Industrial Musicals: Destroying Your Excuses for Not Enabling Sales with Content

3 minute read

Upland Admin

Image Credit: David Murray. Text added.

If you don’t think you have time to create sales enablement materials, this article should change your tune.

First of all, marketers spend a ton of time producing content, but they rarely go that extra step to help sales get the most out of it.

Content is great for generating new leads. Content is great for nurturing those leads.

But what about closing deals? Yes! Content is great for that, too. And as Jesse Noyes points out on the Salesforce blog, it’s not that hard to give sales what they need to close deals with content.

Now, let’s introduce a comparison to show you just how easy you have it. Because…

You Could Be Writing Musicals

Think creating a short description of a content asset is too much? Don’t want to write an email template for sales for the new eBook? Well, you could be writing entire musicals and, I promise you, that would be a lot more time-consuming.

Turns out, companies once produced entire musicals for sales conventions. Often performed only once, these full-scale, Broadway-style, song and dance spectaculars had full casts, scripts, lights, costumes, dance routines, and, of course, lavish musical numbers. The goal? To introduce an audience of salespeople to new products and explain how to pitch them.

This takes sales enablement to an entirely new level.

These industrial musicals told stories of debilitating pain points and heart-warming benefits, shared lyrics examining the unique value proposition of a feature, and acted out scenes filled with the right brand messaging for pitching that new product.

Industrial musicals were created to “educate and entertain and motivate the salesforce so they would leave the business meeting…revved up to sell more bathtubs or typewriters or tractors or insurance plans,” says Steve Young, the author of Everything’s Coming Up Profits: The Golden Age of Industrial Musicals.

That’s pretty legit.

Dying for an example of one of these tunes? NPR’s Fresh Air plays cannot-miss excerpts from “My Bathroom,” a song written and performed for an American Standard sales convention. While many of the songs from this particular musical are about bathroom fixtures, “My Bathroom” is deemed a “sentimental ballad” and even “an anthem” of the bathroom fixture business.

Take a listen. If you don’t have that song stuck in your head for the rest of your day, then you’re probably not human.

Enabling Sales with Content

Even though industrial musicals were performed as late as the 1990s, your organization has probably retired this form of sales enablement. But what’s taken it’s place?

Technical product specs, competitive sell sheets, customer success stories, pitch decks…all of these things are used to support sales. But now that marketing owns the top half of the funnel, marketing is spending more of their time and resources creating thought leadership content to generate traffic, leads, and new business. And on the sales side of things, reps are expected to be experts in industry trends and best practices, and to participate in social selling.

To help sales be seen as thought leaders, and to get the most out of content assets that marketing is working hard to produce, it’s time to add email templates for sharing content assets, descriptions of those assets, even sample tweets and social updates to the sales enablement mix. 

The alternative? Well, you could always bring back the industrial musical. Up to you.

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