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    Issue 35

    June 28, 2020

    Subjects:

    Should your sellers create their own content? 

    How to establish thought leadership 

     

    In this week’s Driven

    You hear a lot about the value of content marketing. But you hear much less about using content to sell.

    The latter topic deserves more attention.

    That’s because sellers – after prospects – benefit most from great content.

    And that’s why sellers should be the loudest voices lobbying for it.

    Sellers should also lend their full support to getting it.

    The leader of an enterprise software sales team recently told me he’s frustrated with the content his company’s marketers create.

    He says it doesn’t meet the needs of his sales team.

    He raised this question:

    Should my sellers create their own content?

    In today’s lead article, I offer my best answer to that question.

    If you’re a sales leader, marketing leader, or chief revenue officer, you’ll want to read it.

    In today’s related blog post, you’ll read 5 ideas for how your sales team can help marketers provide better content.

    You’ll find it here, on the Driven blog:

    Why Sellers Need Better Content for High-Ticket B2B SaaS–And How to Get It

    Other topics in this issue

    Today’s issue also contains a short take on related resources:

    • How to create content for thought leadership

    Reading time

    Your reading time this week is about 6 minutes. That’s if you read at 200 words per minute.

    SALES | MARKETING

    Should your sellers create their own content?

    The right answer for you depends on how you respond to these questions:

    • What are the upsides?
    • How capable and motivated are your sellers?
    • How much can you count on your marketing team to produce the content you need?
    • What are the potential risks?
    • How will you protect your sellers, your brand, and your company?
    • How will you measure the success of their efforts?
    • What are your company’s policies?

    Let’s look at each.

    What are the potential upsides?

    Could your sellers help establish a new and appealing voice and perspective for your company?

    Could your sellers show your marketers some new ways to create and distribute good content?

    Can they help show that you take diversity seriously?

    Would your sellers feel energized and empowered to establish their own voice?

    Can your sellers help your company attract better job candidates?

    If your sellers are visible in the industries you serve, how much might they improve their outreach to prospects?

    How capable and motivated are your sellers?

    Many sellers aren’t great writers. But they may be great talkers.

    Or they may have a great sense of humor.

    What kinds of content might they produce? How often? How long might each piece be?

    Can they work with short audio or video content?

    How eager are they to do this?

    How will they promote the content they’ve created?

    How much time can you afford for them to give it?

    How much can you count on marketing to produce the content you need?

    How much effort have you invested in helping your marketers produce the kind of content you need?

    How confident are you they can do it?

    What are the risks?

    What could go wrong if your sellers create their own content?

    Might it take too much of their time and attention away from selling?

    Might you risk torching your relationship with marketing?

    If sellers create their own voice and following, how might it affect their tenure at your company? For better? For worse?

    How much damage could your sellers do by publishing the wrong stuff?

    How will you protect your sellers, your brand, and your company?

    How much guidance do your sellers need to avoid the potential risks?

    How much can you or your company provide? And how much effort will it take to offer it?

    What pre-approval process, if any, would you need? Who will do it? Will approvals become a bottleneck?

    How might your processes work?

    What feedback can you offer on the content sellers publish?

    How will you measure their success?

    How will you know if your sellers’ efforts are worthwhile?

    What are your company’s policies?

    Some companies want tight control over their brand. They put all new content through an internal vetting process.

    Publicly held companies may be concerned about disclosing what regulators might see as insider information.

    Do you or your clients work in regulated industries such as health care and financial services? If so, how might regulations apply to the content your sellers create?

    Does your company have policies against sellers creating their own content?

    Who owns the intellectual property for content your sellers create and post? What complications might this cause?

    All companies should be concerned about exposing confidential or sensitive information about technology, business strategy, or clients.

    Conclusion: Why not give it a try?

    When you’ve answered these questions–and others they may prompt–you should know whether to encourage your sellers to create content.

    Barring any compelling reasons against, I suggest you try it.

    Your sellers might start small, by creating and publishing their own short stuff.

    They might post audio or video to social channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or other channels where your customers and prospects hang out.

    They’re unlikely to do much damage (or good) until they’ve built a following.

    The biggest upside?

    Your sellers will build skill, experience, insights, and a social following that can serve both them and your company well.

    And they’ll be less dependent on your marketing team to help them generate sales pipe.

    Dig deeper

    For more on how sellers can get the content they need, see Why Sellers Need Better Content for High-Ticket B2B SaaS–And How to Get It

    SHORT TAKE

    Thought-leadership content: How to produce it

    What B2B SaaS company doesn’t want to be seen as a thought leader?

    But plenty of companies that want to be thought leaders haven’t an original thought to offer.

    So how can they–and you–create thought-leadership content?

    A recent podcast episode from Sweetfish Media offers solid ideas.

    See the B2B Growth podcast, “Thought Leadership Content: A 7-Part Framework.” James Carbary of Sweetfish Media talks with Josh Steimle, founder and CEO of Influencer, Inc.

    For still more good ideas on thought-leadership content, see the websites of Buday Thought Leadership Partners and RhetorIQ.

    WRAP UP

    New online archive of past Driven issues

    Now you can get easy online access to prior issues of Driven.

    A new index contains links to online copies of all issues published in 2020.

    The online versions may be easier to share with colleagues. They often contain updated links and other information.

    Soon the archive will also link to issues from 2019.

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    No Driven next week

    You won’t receive your next Driven issue on Saturday, July 4. That’s Independence Day in the United States.

    Look for us on Saturday, July 11.

    If you live in the United States, enjoy your Independence Day weekend.

    If you live in another country, enjoy your next weekend anyway!

    Stay healthy and safe.

    That’s it for this week.

    See you in July.

    Best,

    Dave Vranicar

    ABOUT DRIVEN

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