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Optimizing the Final Mile: Tapping the Potential of Content and CRMs

Unlock the potential of content and customer relationship management (CRM) systems to optimize the final mile of your business operations.
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B2B sales organizations have a problem. Three years after the pandemic disrupted the sales process and required sellers to adapt to virtual and hybrid sales environments, sellers continue to struggle to close deals. The number of reps meeting their quota is dropping while almost 50% of sales leaders report they’re not meeting their revenue targets.

Solutions exist to optimize every step of the sales process, but reps still report juggling too many tools even though they’re underutilizing the ones they have. Successful companies spend 40% of their marketing budget on content creation, though only 35% of B2B content is actively used.

Businesses want their sellers to sell, and invest heavily in giving them both content and tools to make that happen. But due to inadequate alignment of sales and marketing, and a misunderstanding around maximizing customer relationship management (CRM) systems, sellers are having to waste valuable hours on non-selling activities. This leaves sellers frustrated and less productive, and results in fewer effective engagements and overall sales. At a time when businesses are evaluating how to boost seller effectiveness, it’s clear that key to resolving these issues is accessing the untapped potential of both content and CRMs to help sellers in the final mile of the sales process.

Below are a few tips to maximize both in your sales organization.

Implement a Content ROI System

Ninety-seven percent of companies said content was an essential part of their marketing strategy and we know that B2B buyers want compelling content supported by data and research. Yet only a third of sales reps report their organization has a content strategy in place, despite the same study showing that having a partial or not-fully implemented content strategy results in lower overall win rates and quota attainments.

Measuring revenue generated by content is difficult, but successful organizations know that marketing departments can—and need to—close the loop with sales to measure content profitability.

A few strategies that are helpful when evaluating content ROI:

  • Measure content utilization
    A sales enablement solution can offer visibility into how effective your content is to determine which assets are the most valuable. Metrics like display cadence, view counts, and time spent can offer critical insights that can inform your editorial calendar and also reveal which assets are most impacting the opportunity pipeline in the seller-to-customer journey.
  • Establish content lifecycle
    Even valuable content will become obsolete at some point, so be sure you’re regularly following the seven states of the content cycle – planning, producing, approving, organizing, distributing, measuring, and retiring. Actively managing this will eliminate the time spent on searching and recreating content. It also ensures that reps have access to the most up-to-date material that maintains industry compliance.
  • Automate and personalize content
    Equipping sales with insights and personalized content at the moment of customer engagement is essential to boosting seller effectiveness. Content automation makes this simple, allowing teams an easy way to :
  • Manage files (no matter the type or format)
  • Create access control and automate expiration notifications
  • Deploy AI and image recognition to auto-tag assets
  • Personalize sales content with CRM data automation
  • Give real-time content recommendations based on up-to-the-minute data
  • Track utilization rates for each asset.

Develop Content Oversight

Without oversight, marketing teams are left clueless about the business impact of sales tools and content. To identify true content spend, don’t just measure external expenses like agency spending, placement, and collateral costs, but also the internal expenses of resources that were required to develop content. With visibility into overall spending and measurement of effectiveness, teams can be sure that resources are deployed to areas that have a direct impact on the bottom line.

Optimize your CRM Utilization

Just as content can make a significant impact when optimized, so can CRMs—if teams take advantage of everything CRMs can offer and don’t expect them to deliver what they can’t.
Designed to be lead funnel management systems attached to their own database and reporting systems, CRMs offer everything from lead management and automating and managing the transactional workflow to storing contact and customer data and revenue reporting.

But for sellers focused on closing a deal, CRMs are often a burden. There’s a reason that 66% of sellers say they’d rather wait in line at the DMV, sit in on jury duty, or get stuck in traffic than update their CRM. Often reps feel as though they’re wasting their time entering information for no good reason than updating the CRM with more data, time that could-–and should—be spent on active selling. It’s no wonder that asking them to update the CRM is like shoveling sand against the tide.

CRMs weren’t designed to singularly support the seller-to-buyer interaction process or increase a rep’s effectiveness in the moment of customer engagement. That’s your sales enablement solution. And integrating the two unlocks the power of both.

See Enablement and CRMs as Complimentary

Too often sales organizations mistake enablement and CRM systems as different flavors of the same menu item. But when deployed as intended, each solution contributes separately to a common goal – generating more revenue. Pairing CRMs and sales enablement allows businesses to:

Reduce the burden on sales teams by automating administrative and redundant tasks like data input, adding meetings, and organizing next-step tasks,
Boost customer interactions through a true multi-channel experience that merges engagement (historical information previous buying journey and lookalike profiles) and expertise (customer profile, industry, size, and challenges),
Get visibility into the financial impact of content by creating attribution dashboards to evaluate the content marketing impact on sales revenues, and
Improve the customer experience through collaboration portals that give buyers a low-friction, personalized, and expedited path-to-purchase experience.

At a time of great uncertainty, today’s sales organizations face enormous pressure to be effective in every interaction. Up-to-date, personalized, useful content is crucial. Targeted, useful customer data at the point of engagement is essential. Seamlessly integrating both to make it as easy as possible for your sellers to do what they do best is what will make the difference in your bottom line.

Tune in to MTC Podcast for visionary Martech Trends.


David von Rothenburg, VP of Sales and Alliances at Pitcher.

David von Rothenburg is the VP of Sales and Alliances at Pitcher. David has decades of experience in developing successful sales strategies and team management. David has a relentless focus on added value for customers and the value technology can bring to their processes and teams. Prior to Pitcher, David served as Enterprise Sales Director (DACH) at Showpad, Senior Regional Sales Director (EMEA) at ProQuest, and in a number of sales leadership roles at Wolters Kluwer Health.

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