How to Solicit Marketing Automation Content Suggestions from Sales - dummies

How to Solicit Marketing Automation Content Suggestions from Sales

By Mathew Sweezey

Your salespeople may have a lot of good ideas that you can use in your automated marketing. Remember that they are on the front lines; they get a lot of information and generally keep their ears pretty close to the action. They know what other companies are using, they see campaigns others are using, and they know what’s working and what isn’t.

Asking them for content suggestions is a great idea; however, you need some structure around this process. Here are ways to create that structure:

  • Use a form. You have a marketing automation tool that can make forms. You can use your form tool within your marketing automation tool to create a place where sales can give you feedback. This is an outside-the-box use of your new form-building tool, located within your marketing automation tool.

    Your form should have only a few fields. You might use a drop-down list for campaign type, such as email, white paper, and so on, and you should have a free text field in which sales staff can type an idea. Your form can also send an auto responder back out to the sales rep saying “Thank You.”

  • Make it clear that not all ideas will fly. Have a dialogue with people about your idea-creation process. They need to know that not all ideas make it to a full campaign.

    If you are not clear on this, many reps will think you don’t like their ideas. This may well be the case, but you need them on your side to keep giving you ideas and to help push these campaigns. Playing a bit of politics helps keep the relationship between the two departments at its best.

  • Put a bounty out. Another great way to get feedback on content ideas is to put a bounty on other companies’ collateral. You can use any prize you want, but incentivize your salespeople to find other companies’ content and send it to you. This approach eliminates their subjective input and just gets you what’s happening out there in your marketplace.

  • Sit in on sales meetings. This is the other best way to get content ideas. Your salespeople can voice their issues with deals and describe where they are stuck. Creating content to help them get around these issues is a big win for you — and them. Just listening to their meetings can be a great source of information.