Overcoming the Top 4 Challenges of Sales Content Strategy
When Janelle Fortelny started as director of global sales enablement at Logz.io, she had a clear-cut goal: provide her sales team with accessible, relevant, and timely content that would empower them to meet their goals.
“Being a seller is an art form and being able to share that experience and have others learn from it is really valuable.” — Janelle Fortelny, Logz.io
Her aim was a vital one. A growing international company with offices in the United States and Israel, Logz.io employs 50 salespeople at all levels—from SDRs to account managers—to sell its cloud observability platform. Janelle needed to transition the organization away from a haphazard collection of materials to a streamlined, content enablement solution that would enable her to create, manage, and distribute high-quality sales content.
In building her sales content strategy, she faced four main challenges shared by many sales enablement professionals:
1. Aligning sales and marketing teams
2. Creating content that’s relevant to real-world selling
3. Ensuring sellers use the right content
4. Getting insight into content effectiveness
On our recent webinar, How to Overcome the Top Challenges of Sales Content Management, Janelle joined Allego’s Chief Marketing Officer Wayne St. Amand, himself a seasoned sales content expert, to discuss the content challenges organizations face and how to solve them.
1. Aligning Sales and Marketing Teams
Research shows that one-third of sales and marketing teams do not speak on a regular basis. This lack of communication creates a disconnect in the creation and adoption of sales content.
“Sales and marketing must absolutely work hand in hand,” says Janelle. “It is marketing’s job to curate messaging and branding, and it is enablement’s job to make sure that messaging is in the training and that sellers are saying what you want them to say.”
Janelle holds regular meetings with her marketing team where they share what’s new. But, she says, sometimes people forget, and that’s where she sees a technology like Allego playing an important role.
“Allego has made it really simple for me to give marketing their own marketing instance. Any time they create or update anything, they upload it into that marketing instance, which I check daily. Once a week, I comb through the most important content that we use, like our first meeting deck, like our competitive intelligence battlecards, and product descriptions and check for updates.”
“Allego is the one single source of truth for our content.” — Janelle Fortelny, Logz.io
2. Creating Content That’s Relevant to Real-World Selling
Research shows that only 30% of content gets activated by salespeople while 70% goes unused, according to SiriusDecisions. Too often, these materials are not aligned with—or relevant to—the sales situation.
“You don’t need a massive library of content for reps to be successful,” says Janelle. “But it does need to be the right content for the right customer at the right time.”
To create that type of content, Wayne recommends that marketing collaborate with sales before the content is finalized. He said, “In previous marketing paradigms, we’d polish a piece of content to perfection, then release that ‘perfect’ content to the sales team. But when sales activated that content, it usually revealed a few areas that missed the mark.”
At Allego, Wayne has turned that process around. Instead of working to develop final content, marketing provides sales with an early draft of their best thinking. Using the Allego platform, marketing can get feedback from salespeople all over the world, usually in about 48 hours. Marketing then brings that valuable insight into the content, making it more relevant and actionable.
Janelle says this type of feedback contributes to establishing credibility. “I want sales to trust me when I say, ‘This is the most up-to-date piece of material that’s going to get you the sale.’ At the end of the day, my job is to get sales the content that tells them how to do their job and how to close deals.”
3. Ensuring Sellers Use the Right Content
Too often, salespeople prefer to fall back on familiar ways of doing things. Getting salespeople on board with new processes and a new sales content strategy requires an organizational shift.
To get the sales team at Logz.io on board, Janelle made the content much more accessible to the teams that need it.
“On a call, a sales rep has about five seconds to do a quick search and find the information they are looking for,” says Janelle. “When they know exactly where to find the information they need, they can immediately access the right information at the right time.”
Janelle moved Logz.io’s disorganized system of storing content on Google drive to a streamlined system on Allego. This shift meant Janelle could share different content with different teams without overwhelming them with too much information.
“Allego is the one single source of truth for our content,” says Janelle. “I organized a main content folder that has all the key information sales reps need, ready whenever they need it. That’s critical for a company like ours with offices around the world.”
Janelle also created content in formats that cater to different learning styles.
“Our engineers like long, detailed, written documentation,” says Janelle. “But sales likes quick video hits of updates, new customer wins, even a clip of a call that highlights how a rep handled an objection. Allego lets us leverage these multiple types of content, and this is especially valuable to our teams.”
“When new behavior works better than the old—faster, better, more efficient—that’s a great driver of change,” says Wayne.
4. Getting Insight into Content Effectiveness
In fast-moving organizations, there is no shortage of requests for new and updated content. To set priorities, organizations need to understand which pieces of content are making sales successful.
Wayne says that many companies focus on the wrong metrics to gain that understanding.
“You can track where content has been shared, liked, and downloaded,” says Wayne. “But this only indicates the content is popular, not effective. Similarly, many tools produce lots of quantitative metrics, but these numbers also only tell part of the story. Understanding content effectiveness requires a combination of quantitative, numbers-based analytics along with qualitative observations.”
In today’s virtual selling world, recordings provide a good way to track the effectiveness of your content. When sales reps record their interactions using PowerPoint presentations and sales pitches, you can mine those recorded conversations for what’s working and what needs improvement. You also can have your reps record their own perspectives following these meetings.
“Being a seller is an art form,” says Janelle, “and being able to share that experience and have others learn from it is really valuable. As we are all working virtually, seeing clips of what went well—and what didn’t go well—is critical for learning and staying connected.”
Watch the webinar on demand here: How to Overcome the Top Challenges of Sales Content Management.
For more information on sales content strategy, download a copy of Powering Up: How to Activate Sellers with Better Sales Content.