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Content and the Revenue Connection

January 29, 2016 | By Sharon Little

  • Companies can suffocate under the weight of too much content – which is often low-quality
  • Making the content-to-revenue connection cuts through individual priorities and established norms to set goals for creating content that works
  • Using revenue as a driver for content production fundamentally changes how content is created

So much content! Someone somewhere must have adopted the “publish or perish” imperative of academia and applied it to business. Companies are suffocating under the weight of too much content, much of which serves no true purpose. The problem lingers for reasons too numerous to list. Sales leaders do not have the time or the skills to help marketing fix the content problem. Sales enablement leaders often struggle to navigate the politics of driving change in environments where individual priorities too often take precedence over what’s right for the business.

I could write about content governance, or the productivity drag resulting from producing too much content and the impact it has on a sales team, but let’s speed this up. Let’s look at your revenue plan. What are you selling right now? What do you expect to sell in the next 12 months? How long is your average sales cycle? Do you have content that maps to the buyer’s journey for the personas, products and services that generate the most revenue for your organization? Is that content aligned to how buyers purchase your offerings? Do you have tools that assist salespeople in guiding prospects through that journey?

It is time to acknowledge that content exists to drive revenue. Or at least it should. Even a thought leadership piece that doesn’t mention your product or service should have a connection to revenue. The act of tethering content to revenue cuts through personal opinions and established norms and sets the goal for creating content that works.

Here are a few ways to make the content-to-revenue connection.

  • Understand financial projections for the year ahead for all offerings, as well as any mid-year changes to the plan, and map to selling motions.
  • Document the buyer’s journey for all selling motions that represent 10 percent or more of your revenue. Map content accordingly, filling any gaps. Sales enablement leaders can take this exercise a step further and map training initiatives as well as content. Review this documentation on a quarterly basis.
  • Be aware of upcoming demand creation campaigns, along with any pricing or packaging changes. Both activities will have associated revenue models. Ensure the content strategy is in place to support major campaigns and mitigate shifts in pricing or packaging.

Using revenue as a driver for content production fundamentally changes how content is created. It saves time, minimizes the production of unnecessary content and creates more value for customers and the sales team. Ultimately it supports metrics around how content impacts revenue.

Make the content to revenue connection. It will forever change the content landscape at your company.

P.S. Once you align content to revenue, you still need good content. Whether you are creating sales tools, reviewing presentations or designing templates, refer to the Good-Sales-Content-Checklist for some thoughts about what makes content good for salespeople. Contact us for more information.

Sharon Little

Sharon Little is Research Director, Sales Enablement Strategies at SiriusDecisions. Sharon's career includes both front-line and operational sales experience with rotational breadth in sales enablement, field communications, field marketing, inside sales, sales operations and go-to-market strategies.

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