sales and content

It’s 10:13 AM. Your organization’s latest press release has just been distributed to newsrooms and online channels. You’ve targeted your lists of key journalists, influencers and bloggers with direct emails. You’ve shared your content across your brand’s social and owned channels.

You flawlessly executed your latest PR or marketing campaign, yet you feel like you’re still missing something.

Have you reached out to your sales team?

There has been a lot written about the breaking down of silos between marketing and corporate communications departments. That improved alignment is leading to a boom in great content and stories, helping both departments better reach traditional media, bloggers, and online influencers, as well as direct prospects and clients.

But has anyone in your organization started to crack the wall between these teams and your sales department?

Mirroring recent shifts in PR and marketing best practices, there have been major changes over the past five years in how sales professionals – especially in the B2B space – operate to meet their revenue targets.

Here are a few recommendations on how to leverage your content and communications to help your sales teams bring added value to their customer outreach.

Social Selling: Your sales staff is digitally connected via LinkedIn, Twitter and potentially other valuable social networks and groups. Even if each only has an average number of connections, the total reach can be significant and likely greater than the potential of your branded company profiles.

So how can marketers and communications professionals support this channel?

One of the easiest ways is simply repackaging some of the messaging and assets you’re utilizing in other key channels, such as press releases, content from your corporate social media accounts, pay-per-click copy, whitepapers, infographics, and videos.

Sales representatives who are utilizing social networks in the right way are starved for engaging content that could open a conversation with a potential customer.

Identifying and providing social media assets that are timely and interesting can help empower your sales team.

Take this one step further and provide sample text for sharing on multiple networks like their Twitter and LinkedIn. Providing sample text increases the likelihood they’ll use the content, and keeps reps on brand.

Credibility Building: According to Forrester Research, 56% of B2B buyers would prefer not to interact with a sales rep prior to the transaction point.

This creates a huge challenge for both gaining the interest of new business prospects as well as creating conversations with existing clients who are operating in “business as usual” mode.

So how can marketing and sales work together to address this challenge? With each individual rep working to create interest and develop credibility within their own market, there’s a lot of recreating the wheel when it comes to outreach.

By working directly with top sellers and sales leaders, communications teams can develop key email messaging templates with supporting multimedia and thought leadership assets.

Point-Of-Sale Enablement: While many things in the sales world are changing –meeting face to face with customers and prospects remains key to moving complex sales forward.

What is changing is the way these conversations are happening and the way messaging is being delivered in these meetings.

With buyers becoming more and more self-educated with digital search and the plethora of information available online, it’s becoming more and more important to move away from the traditional PowerPoint conversation and move to a flexible model to support sales conversations.

With tablet adoption on the rise, your sales team can more easily share your brand’s press releases, multimedia, case studies, ROI data and other valuable content with prospects.

When planning and designing your branded content, keep your sales teams’ conversations and technical needs in mind.

Packaging multiple assets together in a cohesive, responsively designed content piece, such as these multimedia news releases and audience engagement platforms, can go a long way in supporting your sales reps’ messaging during a client meeting.

These are just three ways that you can repurpose much of the work you’re already doing to deliver great value to your sales teams. And don’t be afraid to start small! It doesn’t take a grand plan to make an impact.

Any little bit you can do that helps a salesperson even set a meeting will begin to bring you into closer alignment, deliver more direct revenue contributions and meet your brand’s business goals.

To keep up with today’s and tomorrow’s business demands, corporate communications professionals need to reconsider how they plan their campaigns. Get more PR and marketing strategy tips in our white paper High-Impact PR Planning that Drives ROI & Supports Demand Generation.