How Much Does Content Help B2B Sales? - eMarketer

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How Much Does Content Help B2B Sales?

Few B2Bs rely on best sales pitch approaches for driving meaningful action, closing deals

August 12, 2015

Business-to-business (B2B) sales content has the ability to affect the bottom line, but recent research suggests its performance isn’t up to par.

In a July 2015 study by Qvidian, 77.8% of B2B sales/content management professionals worldwide said content was very important to the effectiveness of sales representatives.

However, content wasn’t exactly living up to its standards, as fewer than four in 10 respondents said it performed very well when it came to actually driving closed deals. Further, when respondents were asked about the extent to which sales content helped reps cross- or upsell, just over one-fifth said it did this very well.

July 2015 polling by Corporate Visions found that many B2Bs didn’t leverage the most effective customer presentation types for driving sales—something that must be considered when creating sales content. When asked about their primary approach to customer presentations, 46.7% of B2B sales and marketing professionals worldwide said they responded to their customers’ identified needs, then introduced their unique value-added capabilities; however, just 24.3% cited this as the sales pitch that was most likely to create meaningful action or lead to a closed deal.

Responding to customers’ identified needs and then introducing a missed opportunity was considered the best approach for spurring action, but fewer than three in 10 respondents used this. Just 13.8% said they approached customer presentations by introducing an unconsidered need and then responding to their previously identified needs, despite the fact that this ranked as the second most effective approach for driving action.

All-star sales content must also be true to a brand, but Qvidian found this wasn’t always the case. Just 45.6% of B2B sales/content management professionals worldwide said their sales content reflected their brands very well. A nearly identical 43.4% said it did this just somewhat well.

Room for error was an issue too. Fewer than one-quarter of Qvidian respondents said reviewing and updating sales content was very sufficient. Nearly half said their data and content in sales assets was just somewhat accurate, and 48% only reviewed and updated such items on an as-needed basis. Fully 22.5% updated pieces annually, 19.8% quarterly and 9.2% monthly or weekly.

As B2Bs work to improve content strategies, they’d be wise to prioritize efforts focused on cleaning up sales content.

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