Brainshark, a provider of cloud-based business presentation resources, has partnered with Profitable Channels, a provider of sales enablement consulting, to offer an online self-assessment capable of evaluating sales and marketing performance by measuring content effectiveness. A recent survey conducted by Brainshark revealed that sales teams are struggling with content. Forty-one percent claim to have out-of-date materials, 28 percent believe that their content is irrelevant to prospects, and 33 percent say the content they need is inaccessible or difficult to find, according to the survey.
Marketing teams play a crucial role in supplying their sales counterparts with content that enables the sales funnel, but all too often that content misses the mark, according to Paula Crerar, senior director of content and product marketing at Brainshark. "We're constantly hearing from customers that sales productivity is a problem because the content they receive from the marketing end is good, but it's just not what they need, or they can't find it when they need it," she says. "With the tool we, along with Profitable Channels, are offering, we're hoping to help pinpoint and eliminate some of these issues."
The self-assessment consists of 17 multiple choice questions designed to gather information on a brand's content strategy and determine what types of improvements are necessary. According to Crerar, the questions are centered on five of the most important elements of sales content: "Sales content must be compelling, reusable through a variety of channels, relevant to specific audience groups, easy for sales teams to find, and measurable," she says.
Sample questions ask companies to reflect on how often they update their content, how much of the marketing budget is spent on content generation, and whether persona-based or broad-based content targeting techniques are used. Because marketing and sales personnel work so closely and share content, it's important for both teams to participate in the evaluation, Crerar asserts. "The self-assessment is designed to not only get to the bottom of the kinds of content problems plaguing sales teams, but also to determine if there are any holes in what marketers are doing," she explains.
Once the survey is complete, the tool generates potentially helpful resources based on the participants' responses. If a particular brand's problem is that its content needs to be more actionable, for example, the advice generated would recommend mapping the content to the sales funnel and direct the participants to case studies and other tools aimed at resolving the issue. The self-assessment and the primary resources it provides are free.
While sales representatives and marketers across the board could benefit from Brainshark and Profitable Channel's new tool, Crerar believes it will particularly benefit the B2B space. "The more complex a product line is, the more you need to make sure you're delivering excellent content. As a result, the more complex your product is," she says, "the more you can benefit from this tool."