Using Content Analytics to Shorten the Sales Cycle

Today’s competitive sales environment requires sales to make a connection with prospects at a faster rate than before. Decision makers in business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions are taking more time before making buying decisions. The average sales cycle takes nearly 20% longer than 5 years ago.

According to a Corporate Executive Board study, 60% of those decision makers in the sales cycle make a decision to buy through content and online resources. This means that three-fifths of your potential customers rely on information you provide online, via your website, social media, blogs and email blasts to shape their purchasing decision before speaking with you or your sales reps.

While marketing teams are often sophisticated at educating buyers during this research phase, the new challenge marketers face is determining how to help enterprise sales teams stay top-of-mind and streamline sales cycles with prospective buyers once they do engage. By the time prospects are engaged with sales it’s critical to provide content that is less-generic and more targeted.

Sales Engagement through Content

One way to combat longer sales cycles is to identify how content is consumed by prospects and used by sales teams throughout the buying cycle and proactively make recommendations. This is where tracking through content analytics can really payoff.

With robust tracking tools available it’s easier than ever to understand how, where and in what stage prospects are engaging with specific types of content. This enables a better understanding of how prospects use content and helps enterprises keep prospects engaged. After all, getting the right content in the prospect’s hands at the right time is the real challenge and the key to shorten the sales cycle.

Using Analytics to Pinpoint How Prospects Interact with Content

This is where you want tools that can not only help you develop relevant content but also understand how content is used based on opportunity stage, role, product line, etc. so marketers can improve ROI of content investments and respond to customer needs in a more timely fashion.

The Genwi system offers key performance indicators that provide details of what content each customer is viewing, tracking the time and completion of content items, as well as giving insight into other content that buyers may be viewing. Marketers can better gauge the effectiveness of the content, and then develop better tools and content calendars to support sales initiatives and customer needs.