How to Align Sales and Marketing Teams for Content Creation Natalie Slyman One of the most critical aspects of a successful business is the alignment of sales and marketing. The less they communicate, the harder it becomes for both departments to reach their goals. How is your marketing team expected to deliver quality leads to the sales team if they don’t know leads’ pain points? And how are they supposed to know leads’ pain points without insight from the sales team? A lack of cohesion among these two teams can lead to missed revenue and a complete disconnect between your company and your ideal customer. And your business just can’t afford that. To produce top-quality content, and for that content to be useful, your sales and marketing teams must collaborate. Here are some ideas to get the two teams together in the name of content marketing. 1. Hold Monthly Meetings No department should ever be an island, yet sales and marketing teams tend to silo themselves. While marketing dedicates a lot of their time to content creation and implementing tactics that generate leads, it’s the sales team that has a good read on the strategy that should fuel those efforts. The two groups need to be working together to enable sales and nurture prospects. This starts with holding monthly meetings where everyone is involved. During these meetings, it’s important to discuss the needs and issues of each group. It’s a critical process that allows both teams to gather deeper insight that will inform the next steps. It’s also important, during monthly meetings, to discuss any upcoming issues or objections the sales team faces. This can help marketing further develop content that is relevant and valuable to your audience. It’s a great way to put more sales enablement content on the discussion list. Some questions to address in these meetings: What are some common objects the sales team is getting from leads? What about our product and services is confusing to our prospects? What kinds of content is the marketing team looking to create? How does the marketing team track success from content? How is the sales team currently using content in their conversations and outreach? What content is currently being used the most? What would the ideal piece of content cover? 2. Use Smart Tools If your groups are large or physically far apart, it might be a good idea to integrate some task management and communication software. These tools are meant to increase collaboration and transparency, breaking down any barriers that get in the way of productive work. There are a variety of project management and sales enablement tools to consider, including: Slack Trello Asana Basecamp Monday Using a system with automated notifications can help both teams keep an ear to the rails. It can allow for people to quickly touch base on a content idea without disrupting the whole team or another task’s momentum, for continuous workflow. A shared Google Doc is another great way to keep everyone organized on content ideas. A shared document with access to everyone means people can add to it as they go. Keeping a log like this enables the sales team to easily go in and contribute ideas or borrow those that make sense for the funnel, and allows the marketing team a go-to for their brainstorming sessions. 3. Schedule Call Shadowing When making an effort to understand the customer truly, a marketing team can never be too involved in the sales process. For greater insight on what kinds of sales content to create, have your marketing team sit in on a few calls, and do so regularly. This will show them first-hand any content needs and what customers are asking. It’s also helpful to learn how the sales team responds to these questions. What sort of language and terms are they using to describe your product? What are the go-to resources, if any, that they offer up? What does their follow-up look like? Taking note of these steps can help any marketing team better prepare the next time they sit down to write content. 4. Customer Communications In addition to sitting in on a call, a marketing team can also request sales to send them any emails prospects send them with questions or concerns. As a simple rule of thumb, if it starts with “How do I?” then it should be sent to the marketing team. This is an excellent source of ideas, and it doesn’t take a lot of legwork from sales. A marketer can take this messaging and produce content for each stage of the sales funnel, like How-to blog posts for your product, service, or industry White paper guides that go in-depth on a process Interactive social media posts that inspire followers to respond with their tips Slow reveal email campaigns with each email explaining one step in the process eBooks if the answer is very involved and has a lot of moving parts Some of this content can then be used in sales proposals, presentations, and on-sheeters. Also, it might not hurt to ask a few salespeople about their best and worst calls. This can help set a standard for the type of content created. Tips For Creating Sales Enablement Content The goal of using these tactics is to have marketing and sales communicate to the point where effective sales enablement is happening regularly. Creating content that helps sales do their job more efficiently is a lot easier with frequent communication and collaboration. Some key questions to ask when creating sales content include: Does this overcome common objectives? Does this prime prospects to become better customers? Does this educate consumers about our product, processes, and how they can see ROI? Does this provide valuable information prospects can pass on to their team’s decisionmakers? The type of content produced is not as important as the message. After all, there isn’t one type of sales content. It all depends on the audience and their needs, along with your teams’ needs and capabilities. Some may respond better to live webinars while other people prefer an informative article. It never hurts to analyze performance and reset priorities. The more sales and marketing work together, the easier it will be to produce content that can be used to solve customer pain points and move them toward a sale.