I hear so much about how modern marketers are now content publishers and getting better and better at being able to engage with buyers much earlier in their buyer journeys – but what about your poor sales people? My experience from almost all of my client engagements is that many content marketers forget about them and ended up producing yet more “random acts of marketing” which ignore the sales enablement imperative. I remember asking when I presented “A Valuable Message Framework” at our Sales Enablement Forum back in March:
· “Do you let your sales people know what content is out there so that they can leverage it and distribute it for you?”
· “Do you want them meeting a customer and hearing what content they have already seen, and being surprised”
· “How do get feedback on your content?”?
Not a great contribution from marketing to the total customer experience – which definitely involves a sales conversation for some type of product or service (see last week’s blog).
Through this year, I have met with several emerging vendors who can help here. Some are helping content marketers to deliver content onto and through sales people’s mobile devices – check out companies like Brainshark, Showpad, Clearslide, Genwi, Mediafly. Most of these systems also monitor and record the content consumption by sales people, or even customers, so that a feedback mechanism is established for the content marketers. Some even integrate to the CRM system so that sales people are helped or guided to the right content before they go to a meeting based upon the customer’s profile in that system . I know of several application development projects bridging this gap but a solution from RO Innovation provides this. And now there are even vendors that can record the information gathering of individuals on the company website, develop a knowledge profile and provide that back to the sales person through a CRM like SFDC – check out the IDIO Platform and InsideView. Some of these vendors have briefed me, while others I have heard of from clients and I requested them to brief me. I have also done quite a few webinars based on the forum presentation in this context. But I am sure that there are other offerings out there as well.
We are currently gathering together an overview of the various vendors and service providers around sales enablement processes – the first report will define the processes and list many of the automation vendors available. Watch out for our upcoming report “The Sales Enablement Execution Landscape” in the next weeks.
Always keeping you informed! Peter