No doubt, the volume of sales content has exploded in recent years—ranging from whitepapers, to case studies, to product overviews, to podcasts. But even though sales people continue to create a growing list of content to influence the buyer’s journey, those buyers have less time to devote to researching purchases. In fact, the 2017 Content Preferences Survey Report reveals that more than one-third of buyers strongly agree they have fewer hours in the day to read up on potential purchases. Meanwhile, a Content Marketing Institute study finds that 55 percent of B2B marketers are unclear or unsure what success or effectiveness for content looks like.

“Content has fundamentally changed the way we prospect, nurture, and close deals,” says Courtney Chuang, content marketing manager for DocSend.

What’s more, when it comes to sales enablement content, the cost of misaligned objectives starts in the millions, states Chuang. Marketing Insider Group reports that for mid-market and enterprise companies, it’s estimated that unused or underused B2B content costs roughly $2 million to $2.3 million annually per company.

To gain clarity about the effectiveness of sales enablement content, From Strategy to Execution, 6 Sales Content Benchmarks Every Business Needs, the latest Sales Content Benchmarks Report from DocSend leveraged more than 34 million content interactions on DocSend's platform to uncover six critical benchmarks for using content in the sales cycle. 

“Taken in aggregate, these 34 million interactions paint a detailed portrait of when, where, and how prospects consume content during the sales process,” says Chuang. Specifically, the data helps answers such questions as:

  • When should you optimize sales content for mobile?
  • What are the best times to share sales content?
  • What types of sales content perform best?
  • What’s the optimal length for sales content?

For instance, the study reveals that prospects spend less than three minutes, on average, on sales content. While three minutes may not seem like very much time, prospects often make important judgments about your product as soon they start reading. DocSend recommends sales organizations track the average viewing time across their content to identify collateral that’s effectively capturing prospects’ attention and collateral that might need to be reworked or shelved.

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Another finding focuses on mobile content. Specifically, although there’s a lot of hype in support of creating and delivering mobile sales enablement content, eight in 10 prospects in the DocSend study still view sales content on desktop. And it makes sense, says Chuang, because prospects involved in important purchasing decisions are likely doing their research during work hours.

What does that mean for content creators? DocSend advises content developers to stop optimizing every piece of content for all devices and screen sizes. “Focus on crafting content that performs well on desktop, and use the extra real estate to make your content easy to digest,” suggests Chuang.

Bottom line: Sales teams would be wise to align sales and marketing content around the buyer’s journey. “By defining benchmarks for success and implementing the methods needed to track it, sales and marketing teams can get and stay on the same page and build rapport with prospects,” says Chuang.

For advice on how to do just that, check out From Strategy to Execution, 6 Sales Content Benchmarks Every Business Needs.