Interview by John Smibert
Peter Strohkorb tells us that salespeople in many organisations find it difficult to get access to the content they need in order to sell effectively.
According to Peter as a result they spent up to 30% of their own time creating or sourcing their own content – time they could be in from of customers selling. He emphasises that by helping salespeople to get access to relevant and timely content sales productivity can be increased substantially.
Peter recommends how sales and marketing need to address this in order to assist salespeople to be more productive. He talks about how this can be done.
This content may be of value for you if you are a Sales and Marketing leader, CMO, CSO, COO’s or CEO.
Peter Strohkorb is an expert in sales and marketing collaboration. He is an author and speaker.
John: Hello! I’m here again with Peter Strohkorb. Peter’s an expert in sales and marketing collaboration, a speaker and an author. Welcome, Peter!
Peter: Thank you, John!
John: Peter, in reading your research I saw a pretty disturbing statistic, and that is that salespeople spend between 10% – the good case – and 50% – the bad cases – of their time trying to find content to help them sell, or creating it themselves in some cases. That’s a troubling statistic, keeping them away from selling.
Peter: It is, absolutely.
John: Why do you think this is happening?
Peter: Well, IDC says that sales reps only spent less than a third of their time actually in contact with customers…
John: In my experience that’s often down to 20% or less.
Peter: Absolutely right. So, what do they spend the other part on? Well, a lot of it is administrative duties and research and that sort of thing, but it seems that a lot of their time is also spent in either looking for or modifying marketing content, and that’s a pretty damning statistic really.
John: It really is, it is. What do we need to do about that? I mean, to fix that we need to create a lot more time for salespeople to be in front of customers. That’s what we need to do.
Peter: Yeah. Well, there’s two very simple answers to that. One is: obviously get sales and marketing to talk to each other so that marketing create the content that sales needs, but in order for that to happen sales needs to inform marketing of what that is.
John: There needs to be a collaborative process, isn’t it?
Peter: Collaborative in a way that is constructive of course. We’ve seen plenty of other ways that that happens sometimes, but… [laughs] we want to keep it constructive. And the second part is that once that content is created it’s got to be in one central repository that’s easily accessed and managed.
Peter: So often we see organisations that have a shared file folder that we call “the black hole” because lots of things go in and nothing comes out, because there’s too much content and nobody knows what’s what, and so people say “I’ll give up, I’ll just create my own.” You want to avoid that by having one very well-managed, central, easily accessible and searchable and findable folder that has all the necessary content at the time that they need it in the right format.
John: Great advice Peter, thank you very much for your time! We value what you bring to us.
Peter: Thank you, John!
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