Your sales team wants to be off to the races. They want to close deals, make it rain and do the dang thing! But, uhm, question for you: Can you drive a car without gas? Nope. You can certainly try to Flintstone the vehicle, but you won’t get anywhere fast and your poor feet will inevitably tire out. Ultimately, your car needs a fuel source to keep it running.
The same concept applies to your sales team. A car without gas is like a sales team without a content team. Content keeps the proverbial sales car up and running, giving it a sense of direction and purpose. One cannot simply sell a product or service without a content team waiting in the wings, ready to bail a sales rep out of a sticky situation (hello perfect one-pager, we see you) with a prospective customer.
So, without further ado, we bring to you: how to build an out-of-this-world-awesome content team.
What are the most important roles to fill on a content team?
Hiring the right folks for your content marketing team opens up a whole new world of opportunities. And to be frank, here at Lucidpress, we’d venture to say that we’ve cracked the code for hiring the right folks for the right roles. So, these are the content team roles we’d recommend you fill:
- Product marketing manager — A product marketing manager helps create demand for your product or service via messaging and marketing strategies that resonate with your customers. So, as such, they conduct thorough customer research and product positioning.
- Sales enablement manager — A sales enablement manager works with your sales team to develop and polish content ideas gleaned from sales’ interactions with customers, prospects and the industry at-large and thus creates effective sales enablement content and outreach sequences. On smaller teams, you’ll see that a sales enablement manager often falls under the product marketing category as the two go hand-in-hand.
- Inbound marketing manager — An inbound marketing manager helps ensure consistency between marketing and sales content. Ultimately, this individual coordinates the distribution of content across non-sales channels, such as your blog, social media and website.
- Demand generation or ABM manager — A Demand Generation or ABM manager develops the content strategy for demand gen campaigns and works directly with the Account Executives (AEs) to adapt and pivot strategies accordingly.
- Content manager, Art director and/or Template manager — These folks oversee the production of requested content, ensuring synchronicity between sales, marketing and the overall creative or brand experience. From there, these roles add content to the template system. Some content marketing teams choose to have a singular manager to fit this need, whereas others choose to employ two or all three.
- Sales manager — Sales management, as there can be multiple managers if need be, provide input on segmentation and strategic direction, i.e., who goes after what, how and why.
- Account Executives — AE’s are bonafide liaisons. They relay customer or prospect feedback to appropriate teams and help tailor messaging personalization.
Do I need a content committee?
The short answer: Yes, you do.
The long answer: Periodic committee conversations ensure that all teams are on the same page, moving in the same direction and are creating collateral that’s on-brand, engaging and effective. By doing so, you streamline content production, pivot strategically and with ease (instead of sporadically or at someone else’s whim) and build cross-functional rapport.
Representatives from specific departments or roles you’ll involve in your content committee are as follows:
- Product marketing
- Inbound marketing
- Demand gen
- Sales management
- Sales enablement
Once you’ve identified these individual representatives, be sure to meet quarterly to discuss strategic direction, messaging or thematic priorities, any updates to target personas or segmentation. From there, your go-to-market team will take feedback, changes, or new strategies and hit the ground running. We’ll touch more on meeting cadence in a few more paragraphs!
What’s a go-to-market team?
A go-to-market team brings your product to market. We recommend creating three go-to-market teams. Be mindful of the fact that there are special functionalities and values that different teams bring to the table.
Team 1 — Consists of Demand gen and AEs. Team 1 ensures the voice of your customers is heard and executed accordingly.
Team 2 — Consists of Sales enablement and Sales management. Team 2 ensures the voice of sales is represented and heard, and that content is being created accordingly.
Team 3 — Consists of Inbound marketing manager and Content manager. Team 3 ensures the voice of your brand is heard, thus promoting seamless production, accurate brand representation and strategic consistency.
You’ll want these teams to meet every other week to coordinate effectively on ongoing campaigns. So yes, you’ll have more meetings but these meetings will eliminate other meetings and even miscommunications down the road.
How do I facilitate effective content committee meetings?
Process makes perfect content creation— and it empowers you to facilitate effective content meetings. Therefore, you want to have a system in place that keeps content organized. More visibility into how content maps to target segments and personas allows your team to identify soft spots and opportunities to have stronger content creation.
So, during your meetings, be prepared to discuss items such as:
- Content holes that need to be filled
- New segments or personas that need to be targeted
- Adjustments or additions that need to be made to current messaging.
You’ll want to set clear expectations as to who contributes what to the meeting. There’s nothing more inefficient than having contributors repeat work. We recommend creating a meeting scorecard of some sort, with each representative reporting on specific details.
Additionally, be sure to assign or rotate meeting-specific roles and responsibilities accordingly. This will reduce the off chance of “human error” and forgetfulness.
How do I empower my go-to-market teams?
Content creation tends to be a feast or famine type of situation for most go-to-market teams. But, instead of reinventing the wheel each time a content need arises (not to mention clamoring frantically to complete the task), we recommend templatizing content for your go-to-market teams.
Templatized content can be quickly adapted and personalized based on individual campaigns, thus allowing teams to create highly targeted collateral — without having to jump through a ton of hoops. Be sure to establish the various types of frequently used content, and create your templates from there.
That said, you also want to be sure to request periodic feedback on templates, i.e., ask your go-to-market team:
- Do you have the “right” content for the job? (Is this the content you really need?)
- Are you able to customize the content effectively?
- Does it resonate with your audience?
- Does your audience have any feedback about the templates?
By implementing all these various components, you not only keep an open line of communication across teams, but you empower your go-to-market team to suss out leads effectively and ensure that supporting teams can iterate on content and experiment accordingly.