This time of year, we are drowning in holiday ads that are designed to inspire gift purchases. Clearly, marketers are taking advantage of this seasonal urgency. Stores are vying for consumers’ attention with a compelling message for THEIR product right when purchase decisions are being made.

While B2B sales may not have the same urgency of a holiday season, it is a good reminder that selling principles are basically the same. You want to be the one offering a great solution when the customer is facing a problem and needs help.

After all, discovering the perfect gift for a loved one on December 26th won’t have nearly the same impact.  

We’ve often heard that content is king. Instead -  consider that TIMING is king. And we aren’t just talking about content used during the B2B marketing phase. Once a lead is passed off to sales, when the content is presented can be a critical part of winning a new customer.

You could have the best content in the world, but if it is presented too early or too late in the buyer’s journey, it simply falls on deaf ears.  

Seven Tips for Timing Winning Content Delivery

  1. Develop an inventory of quality content such as whitepapers, fact sheets, specifications, case studies, etc. Include a variety of appealing formats such webinars, short videos, graphs, and infographics.
  2. Centralize the content to be easily found by the sales team so they can access right when they need it – during a sales conversation. Have a system where intelligent searches are within a click or two.
  3. Enable sales reps to organize, identify favorite pieces, and share content on any device—online or offline.
  4. Have additional prompts and “how to tips” for the sales team to deliver the content. Sales enablement platforms can provide in-the-moment coaching tips, plays, and next-best actions for fast, flawless sales execution.
  5. Have the ability to get real-time alerts when prospects open content, so sales reps can follow up when the prospect is looking at the information.
  6. Know what content WORKS in winning deals. Pay attention to WHEN the pieces of content were actually used during the process.  Machine learning algorithms can track this important information and suggest which content should be presented when.
  7. Allow instant feedback from sales reps to the marketing team on how the content is working and gain insights about the market and the buyers. Tracking on what connects with prospects is invaluable for creating quality consistent marketing content.

In a CMI (Content Marketing Institute)-Marketing Profs study, 64 percent of marketing professionals stated their biggest challenge was producing enough content, with 52 percent of the respondents concerned about producing truly engaging content.  This suggests marketers were more concerned with quantity rather quality.  

However, by taking the steps above and using technology to measure effectiveness, it may actually be possible to create less content that has more impact.  In addition, technology can be used to accurately document what content was used and the timing.  While each buyer will be different, patterns and similarities will emerge and machine learning will make the correlations and become more accurate the longer it collects data.  It provides sales reps repeatable patterns that work and marketers true insight into their content ROI.  

The strategy for creating compelling and effective content relies on a key proficiency - tracking exactly which content led to sales.  Now, another component is at the forefront – WHEN the content is used.   Fortunately, technology can connect the dots for us and make us better at mastering time. And that is a real gift.


Brian Fravel is VP of Marketing at Veelo, an award winning cloud based marketing and sales enablement provider. Brian is a frequent contributor on topics related to learning, sales and marketing, and sales enablement solutions. Connect with him on Linkedin and Twitter.