When we’re training sales pros at various organizations, we always ask them the same question: Why aren’t you sharing content? After all, the marketing department produces blogs, infographics, webinars, and podcasts. So why isn’t sales sharing this content with their buyers? The most common response is an old adage I hear all the time: “I’m too busy.”
To be blunt, I don’t buy that excuse. “I’m too busy” is code for saying “I don’t see the value in this.” You see, sales professionals are simple. They spend their days creating a series of hacks to minimize the workload and maximize their payout. Every day, the sales pro trades time for things that make them more money.
From personal experience, in an average eight-hour day, sales pros unfortunately only spend 25% of their time selling. According to McKinsey, sales professionals, managers and consultative sales people spend 39% of their time selling. The other majority (60-75%) of their time is spent in meetings, performing administrative duties, and other tasks. Because they’re only spending 25-40% of their time selling, which is maybe about three hours a day if they’re lucky, they have to maximize that time.
They’re not trading the other 60-75% of their time to spend some of that time sharing content because they still don’t see that there’s enough value. According to Corporate Visions, 74% of buyers choose the sales pro that was first to add value and insight.
So when marketing asks sales why they’re not sharing content, it’s because they don’t see the value. Sales pros don’t see the short, medium, or long-term value, so they’ll give the excuse that they’re too busy.
Marketing Needs to Do a Deep Dive
To solve this problem, marketing needs to do a deep dive. They need to double click into the “I don’t see value.” They need to understand why the sales team doesn’t see enough value in sharing content, which boils down to the fact that sales pros have two blind spots when it comes to what’s going on in marketing.
Blind Spot 1: I don’t understand our marketing strategy and I don’t understand the content we’re building
For many organizations, marketing isn’t on the same floor, building, city or even country as sales. So by the time a piece of content reaches a sales pro’s desk, there’s a complete disconnect. Sales believes the content doesn’t reflect the reality of the modern buyer and macro trends in the industry. They don’t feel it will add enough value or resonate with their customers. Sales pros also believe that the content isn’t customized enough for their specific buyer.
This blind spot has the sales pro question what’s going on in the marketing laboratory – they think marketing is a bunch of mad scientists!
Blind Spot 2: I have no idea about the digital history or fingerprints of the buyer
We call this the content consumption story. The average sales pro sees that their inside sales team is booking meetings based on digital downloads, page views, clicks, downloads and so forth. But by the time the field sales pro has been given an account to deal with, most of the digital history, website views, blog reading, downloading, video watching, is a complete mystery to them. They don’t have context into the content consumption story of their buyers.
This means that the concept of digital content loses value, because if you don’t know if it exists, how can you put a value on it? If you don’t realize that your buyer is downloading eBooks or watching videos, you wouldn’t think it’s very valuable. So naturally, when marketing asks you to share content, you’re not going to see the value in it.
To solve this blind spot, marketing needs to unlock Pandora’s Box. They need to provide the sales team with the tools and technology to be able to see in real time the content consumption story of their buyers. Sales needs to understand that there’s a direct relationship between them sharing content, leading to the buyer wanting to have a sales conversation.
Marketing needs to understand that they have the tools and technology to understand the content consumption story—but sales doesn’t. Until marketing gets this, they’ll never understand the psychological barrier sales has about sharing content.
Bottom line: The way that marketing can solve the “I’m too busy” is by creating empirical evidence and demonstrating that sharing content has value for the sales team. And that’s only going to happen when a sales pro realizes there’s a direct correlation—when they can visually see that their actions of sharing content will help them make more sales. Until that happens you won’t get a full behavioral shift or buy-in.