I was told a story this week about a large corporate that had hired an in-house copywriter to write articles about events and trends in the sector that they played in. The company had then purchased an Employee Advocacy solution to deliver the articles created to the sales team. The plan was that they would then share the articles with their networks and clients.
The problem was that the sales team then did not share, leaving Marketing frustrated and angry. The centrally-held view was that the salespeople were unspeakably lazy; marketing had gone to such huge efforts to put the tools in the hands of the salespeople "all they had to do was push one button!"
However, a successful sales team is normally extraordinarily hard-working so time was taken to talk to the Head of Sales whose response was down the lines of "I'm not sharing that with my clients, it'll reflect badly on the company. There's nothing in that article that you couldn't find in two minutes on Google"
The point of the story was that broadcasting content to Sales in the hope that it'll get amplified does not work if the Sales team cannot see a clear business reason for sharing the content. It doesn't matter how easy it is, a good salesperson will not, and should not, do anything that might damage their relationship with their client.
If the communications model can be changed slightly so relationship-holders actively feed suggestions back to expert content creators, things change dramatically. Instead of Marketing broadcasting at Sales and hoping for the best, there is a conversation about how to deliver what's best for the client.
An excellent example of this is that used at Atos, the Digital Transformation behemoth. Catherine Howard, VP of Marketing, who heads up their financial services sector globally, has structured their marketing on vertical lines with weekly reviews with sales so:
"[there is a] very open conversation and dialogue that takes place... we need that feedback because without it we can't improve the return on the campaigns that we are running".
The excellent interview points out: Marketing can point Sales at the right content to share with customers - making sales a content marketing channel.
As Stephen Hawking says below, we just need to keep talking.
Mankind's greatest achievements have come about through the power of communication.