The current content cycle is fundamentally broken, and the majority of organizations continue to struggle with effective content management.

Content marketing is increasing in popularity as marketers around the world adopt this valuable marketing tool into their strategies. However, content marketing isn’t without its challenges. In the B2B world, sales and marketing continue to struggle with the exponential growth in the volume of digital content.

The Content Marketing Institute reported that 88% of organizations are using content marketing, but that shockingly only 30% of these marketers believe that they are ‘effective’ at content marketing. Sirius Decisions found that 60-70% of B2B sales content is never used, which is alarming when you consider that organizations are spending millions of dollars every year on creating content.

So, why don’t sales professionals use the content created by marketing?

The problem in so many organizations is that marketing teams are creating content without any insight or feedback from their sales teams. This has led to 75% of sales professionals stating that they ‘occasionally’ or ‘never’ get what they need from marketing. When marketing creates content in a silo, based upon assumptions of how and when content is being used, it is less effective.

When sales professionals were asked why they don’t use the content that is created for them by marketing; they cited:

  • 67% – it’s too generic
  • 40% – content isn’t relevant to the buyer
  • 20% – content is out of date

When marketing creates content that doesn’t add value to the sales funnel, we start to see these major problems:

  • Only 62% of sales professionals appear ‘knowledgeable’ about their own products or services
  • Fewer than 25% of sales professionals are deemed ‘knowledgeable’ about their buyer’s specific business
  • Barely 22% of sales professionals understand their buyer’s issues and are able to position themselves in a role where they can actually help; and
  • Only 21% of sales professionals state that they have relevant content to share with buyers

We can see that there is a need for sales and marketing teams to be working together to improve the content cycle, and this idea is shared by 4 in 10 CMOs who state that sales and marketing alignment is a top priority.

So, how can we improve content utilization?

Sales professionals need content that is effective, and creating effective content starts with getting content consumption data and insights into the hands of those who need it: marketing.

When organizations shared content consumption data:

  • 78% – felt content was effective for lead generation
  • 54% – felt content was effective for closing

Right now only 9% of sales professionals have a dedicated digital content management system that stores and sorts content into a searchable, easy to use platform. The remaining 91% of sales professionals use content management strategies that make finding the right content close to impossible.

Marketing needs…

  • A simple way to upload and organize content
  • Real-time content consumption insights and data
  • An easy way to control content, such as removing expired or out-dated pieces
  • The ability to recommend content based on the specific contact or profile that the salesperson is meeting with

Sales needs….

  • A way to rate, favorite, and comment on content
  • Filters and playlist that allow them to easily search and organize content
  • Featured content for specific contacts based on industry, trends, location, and more

Ultimately, what sales and marketing needs is an easy to use content management system that will align content creation with content usage. They need a solution that will tackle the content avalanche and sift through it to find and deliver the perfect snowflake.

When marketing can accurately measure the success of their content, they can understand the factors that drive results and build on their successes. The ability to identify successful content, discover new opportunities, and better understand buyer content behavior allows marketing to create content that sales will love.

Rebecca SparyToday’s post is by guest author Rebecca Spary, Marketing Associate for WHUTa powerful content management solution that takes the content avalanche and sifts through it to find and deliver a perfect snowflake.