Today, both sellers and buyers are forced to navigate a perfect storm of content, as the average number of interactions per B2B buying cycle has jumped 54% over the past two years and reps have an average of 1,400 sales assets to choose from. While reps now have more tools to leverage than ever before during buyer interactions, the taxonomy of available assets within the sales organization has widened and deepened, often leading to a disconnect among content producers, managers, and end users.

This dynamic is similar to when a business system overcollects data and the aggregated data then becomes less impactful or more difficult to leverage due to information overload, redundancy, and poor hygiene/management. This trend creates a more complex experience for sellers, and simultaneously, it becomes more difficult to connect individual sales/empowerment assets with performance and successful deal outcomes. Put simply, the gap has widened between which assets sales organizations believe are impactful and provide for their sellers and which ones sellers leverage in practice.

Without proper governance, this sales content disconnect is exacerbated by the fact that both buyer-facing assets and internal empowerment assets are reported to have varying impact at each stage of the buyer’s journey: Discover, Evaluate, Commit. For example: Features, functions, and industry trends are reported by buyers to be most influential on their decision-making when they are in the early “Discover” stage of their journey, while pricing and implementation options are, by contrast, more impactful later on in the “Commit” time frame.

Awareness of varying asset effectiveness depending on buyer’s journey stage also relates to internal empowerment assets, with a recent Forrester survey revealing that utilization for many of these job aids is markedly stage-specific. There are several empowerment assets, however, that prove to be significantly influential across all stages, particularly conversation intelligence tools (AI to analyze speech/text in sales conversations to derive performance insights). On the other hand, several stand out as being of low influence and low utilization throughout the buyer’s journey, specifically sales playbooks. Driven by this finding and a curiosity about how traditional sales playbooks fit into modern selling motions, Barry Vasudevan and Jennifer Bullock will be delivering a presentation at Forrester’s B2B Summit North America, titled “Sales Won’t Use My Playbook! Let’s Discuss Why.”

If you are interested in learning more about what sales content drives the most desired buyer behavior and best seller performance — through every stage of the buyer’s purchasing journey — Peter Ostrow will be delivering a presentation at B2B Summit, titled “Buyers, Sellers And Assets, Oh My! Your Sales Content Yellow Brick Road.”

And for some content we’ll all enjoy, don’t forget to check out our headliner for B2B Summit, Grammy-nominated Black Pumas!

This blog was co-authored by Adam Birnberg, Research Associate.