“Poor fellow, he suffers from files.” — Aneurin Bevan.
Getting anything done fast is hard when you’re part of a large enterprise. A large organization has more staff and extra layers of bureaucracy. Finding out who’s responsible for what can feel like navigating a maze.
For example, you might be creating catalogs, newsletters, and product sheets. Then, you need a customer testimonial. If you’re at a tiny startup company, a sales rep who could help you might be one desk away. However, at a large firm, you might need to do some searching to find help, receive approvals, and then get someone to sign off on the final product. The root of the problem is distance.
Distance at your firm might not be a matter of feet and inches. Distance could mean separate time zones, bosses who are too busy, new employees you haven’t worked with, or different languages. If your support is out of reach, you’re less inclined to ask for help. A simple task can soon morph into major stress.
To be an effective seller or marketer, you need to act quickly on specific information with clear objectives. In large organizations, having more people involved can slow things down, negatively impacting your appeal to timing. When timing is off, purpose gets muddied which can hurt your credibility with prospects making it difficult to close.
How do you maintain speed in an expansive business? How do you put new marketing materials in place quicker and more efficiently? To begin, start by getting to know your buyer.
Buyers are begging for quick and easy solutions
Before engaging with a salesperson, 40 percent of people consume between three and five pieces of material, such as a blog, website, or white paper. A quarter of those surveyed in an industry report said they consume between five and seven pieces of content before reaching a deal with a sales rep.
For customers doing deep dives into your content before making purchasing decisions, it’s important to make the process fast, easy, and fruitful. Companies that provide quality, intuitive experiences gain trust. Close to two-thirds of people strongly agree that a vendor’s credibility improves when content is easier to access.
How do you make sure you’re meeting customer expectations when you’re in a company with hundreds or thousands of people?
8 tips to quickly creating sales and marketing content
In your everyday work, you don’t often get the chance to think about how you work. Don’t let that oversight continue. Use the following tips as a springboard. Find out how to remain nimble and targeted when your team is large, distributed, and complex:
1. Find the professionals.
If you want the best content, then find the best creators. Sometimes talent will be internal. Often, these people work for someone else or are freelancers. While outsourcing or hiring might be more expensive in the short term, an internal solution could save money in the long term. Weigh your options and find the right quality at the right price.
2. Be a lifelong learner.
In today’s economy, you have to keep upskilling as the market changes and technology advances. Round out your sales and marketing expertise by learning best practices in content creation. Maybe take a class or online tutorial in graphic design or copywriting. Even if you don’t become an expert, you’ll develop some design vocabulary so you can effectively evaluate the work of others.
3. Use project management software.
Do you struggle to balance your time, objectives, and budget? Plenty of software solutions are available for project management. They can help you find the balance you’re lacking. Think of them as interactive whiteboards that help you apply sensible methodologies to save time and money. They’re surprisingly easy to set up and will pay for themselves before long.
4. Find your brand’s voice.
A consistent brand voice doesn’t have to mean monotone. Crafting a voice requires a strategy. A cohesive narrative to your design reinforces recognition. Each viewing builds upon the last. From a budgeting perspective, you’ll want to reuse visual elements. Do you find yourself slow on material creation due to lack of inspiration? Then ask yourself, “What would the brand say?” Think about ways to reuse, recycle, or repurpose content.
5. Crown a content champion.
If content is everybody’s responsibility, it soon becomes nobody’s responsibility. To avoid slip-ups, select one person as your “content champion.” This individual is in charge of auditing your current stock of content, forecasting future needs, and keeping the content pipeline full. Often, marketing material gets held up because 20 different people need to approve it. Establishing a content leader will help you simplify and optimize.
6. Sort your customers.
“Every single interaction, the most minute details of the interaction you have with your customer, are an opportunity for you to create something remarkable.” — Joey Coleman, Chief Experience Composer at Design Symphony.
Go deeper on profiling and categorizing customers. Which of your customers want a quick transaction, and who wants a slower, more consultative process? Is the buyer interested in a market overview or detailed product specs? Do they need reassurance right before the sale? Tailor your sales material to suit each client. When you use sales content that speaks to a client’s unique business needs, you’ll close more business.
7. Don’t underestimate the gap between marketing and sales.
Sellers and marketers don’t always get along. When something goes wrong, sales blames marketing and vice versa. How do you rectify the discord? Try a walkthrough with both departments, letting each one see how the other works. As an alternative, write up a formal agreement between parties. Your ultimate goal is to get sales and marketing on the same page so your marketing content is more effective and sales revenue increases.
8. Eliminate the busywork.
You need to decrease the time spent between phases of creation. What are these phases? They might include brainstorming, drafting, proofing, or testing. Find processes you can skip and elaborations to avoid. Can you have some phases running in parallel? Look for opportunities to create tandem tracks for your projects. Start with what absolutely must be done, such as legal compliance, and then work backward to see where you can cut wasted efforts.
Great content surprises
“The backbone of surprise is fusing speed with secrecy.” — Carl Von Clauselwitz.
What makes for fabulous sales and marketing material? Surprise. You want to astound your customer with how much value your company brings. To delight and surprise, you need to be fast enough to lead in your market space.
As Clauselwitz suggests, you should be somewhat secretive about a surprise. However, keeping secrets is hard when you’re working with a large group. When organizations get larger, it’s a fact of life that some of your autonomy and influence drops.
Excelling in a big company is possible, you just need to be strategic. The only way to operate within the intricacies of larger organizations, including supply chains, partners, and bureaucracies, is to learn from them. The tips above are eight small steps in the direction of dealing with complexity and becoming a faster marketer in a large enterprise.