The benefits of a robust content creation program extend beyond just lead generation for your sales team. It also helps your reps establish credibility with their prospects, establishes better sales and marketing alignment, and offers an opportunity to let Sales' front-line experience translate into marketing collateral.
The problem is, sales and marketing leaders alike have struggled to empower their reps to create content. Understandably so -- with reps focused on hitting their numbers, it's hard to make time for anything else. How can we make it easier for reps to create content? Here are some ways to better enable them:
Create an Idea Pool
Chances are, after talking to enough potential clients, your sales reps have dozens of great topic ideas looming in their minds. Creating an idea pool, or a place where everyone can share some great blog post ideas (such as a shared spreadsheet, project management tool, etc.) can allow those who get the itch to write to have a topic ready to go. Plus, it allows reps with great ideas, but not enough time to write, a way to contribute to content creation.
Take Editing and Graphics Off the Table
Make blogging pressure-free for your sales reps by removing other content responsibilities from the table. Just ask them to start writing great content in whatever word processing application they feel comfortable with and let your editor handle turning the first draft into the final draft in your blogging platform. And let your graphics designer handle adding blog graphics. This way, your reps can spend less time focusing on details and more time creating content.
Put Your Reps on a Blogging Schedule
Anything that is not firmly scheduled will likely be forgotten. Depending on the number of sales reps you have and the number of blog posts you want, you can do something as simple as having each rep submit blog posts a particular day of the week or month, and allow your editor to schedule specific publishing dates from there. This way, they get used to creating content on a regular schedule.
Share the Stats
Motivate your sales reps by giving them monthly stats about their posts. It plays into their competitive spirit and demonstrates their contribution to the business in a new way. Go beyond just number of visits and social shares, too -- link the posts with the number of leads or opportunities generated to show them how powerful blogging can be for filling their pipeline and driving business.
Help the Non-Bloggers
Of course, not every sales rep has a writer within them that is dying to get out. For those that are reluctant to blog, there are ways you can still help them create content. For example:
Have the sales rep record their content ideas on audio and hire a transcriptionist to turn that audio into a blog post.
Have the sales rep contribute ideas with outlines and main points to highlight, just like they were starting to create a PowerPoint presentation. Hire a writer to flesh out the idea and outline into a blog post.
Have the sales rep create content in different formats -- if they are comfortable on video, let them do a video blog instead of a written post. Use a transcriptionist to add a transcript below the video for those who prefer to read and added SEO value.
By offering a variety of ways that sales reps can participate in the blogging experience, you will be able to tap into your team to create even more content to help generate more leads for your business.
Originally published Sep 5, 2014 6:00:00 AM, updated September 05 2014