Your Guide to Sales Content Reporting Best Practices: Part 1
So you want to know whether your sales content is working? You’re definitely not alone. According to a study by the Content Marketing Institute, here are the five most prevalent content challenges among B2B sales and marketing teams:
- Producing engaging content (60 percent)
- Measuring content effectiveness (57 percent)
- Producing content consistently (57 percent)
- Measuring ROI (52 percent)
- Lack of budget (35 percent)
All of these challenges are interconnected. After all, it’s hard to produce engaging content if you don’t know what makes it engaging or effective. And without an easy way to measure and prove ROI, it’s going to be tough to get the budget you need to fully embrace the power of sales content.
Okay, here’s one more stat that’s worth noting… According to Forrester, the average customer engages with 11.4 pieces of content before they make a purchase. Your prospects are definitely consuming the content your sales reps and marketers put out there. The question is whether that content is helping or harming.
That leads us to sales content reporting. In Part 1 we'll walk through some foundational principles, and in Part 2 we’ll dig into the best practices for starting sales reporting and making it useful on an ongoing basis.
3 Key Principles of Content Reporting
Principle #1: Not all sales content reports are created equal.
You could have reports up to your eyeballs and still have no idea whether your content is effective or not. The best sales content reports are ones that show you actionable, insightful, and easily interpretable data. Actionable is first on the list because it’s most often the roadblock in the process. The reports show data, but it’s not clear what needs to change.
Principle #2: Content reports need context.
If you take a look at the most effective and popular sales content reporting platforms out there, you’ll quickly notice a trend. The best reporting tools use big data analytics. That’s because without the context of big data, your reports will be strictly limited in their information.
How can you know if one piece of content is more effective than another piece if you’re not tracking and reporting on whether a higher percentage of the people who viewed Content A decided to make a purchase when compared to Content B? How do you know if Content A was even seen by any prospects at all? And on larger pieces of content, do you know when the prospect lost interest or what pages they focused on most?
This is all incredibly useful data, but without the context of big data (and the integration with other platforms like CRM and email), you’ll lose it.
Principle #3: You don’t have to settle for just a few KPIs.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are the numbers to watch. When it comes to sales content reporting, there are a few KPIs you’ll commonly see:
How many times did reps send a particular presentation, video, or guide to a potential buyer? This is likely your first data point that will put the rest of the KPIs in context.
Of the content that was actually sent by sales reps, how often did the buyer take a look at the attachment or click on the link? If there’s a significant drop-off between sends and views, it could be a sign that the sales reps need more training or that there’s a gap in available sales content, and thus a need for new content creation.
- Time Spent Viewing Content:
How long did prospects watch your videos or read through a whitepaper? This KPI can be displayed as actual minutes and seconds, which can be incredibly insightful. That eBook that you assumed buyers were spending 20 minutes on? Maybe it’s closer to 20 seconds.
- Another interesting data point is to look at percentages. Did they watch the entire video or just 13 percent? You could track per piece of content, per individual page, or both.
Did the prospect like the content enough to share it with someone else? That’s a sign of high-performing material!
- Content Leading to Most Wins (or Losses):
If you’ve connected all of your sales and marketing platforms via a big data sales enablement tool, you’ll be able to track what goes on with each opportunity and tie wins/losses to the content used for each. This is where sales content reporting becomes truly powerful.
- Keep in mind that KPIs are not one size fits all. Pick out the data that is relevant and useful to your organization.