B2B Execs Say Sales Needs Better Content. Here’s What They Think Works Best.

August 2, 2016

This article is included in these additional categories:

B2B | Content Marketing | Internal Collaboration

SeismicCSOInsights-Effective-B2B-Sales-Content-Types-Aug2016The marketing team is the one most commonly responsible for creating the content that salespeople use in their selling efforts, according to respondents to the 2016 Sales Enablement Optimization Study from Seismic and CSO Insights. Results from the survey indicate that marketing might need to up its game, though.

Indeed, only a minority (48.6%) of executives surveyed say that the quantity of content provided to salespeople meets or exceeds expectations, and even fewer (43.9%) feel that the quality of the content provided meets or exceeds expectations.

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So what kind of content should marketers focus on more? It may help to look at the types of customer-facing content and tools that B2B executives feel are most effective.

Topping the list is product collateral, considered to meet or exceed expectations by a majority (55%) of respondents. Close behind are technical and product presentations, which 53% believe meet or exceed expectations. Research has shown that these are among the most widely consumed content types by B2B tech buyers.

Interestingly, a majority executives in the sales enablement study feel that client-focused presentations either need improvement (43.6%) or a major redesign (12.8%). That’s an issue, given research indicating that executives are more likely to respond favorably to outreach personalized to be relevant to their industry and specific problem than to their role within the company.

The same study (from LiveHive) found that corporate executives are most likely to respond positively to outreach in the form of customer case studies. But on this front, once again, content seems to be lacking. Just 42% of the executives surveyed by Seismic and CSO Insights say that customer case studies and success stories are meeting or exceeding expectations.

(The full set of content tools and their effectiveness ratings are available in the chart above.)

Another area of improvement when it comes to sales enablement is the oft-discussed collaboration with various corporate functions. And on this end again marketing seems to be lacking: a slight majority (51%) of executives said that cross-functional collaboration needs improvement or a major redesign. In fact, of 11 corporate functions, marketing ranked just 8th in terms of the effectiveness of cross-functional collaboration.

Then again, the topic of collaboration comes up frequently. Marketers, it seems, need to up their game with sales, IT, finance, and others…!

About the Data: The study is based on a survey of 375 executives at B2B enterprises.

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