How to Build a Winning Sales Engagement Content Strategy
According to recent TOPO Research, 41% of sales leaders report that building a sales engagement content strategy is a top challenge.
Why? When it comes to implementing sales engagement technology, teams shouldn’t just buy a platform and start emailing prospects out of the box. A considered content strategy is mission critical to getting the best results from your campaigns! Without it, you’ll be flying blind – without actionable data on what’s working with each persona, account, and industry.
Both marketing and sales are principal players in creating a successful sales engagement content strategy. Establishing an effective partnership with marketing and sales enablement can go a long way towards accelerating a company’s GTM engine, but as with most things in life, the devil is always in the details.
If you’re not sure how to best get started, we’ve got some good news. Ben Budde, a seasoned sales leader and Groove VP of Sales, joined TOPO’s 2021 Virtual Summit to share a framework for building an effective playbook and repeatable process that reduces friction, drives greater accountability, and builds meaningful pipeline at scale.
Continue reading for an outline of the strategy and key takeaways from the session.. And, if you have ~20 minutes, we also recommend that you check out the session recording to see how it all fits together. Without further ado, let’s dive in!
The Layer Cake Content Strategy
It might not look as delicious as a slice of red velvet, but this Layer Cake framework is what many of our customers use to build an effective and repeatable content engine. Each layer in the cake builds on the previous one, so it’s worth it to take the time to dial-in each aspect before revving your content engine.
Layer #1 – Technology – Since we’re talking about a sales engagement content strategy, you’ll need to have a sales engagement platform to build your process on top of. Functionality like advanced automation and robust collaboration are key here. If you’re curious what else to look for in a sales engagement platform, check out our Definitive Guide to SEPs here.
Layer #2 – Sales & Marketing Alignment – On top of the technology itself, the next thing to establish is open lines of communication between Sales and Marketing teams. Align each team’s goals so that everyone is rowing in the same direction. Organizations that can break down these typically siloed teams are more agile and effective when creating and distributing content (this will come into play later).
Layer #3 – Defined ICP, Territories, and Personas – With Marketing and Sales aligned, it should be easier to define your ICP, create account territories, customer personas, and key value cards so that you can tailor messaging to the audience. Don’t get halfway into Q3 before discovering that Marketing has created content for a persona that Sales has no plans to engage. Getting on the same page before building anything will save both Sales and Marketing teams time in the long run – win win!
Layer #4 – A Planned Campaign Calendar – When it comes to planning content at a high level, you need to create and maintain a Campaign Calendar so that everyone knows what’s coming down the pipe and can plan accordingly. This document reinforces alignment, and allows Marketing to forecast key dates so they can create timely, effective content that will be ready right when Sales needs it.
Layer #5 – Blitz Days and Rapid Response – Now it’s time to get into the tactics and execution. The most successful content organizations possess the agility and flexibility to respond to new developments at a moment’s notice. Successful customers of ours use Blitz Days and Rapid Response campaigns to identify changes in the market and quickly create content to address it. *Example in session recording* Taking a day to produce content for a specific use-case might seem like a big lift, but the ability to create and deploy meaningful messaging in under 24 hours can make you stand out from your slower-moving competitors.
Layer #6 – Process for Personalization – While the overall goal is to create a repeatable process for content creation, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for effective 1:1 personalization. As much as we love scale, the stats are clear about the value of personalizing the subject line and at least one sentence in an email. As a general rule, reps should plan on customizing templates by around 20%. Ideally, your sales engagement platform should enable you to quickly bring in personal information and account history from LinkedIn and Salesforce without leaving your inbox. As you build out a process that works for your team, include space for personalization to shine while keeping the process streamlined. You don’t want reps spending 10 minutes on each personalized email.
Is that it?
Not even close. During his session, Ben also shared examples of successful processes, a recent Rapid Response campaign that we ran at Groove, and other tidbits such as calendar templates, content examples, his thoughts on leveraging video, and more.
To watch Ben’s full presentation, follow this link: Building a Winning Sales Engagement Content Strategy