Sales pros: what do you need from marketing to execute Social Selling? If you answered “content,” you’re not alone. Many people I’ve talked to give the same answer. And it’s true—you certainly need content from marketing. But content is simply the tool or device that the sales force needs to start the conversation. To execute Social Selling, however, sales pros need something much more important from marketing.

While marketing can provide you with a plethora of content, there’s a key piece missing. As a sales professional, you also need to know what content you should be sharing, at what time, and with what buyer, so you can improve the conversations you have with your buyer.

So that missing piece that marketing can provide are the historical trends of your customer’s “content consumption story.”

What is the “content consumption story?”

The content consumption story is a roadmap of the digital fingerprints that a buyer leaves over all of your marketing assets—from the first day they became engaged with your business through reading your blog or attending a webinar, to when they become a customer months later.

A great content consumption story roadmap has two ingredients:

  1. Marketing assets. It should include all the digital fingerprints a buyer is leaving on your marketing assets; and
  2. Sales conversations. In addition to marketing assets, a content consumption story should include a roadmap of direct sales conversations.

By including these two items, you’re getting a full blueprint of your content marketing and the direct conversations that sales is having. Marketing then maps this information on a timeline. The result? You get a real understanding of all of the interactions a buyer has gone through as part of their due diligence to make their decision.

How does the content consumption story help sales?

Trend analysis

By road-mapping the content consumption story, marketing provides trend analysis that will help you understand what content buyers should be consuming to warrant them feeling like a hot prospect. It also helps you understand the velocity of the insights consumed before and after some of your sales conversations, so you can understand what types of insights you should be sharing early in conversations vs. later in conversations.

Buyers’ historical patterns

The content consumption story also allows marketing to teach you the probability of the historical patterns on buyers, and shows what they’re most interested in. You can break this down by buyer persona, industry, and geographic locations, so that you’ll know what you should share, with what buyer, at what time to help buyers make better buying decisions.

Great marketing teams go beyond the trend, however. Rather than just providing historic data, they make prescriptive roadmaps that help them create better content, and help sales leverage that content. And every month, they take these historical trends and relay this information back to sales to them what’s going to help them.

So while receiving content from marketing is necessary, helping sales to understand the content consumption story is the critical piece of the puzzle that can help them execute Social Selling.


Jamie Shanks

Author: Jamie Shanks

Jamie Shanks is a world-leading Social Selling expert and author of the book, "Social Selling Mastery - Scaling Up Your Sales And Marketing Machine For The Digital Buyer". A true pioneer in the space of digital sales transformation, Jamie Shanks has trained over 10,000's of sales professionals and leaders all around the world.

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