Content creation isn't just about educating prospects, it's also about empowering sales teams to close deals.

We’re in an era of dissolving silos, but barriers between marketing and sales departments often stand strong. These rifts, born of conflicting viewpoints, cause businesses to lose valuable deals. According to a recent study by Demand Metric, marketing and sales teams can’t even agree on the source of their failure. Sales teams blame lack of marketing content and support, while marketing teams point to sales reps’ limited room for negotiation.

Without diving deeper into the blame game, there’s already an opportunity for marketers to cover their bases and become stronger members of the team: Arm your sales department with valuable assets that help them do their jobs better.

Does your brand content wear multiple hats?

You may think you’re already giving your sales team all the striking stats and compelling brand content they could need, but you might be mistaken. About one in 10 marketers said the data they provide to sales is very effective. Just 3 percent of sales reps agree.

Even if it’s not 100 percent geared toward sales purposes, 67 percent of marketing teams think the custom content they’re producing is at least somewhat effective. Sales teams beg to differ – around 43 percent think the assets they’re given are somewhat effective, while nearly 20 percent think they’re somewhat ineffective and 8 percent think they’re very ineffective (in other words, pretty useless).Marketing Content Effectiveness

So why is there such a disconnect and how can you bridge the gap? Sales says marketers don’t understand the customers well enough, while marketers say they don’t have enough time or resources to satisfy the other team’s demands. Each department has a job to do and goals to hit, but they need to work together to be successful. In today’s connected era, buyers expect a seamless experience and can easily spot misalignment across a brand.

How to create more effective assetsĀ 

Consult with sales leaders to ensure the content your teams publish accurately reflects customers’ concerns. (This can also help with SEO goals now that Google launched the Hummingbird algorithm). Question mapping can help – by finding out which queries sales reps field on a regular basis, you can start to build assets to answer those FAQs. It also pays to be responsive and repurpose when necessary. Perhaps a resource already fulfilled its marketing purpose, but it could also become a useful sales tool if it were revised with a new angle.

It will become even more crucial that marketers empower their sales teams because content isn’t just about SEO or engagement anymore – it’s about lead generation and conversions, too. Brafton reported that 67 percent of CMOs expect content marketing campaigns to drive ROI this year, a forecast that will only grow as content creation becomes a bigger focus of their strategies in the future.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.