Only 9 percent of content created in enterprise marketing departments is viewed more than five times by the sales department, according to Docurated's latest State of Sales Enablement report. 

Apart from an apparent lack of strategy around content creation, marketing and sales teams are not communicating and appear to be creating content in silos.

Sales enablement includes a combination of the people, processes and tools used to get the right content in front of the right person to move a sales opportunity forward.

More than $66 billion is spent annually on sales training and sales enablement technology to support sales reps, Docurated estimates. 

But there is a huge divide between the marketing and sales departments — and the sales team is basically ignoring content marketing produces on its behalf.

state of sales enablement statistics

Digging Into the Numbers

The Docurated surveyed 1,376 sales and marketing professionals across more than 200 enterprises. It also pulled conclusions from an analysis of three billion content objects that the Docurated platform has handled in the past four years, and added  insights from 20,271 closed deals to assess the most effective content.

Fergal Glynn, VP of Marketing at Docurated, said neither sales nor marketing appear to understand what the other is doing. Marketing is producing content in isolation, guessing what the sales reps want without a full understanding of their needs, he explained. In addition, there are challenges distributing the material. Sales often has little understanding of the content that exists or where to find it.

Finding Content

Despite efforts to simplify IT infrastructure, the number of repositories continues to grow. Storage repositories include local and shared drives, cloud storage services, email, wikis, file servers, SharePoint, CRMs and sales enablement systems that require the creation of a separate content repository. About 68 percent of organizations have five or more storage repositories creating considerable difficulties in finding and surfacing the right content for the right occasion.

Enterprises also underestimate the amount of content they store. On average each employee stores 273 files. So at a typical 10,000 person company, you can extrapolate some 2.73 million documents.

The research also found a divergence between what marketing is producing and what sales people want and use.“It seems sales people only want content like customer references and case studies or Return on Investment and Total Cost of Ownership tools,” Glynn said.

“But marketing is also creating corporate data sheets, white papers and solution overviews and videos that sales people don’t want and don’t need – they don’t use that stuff at all.”

Telling in this respect is the fact that content created by sales reps was used in 61 percent of the closed deals analyzed. Content created by marketing was used only 26 percent in the same situation.

Wasted Efforts

The data from Docurated shows that Sales creates 40 percent of the content companies have at their disposal compared to Marketing’s 30 percent.

The research identified a new or emerging breed of marketer that is more in line with sales reps and sales practices.

The new marketer, Glynn said, is measuring the success of content against the revenue pipelines and new business generated.

“Most marketers now assess themselves based on the number of leads generated, but leads don’t mean a lot. There are so many places that you can and get low quality leads. There is the common compliant that sales don’t follow up on the leads, but they follow up because of poor quality,” he said.