You work so hard to craft your brand image, position, and strategy and then even harder to execute all of the elements needed to convey that image and message to the marketplace. You send your sales teams slide decks and assets galore to educate them on how they can reinforce the brand directly with customers and prospects. You hold training sessions and send communications about how all these tools can be used in the field.
Just when you think you can sit back, take a breath, enjoy a glass of your favorite libation, and reflect on the terrific work that you have done, one of your colleagues forwards you an email they came across from a salesperson to a prospective customer. The language used, while grammatically correct, could not be more off-brand. You instantly think about all of the communications sent to sales about the brand and wonder if anyone in sales–the living, breathing, brand harbingers–paid attention. Sadly, you can’t even finish your drink.
Most of our clients have told us that a by-product of the content that we have produced for them is that their salespeople actually learn more about the products that they are selling and how to position them to customers. This gets reflected in all of their customer and prospect communications.
Can content help your sales teams communicate more consistently on-brand? Likely. But only if your sales reps are reading the content your department is producing. And getting sales to read the content that you are creating is only the start. When salespeople share content with customers and get good feedback on it, they will fully buy into content. The only way to get this kind of buy-in from sales is to create content that is exceptional and on-point.
In addition to being confident with the quality of your content and ensuring it aligns with and amplifies your brand image, here are some additional ways to get sales on board with content.
- Develop a content strategy that includes regularly producing and distributing content that helps your customers and prospects and accomplishes one or more of your goals, like nurturing leads or widening the consideration factor. Sales will buy into this content because it positions them and the company as a resource and not just a vendor.
- Inform your salesforce about what content is available and how to use it with customers and prospects. This is easily done via regular emails to sales communicating new content that has been published along with summaries of the content. Even better, show examples of how top salespeople are using the content to attract and nurture prospects.
- Create content that is enjoyable to read. This means it is conversational, informative, and not overly processed or filled with legal language. Otherwise you don’t have a chance of having your salespeople read it (much less share it with customers).
Content is now expected to work harder than ever before, so consider how much value you will add to your content program if it is utilized by sales as well. If so, you can rest assured that at least some of their customer communications is on-brand.