Study Finds That Centralized Content Distribution, Visibility into Content Usage, and Effectiveness Metrics Among Primary Drivers of Improved Sales Content ROI
What is the result of effectively equipping sellers with the content they need in buyer interactions? An approximate 20 percent increase in revenue, according to a study released by Seismic and Demand Metric.
In a survey of more than 300 North American marketing and sales leaders, over half of participants estimated a revenue increase of 20 percent or more if the needed sales content was always available to their sellers at the right time and at each stage of the sales cycle. The study also found that marketers are the primary drivers of such potential revenue generation, responsible for the management and creation of 70 percent of sales content.
“Marketing leaders at large enterprises are under incredible pressure today to prove their value to the bottom line, and this report shows that improving sales content ROI is one of the most effective ways to do so. When the right technologies and processes are in place to ensure that sales content created by marketing is used in the best way possible, the impact on revenue can be enormous,” said Doug Winter, Seismic co-founder and CEO.
The study also revealed new insights about what makes sales asset management truly effective in three core areas: sales content distribution, visibility into what content sellers use, and tracking bottom-line content metrics in buyer engagement.
Automatic Content Distribution Increases Content Usage
Seismic and Demand Metric sought to find out whether there was a relationship between how content is distributed to sales and their proclivity to use said content. The study defined five separate content distribution methods:
- Automatic: Distribution of content occurs through a CRM and/or Sales Asset Management platform. (Used by 20 percent of respondents)
- Near automatic: Content is stored in a central repository or multiple repositories into which sales team members can search and download assets. (33 percent)
- Manual: Content is distributed as a result of a request, and distribution typically occurs through email. (32 percent)
- Random: No uniform, consistent content distribution process exists. (13 percent)
- No distribution: No content or assets are distributed to the sales team. (Two percent)
Sixty-one percent of respondents who use automatic distribution report most or all of their sales content being used. By contrast, less than half (44 percent) of organizations with manual or random distribution reported the same level of content usage. Similarly, 59 percent of sellers with automatic content distribution say they are moderate to well informed about what content exists for them, compared to just 39 percent of those using random or manual distribution.
“Seventy-six percent of respondents said that sales content was important to closing deals. The only way to actually ensure its value in this regard is if sellers know that it’s available and they use it, which demonstrably happens most often with a CRM and sales asset management system in place,” said John Follett, partner and analyst at Demand Metric.
Content Usage Visibility: Room for Improvement
Sellers use an average of 6.7 different types of content during an average sales cycle, with 19 percent using 10 or more types. However, the study found only 38 percent of respondents indicated that their marketing teams receive good or excellent feedback on the content they are producing for sales. That number jumps to 58 percent among those who have automatic content distribution in place.
“Without automatic content distribution in place, marketers are putting themselves in a precarious position when it comes to improving sales content ROI by leaving out one of the most valuable sources of feedback: the sellers themselves,” added Follett.
Bottom Line Content Analytics Correlated with Improved Sales Content ROI
When it comes to tracking the effectiveness of sales content to engage buyers, many organizations remain woefully behind: Seventeen percent of respondents do not track any sales content effectiveness metrics whatsoever, and 61 percent are only tracking basic metrics like downloads or impressions. Only 34 percent are currently tracking bottom-line metrics such as which pieces of content lead to conversions or contribute to revenue.
The result is that less than one-fourth of participants said they could track sales content ROI with any precision, and only half of the respondents rated their sales content ROI as good or very good. However, 80 percent of organizations that are able to track bottom line metrics say their sales content ROI is good or very good.
“Marketing leaders who will experience the most success in this new era of marketing will be the ones proving their worth. This report provides a playbook to follow and a recommended set of technologies to implement for marketers that are up to the challenge set by the rest of their organization to really impact the bottom line,” added Winter.