If there’s one thing that bugs marketing managers the most, it’s when hours (and hours) spent crafting great content for the sales team goes to waste. It seems they don’t want to use the content, can’t find it, or simply prefer to carry on doing their own thing because ‘it’s not quite right’. Sound familiar?

The most important thing to remember when creating content for sales is that, while marketing should take the lead, the ‘secret sauce’ is to do so with considerable input from the sales team and, also (ideally), the customer service teams.

All the content in the world means next to nothing if your sales team doesn’t know where to access it or how to use it effectively. Here are five ways to help your sales team use the content you create:

1. Document your strategy

It’s important to develop your content marketing strategy with insights and input from the sales team. This is extremely helpful when developing audience personas, understanding your personas’ buyer journeys, and developing your key messaging - at the end of the day, your sales team are the closest people to your customers.

A well-documented plan with shared goals and terminology is the first step to getting everyone on the same page so that they share ownership and can collaborate.

The outcome is a central, accessible plan that details your approach in a way that all members of your organisation can understand (and be measured against).

2. Involve sales in the content creation process

Your sales team is one of the most valuable resources that marketing has, so don't leave all that gold in the ground. Tap into your sales team early in the process when you're laying out a strategy and work collaboratively with them during the entire content creation process.

If you have the capacity it may even be a good idea to help key sales team members write their own content. This guarantees that content addresses exactly what sales reps need it to while building their credibility and thought leadership in their field, which can help enable more productive sales conversations.

3. Share updates with newly published content

This may seem obvious, but when you’re working to multiple deadlines, it’s easy to forget to share the content you create with your team members - or simply assume everyone has seen it.

Every time you produce something, make sure you share it with your sales team. Share weekly or monthly updates to your sales team with links to all newly published content, quick blurbs describing what each piece is about and what sales can use it for.

Just created a handy video resource explaining exactly how your service works? Spell it out. Would your most recent blog article in a cred-boosting outside publication be a great hook for leads who have gone cold? Say so.

By taking this approach you're helping sales get into the mindset of using content to achieve their goals, which is a huge step towards aligning your teams.

4. Create a resource library

Don’t underestimate how short people’s memories are, or the fact that churn in sales staff leads to loss of shared knowledge. So make it as easy as possible for your sales team to find and use your sales content by creating a sales resource library. Consider organising it around common sales situations, including stage in the buyer’s journey, product or service, persona, or any other ways that make it quick and easy for your sales team to access.

And, don’t forget to share updates when new resources are added!

5. Share success and feedback

Content is not just for ‘contents sake’. It’s designed to generate results in the way of leads and customers for your organisation. So it’s vital to have the systems and processes in place to measure the success of your content efforts.

If sales can measure and see the impact on results the content you’re generating is creating, they are more likely to be engaged in content creation and use the content going forward. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy!

This is where having the right content marketing and sales enablement technology is vital. Platforms like HubSpot have baked-in functions that allow you to not only allow you to efficiently produce and distribute content but vitally, measure and report on its performance for your stakeholders.