between end-users and your team’s governance.

Some companies are starting to implement a formalized content request process, which allows reps the opportunity to ask for the specific kind of material they need.

Digital Content Analysis

If the content is not being analyzed, it can get overwhelming. This could cause end-users to think the content isn’t reliable or won’t be of any use.

Content analysis is an important part of a content lifecycle, which includes retired content and refreshed or re-used material.

How to Assign These Functions

The assignment of these functions to your team depends on the size and scope of your company. For example, a start-up with thirty total people in the company would not be able to hire for each function, but an enterprise company may have enough money come in from sales that they can afford all five.

Digital Content Lifecycle

Content needs to be maintained after its created. It should have a clear owner and organization system.

Process

The content committee should work together to establish a playbook for the process of creating and implementing your sales content. When thinking about what kind of information you need, consider the heart of your strategy.

If you have a lot of time-bound events like promotions, your content manager should spend more time watching what is getting the most engagement and less time disabling old posts. However, if you are focused on long-term nurturing type sequences in 12-month sales cycles, they will want to do AB testing.

By Content Type

When you don’t have a clear idea of what content needs to be created, it can make the process difficult.

The Content for Revops Guide says that every sales strategy and play requires content. If there is not enough, the company’s strategy won’t be executed properly.

Once you’ve identified each type of content, figure out how long each is going to be relevant for your team. For example, timebound events like a conference are only needed on an ongoing basis and should be retired more frequently than core messaging.

If your company does a lot of outbound sales, then you should have more on-site content. If it’s mostly inbound leads, the strategy is different.

Ownership

Once you figure out who is in charge of what, make sure that all the decision-makers are on one team. If they’re not, then someone needs to be monitoring performance and have a close relationship with whoever makes decisions for end-users.

Obstacles to the content supply chain and workarounds

If you have a content lifecycle strategy, then it’s worth making changes to help your company grow. If not, now is the time for a change.

It’s important to plan ahead when it comes to the transition. If you think that everything will change overnight, then you might be disappointed.

To successfully change, you have to figure out what the biggest obstacles are and plan around them. For example, if your resolution was to give up sugar for a month, you might decide not to go to your niece’s candy-themed birthday party.

Here are some of the challenges that you’ll face depending on your organization’s size. Were here to help make sure these obstacles don’t sneak up on you, so it’ll be easier for success.

Start-ups

The biggest challenge is headcount. Each team member will have to wear multiple hats.

When assigning roles, make sure that you have clear metrics and outcomes in place. It’s important to hold these people accountable for their work.

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Once you find two people who can take on content management responsibilities, start slowly migrating them onto their plates. If they are reps and get rewarded for hitting quota or making dials with time, make sure to give recognition (or compensation) for these new duties.

SMB

SMBs may have reps who are used to doing their own things. Your biggest challenge will be getting your team on board with a scaling content strategy.

It’s hard to give up power, but if you involve them in the process and make their voices heard, it will be a more democratic environment.

In sales content supply chain, the key to success will be identifying people who can perform these functions (writing, managing, analyzing) and adopt the new system. Eventually, they’ll recognize how beneficial it is that good content is magically appearing in their SEPs.

Whenever a new piece of content is released, make sure that the end-user has been consulted. This will help drive adoption and show salespeople that their feedback matters.

Enterprise

The biggest challenge for this type of work is bureaucracy. You’ll need to make sure the executive sponsors and leadership level staff are on board with your SEP.

If they are bought in, it will be easier to identify the right people for positions of leadership. From there, we suggest assigning functions within a single team or market segment (you can call it a pilot). Center this around reps who already create content that is shared and adopted by others.

If you are an organization of any size, the same principles apply to your sales content supply chain and video supply. It takes internal champions to turn things around, and it will take time, but it is possible with guidance.


Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following:Ā 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. šŸ˜€

Editors Note:

Want to help contribute to future articles? Have data-backed and tactical advice to share? Iā€™d love to hear from you!

We have over 60,000 monthly readers that would love to see it! Contact us and let's discuss your ideas!

Justin McGill
About Author: Justin McGill
Justin McGill is the Founder of LeadFuze - a lead generation platform that discovers new leads for you automatically. Get 25 leads free.