August 26, 2022
Cece Lee

Making the Business Case for Sales and Marketing Investments - CMS: Part 2 of 4

In a recession, buyers are much more hesitant to purchase. Learn how to overcome some of the most common B2B buying objections.

GoogleDrive, OneDrive, Excel. Oh My! 

Marketing1 spends hours developing, writing, and designing a variety of sales enablement content, such as sales presentations, competitive battlecards, datasheets, and more. Yet, 9 out of 10 sellers don’t use sales collateral since it’s “irrelevant, outdated, and difficult to customize.”2 Let me repeat that - 9 out of 10 sales people don’t use sales content.

9 out of 10 sellers don't use sales collateral image
Source: G2 Blog, 35 Sales Enablement Statistics that Will Blow Your Mind

Moreover, as we mentioned in Part 1 of The Business Case for Sales and Marketing Investments, sales continues to spend 30 hours a month searching or creating content!

From what we’ve heard from our customers, this scenario is all too common for sales and marketing organizations:

  • No single source of truth: Sales enablement content is decentralized and stored throughout the organization using a mismatch of free tools (e.g. Google Drive, Sharepoint, or One Drive), wikis, intranets, and even on personal computers. This is most likely why sales is spending hours looking or creating content. 
  • Content is outdated: Without a single source of truth, marketing or sales enablement uses a spreadsheet or word document to curate, track, and archive content. However, this requires diligent management, otherwise the tracking sheet quickly becomes unwieldy with outdated information as your content grows.
  • ROI of content is unknown: If content is tracked on a spreadsheet or scattered throughout several systems, then data on seller and buyer interactions, such as content views, downloads, and minutes engaged, requires yet another tool to capture this information. Manually collected and analyzed, this method only provides a partial view into what content is being used by sales, what is effective in accelerating sales opportunities, and what content truly influences buyers. Calculating ROI is directional versus based on data and trends.
  • Content decisions are not data-driven: Finally, when you combine these factors, sales and marketing leaders are unable to make intelligent, confident content decisions. The result? Gaps in understanding what sales collateral is missing or has a high impact on buyer purchase decisions. Ultimately, the perception becomes that sales content is “irrelevant, outdated, and difficult to customize.” 

Our customer, Amy Wood, Director of Marketing, Talview, explained the situation this way, “Before Enable Us, we had no insight into how our content was being used by sales, and we were relying solely on sales sentiment. Enable Us reframes the conversations I have with my sales and executive teams. I can share data on how sellers and buyers are engaging with our content throughout the buying process and make smarter decisions as a result.”

Talview testimonial highlights value of Enable Us for sales content management and insights

The Need for Sales Content Management Software

According to the recently published Product Marketing Alliance survey, State of Product Marketing 2022, two of the top five responsibilities of product marketing are creating or updating sales collateral / internal-facing documents (82.2%) and sales enablement (79.1%). Yet, only 26% indicated that they had OKRs tied to asset utilization. With a majority of product marketing’s time spent on creating, curating, and maintaining sales content, the need for a sales content management and tracking system is a non issue for resolving this disconnect.3 

What is sales content management software (CMS)?

It’s a system that helps manage the process for creating, curating, distributing, maintaining and measuring customer-facing and internally-facing sales collateral during the sales process. 

7 key benefits of sales content management

We conducted a quick, highly unscientific poll on our LinkedIn page to determine what benefits a CMS software would provide. Based on this and our customers’ feedback, here are seven benefits that sales content management software provides:

  1. Easily organize your sales content in a central location
  2. Save time for sales when searching for content due to advanced search and filtering functionality 
  3. Easily access content from any device, anywhere
  4. Sync content manually or automatically
  5. Gan visibility into seller and buyer interactions to make smarter decisions on sales collateral
  6. Increase sales accountability on sales asset utilization with insights on seller behaviors
  7. Calculate content ROI by attributing content utilization and buyer engagement to deal velocity and won opportunities

Bonus -Jenn Glabicky, Global Head of Revenue Enablement at Marqeta commented on our poll, “Content alignment is another one, less of a chance for duplicative efforts for content creation andddd a way to version control!” 

We completely agree. 

LinkedIn Poll: August 1-8, 2022

Build Your Business Case for Sales Content Management Software

You know that a content management system to organize, distribute, and measure your sales enablement content is a must. Yet, as we noted in our first blog post in this series, the prospect of an impending recession causes some organizations to cut back on sales and technology investments. There is a silver lining. According to the 2022 Gartner CFO Recession Planning Poll, 69% of CFOs are willing to increase spending related to digital technology and transformation.4

From our perspective, digitizing how sales collateral is managed is an important component to scaling sales and marketing organizations to close more deals more quickly. Otherwise, the opportunity costs associated with underused or unused content is high, over $2.3M annually for enterprise organizations.5 As such, we’ve pulled together three calculations to help you make the business case for investing in a sales content management platform to your executive team. 

Lost over $2.3M in opportunity costs unused marketing content
Source: G2 Crowd, 35 Sales Enablement Statistics That Will Blow Your Mind

Increase Sales Productivity 

According to Glassdoor, a B2B sales rep makes an average of $104,000 annually or $285 daily. If sales spends up to 15 days annually seeking or creating content, that’s $4,273 in lost sales productivity per year. A sales CMS makes it easier for your sales team to find the right content to share with prospects based on their buying cycle.

Depending on your average sales deal cycle, the additional hours or days saved per salesperson equates to tremendous productivity gains focused on closing deals.  

SALES PRODUCTIVITY GAIN:

  • Number of Days Saved Annually X Number of Sales Representatives = Productivity Gain (in Days) 

PRODUCTIVITY COST: The cost to the company by not implementing a CMS platform

  • Number of Days Annually Lost  x Average Daily Pay (based on average salary/365 days) x Number of Sales Representatives =  Cost of Lost  Sales Productivity

Single Source of Truth for Sales Content = Larger ACV

A central content repository enables sales to discover and send the right content tailored to the buyer’s needs. Not only does this reduce time spent on searching for content, but also lowers the time spent manually managing content across multiple platforms or spreadsheets. 

According to Gartner, prospects are 2.8 times more likely to experience a high level of purchase confidence when salespeople provide constructive information during the buying process. Moreover, this resulted in purchases 3x larger and with less regret.6 

Let’s assume that your average contract value (ACV) is $10,000. By optimizing the content your sales team provides during the buying process, the potential return increases to $30,000 in deal value. 

POTENTIAL ACV INCREASE CALCULATION:

  • Number of Salespeople x Current ACV x 3 = Potential Increase in Deal Value

In-Depth Content Insights = Higher Converting Content

Sales reps use at least 17 pieces of content during sales process (Forrester stat)
Source: Forrester, By the Numbers: 2017 Planning Assumptions for Emerging Companies

Depending on the research, anywhere from 65%7 to 90%8 of marketing content is untouched by sales, with sales using an average of 17 content pieces during the sales process. That content must be "relevant, meaningful and properly timed to where the buyer is in the journey."9 Considering that a significant portion of a company’s marketing budget is spent on content creation (26-40%), boosting the discoverability and effectiveness of sales content is a significant opportunity for marketing to deliver immediate ROI to the organization.10 

A sales enablement CMS provides in-depth data and analytics on seller behavior, such as views, downloads, shares, and time spent on content. When combined with a digital sales room, which we’ll cover in our next blog, marketing gains even more insight on what content resonates with buyers. 

These insights enable product marketing to develop the right sales enablement content strategy that resonates with sellers and buyers, such as:

  • What content is being viewed, downloaded, and shared by both buyers and sellers
  • Which searches are yielding no results
  • How to optimize content tagging to increase discoverability based on sales’ search patterns
  • How is content influencing or contributing to deal velocity and wins

This results in considerable cost and time savings as this reduces the number of unused content pieces. 

Calculation of Lost PMM Productivity for sales enablement and content

Let’s calculate the cost of not having a CMS solution. The average salary for a product marketing manager (PMM) is $121,000 annually.11 Since creating and updating sales enablement and content creation are top responsibilities for PMM, we’ll assume 33% or $39,930 annually of their time is spent on content creation. Today, since  90% of sales content is unused, this represents upwards of $35,900 or 30% of lost productivity for a PMM. 

Here is the calculation:

  • 40 hour work week x 33% = 13.2 hours a week
  • 13.2 hours / week x 52 weeks = 686.4 hours / 24 = 28.6 days per year focused on sales enablement and collateral
  • 28.6 days x 90% (unused content) = 25.74 days of lost productivity annually 

PMM PRODUCTIVITY GAIN:

  • Number of Days Recovered Annually X Number of PMMs = Productivity Gain (in Days) 

PMM PRODUCTIVITY COST:

The cost to the company by not implementing a CMS platform

  • Number of Days Annually Lost  x Average Daily Pay (based on average salary/365 days) x Number of PMMs =  Cost of Lost PMM Productivity

Conclusion: Sales and Marketing Alignment 

We recognize the importance of sales and marketing alignment for sales collateral. Yet, all too often, there is an adversarial relationship between marketing and sales. Marketing spends time creating content that is underutilized by sales, with no insight into its effectiveness in the sales and buying processes. Conversely, sales wastes time searching for content, resorting to sharing outdated sales content or creating content from scratch. 

A sales content management system resolves the “black hole” of sales collateral for both sales and marketing. Your sales team focuses less on finding content, boosting productivity on core sales activities. They discover and share up-to-date content based on buyers’ needs, which boosts your sellers’ credibility and can increase deal sizes. Your marketing team develops more targeted content that resonates with your sellers and buyers which speeds the buying cycle.

By investing in a sales collateral management system, sales and marketing collaborate more closely. Ultimately, this closer alignment can boost sales results, with companies 67% better at closing deals and sales teams experiencing 41% increase in meeting their quotas.12  

Case Study: Talview Increases Sales Efficiency with Enable Us
Learn how Talview Increased Sales Efficiency with Enable Us Content Management Software

Sources of Sales Content Management Stats

  1. Since product marketing typically reports to marketing and is responsible for sales collateral development, we use product marketing and marketing interchangeably throughout this article.
  2. G2 Blog, 35 Sales Enablement Statistics that Will Blow Your Mind, January 11, 2021
  3. PMA, State of Product Marketing 2022, 2022
  4. Gartner Blog, 115 Reasons to Attend the Sales Tech Mayhem After-Party, July 20, 2022
  5. G2 Crowd, 35 Sales Enablement Statistics That Will Blow Your Mind, January 11, 2021
  6. Gartner, The B2B Buying Journey, 2019
  7. WebinarCare, Sales Enablement Statistics 2022, August 2, 2022
  8. G2 Blog, 35 Sales Enablement Statistics that Will Blow Your Mind, January 11, 2021
  9. Forrester, By the Numbers: 2017 Planning Assumptions for Emerging Companies, December 19, 2017
  10. MarketingProfs, 2018 Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends, September 2017
  11. Glassdoor, PMM salary, August 2022
  12. G2 Blog, 35 Sales Enablement Statistics that Will Blow Your Mind, January 11, 2021