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When Content Problems Show Up In Sales Calls

Updated: Nov 27, 2019

A real-world example of the negative downstream impact of undisciplined content production.

Not long ago, a VP Marketing at a fast-growth SaaS platform called us to say, “We have a problem. We’re good at generating leads. Sales people are getting conversations. But when prospects show up for the call, they’re not clear on what we do.”

“Sales is telling us that their salespeople have to spend way too much time educating people one-at-a-time over the phone.”

This happened one too many times, it seems, and ended with sales eventually bringing this problem to the marketing VP with the question, “What’s going on?”

For a while leading up to this, marketing seemed to be doing a good job.

Content was being produced at a rapid pace. Articles, e-books, webinars and infographics – all beautifully designed – were being downloaded. Clicks and likes and shares were happening all over LinkedIn. And prospects were showing up for calls.

“So we need better content,” the VP marketing concluded. In his mind, that was the solution.

He was partially right. But in his eagerness to jump right to a solution, he did what so many marketers do, which is to identify the problem and the solution in the same breath.

“It is a common mistake to move in a nanosecond from identifying a tough problem to proposing a solution for it.”
— Ray Dalio

There were a few tell-tale flags that the problem was systemic:

  • Hyper focus on analytics. The marketing team knew the metrics forward and backwards and, in their mind, were doing an excellent job.

  • Disparate people making content. Content wasn’t being produced in a systematic way. Topics and campaigns seemed to emanate from lists of ideas that just sounded like good topics to write about.

  • Lack of communication internally. Marketing and sales were reportedly in regular contact. And we don’t doubt it was true… but what were they talking about? What was the nature of their communication? What kind of information was shared, and how regularly?

For this VP, however, there was an urgent need to “handle,” the problem and their response was to jump into a process of getting quotes to produce “X number of content pieces per month.” A lot of time was spent looking at proposals, but the systems issues were never addressed.

How would you respond to this problem? Our approach is to look at the system, and see what’s not working, then create a content system for bankable growth – so that problems like this one don’t keep happening. And so that marketing does a better job of serving external and internal clients, with a system in place that everyone can rely on.

Take a Systems Approach to Creating Clear and Consistent Content

As a B2B agency, Mowry & Savage delivers content for lead generation and nurturing to help CMOs drive growth. But we do it using an approach that’s grounded in systems thinking.

If you’re interested in learning more, book a 30-minute call with Pete Savage, Client Services Director at Mowry & Savage. On this no-obligation call, we’ll talk about your biggest obstacles to growth as you see them, and we’ll introduce you to our content system for bankable growth.