With 95 percent of B2B enterprise marketers using content marketing, the value isn’t difficult to see. But one asset companies often overlook and underutilize is the application of strategic content for the sales team. Strategically creating and leveraging content can qualify leads and shorten the sales cycle, yet many salespeople haven’t explored this tactic.
This article will outline the different ways your sales team can use content to build more meaningful and lucrative relationships, overcome objections, and showcase your company’s expertise to close deals faster.
For the purpose of this article, we define content as expert articles your key employees create and publish on an internal publication (e.g., your company blog) or a third-party publication targeted toward your customer segments.
Here are five ways you can apply this content to the sales process:
1. Overcoming objections
You know your sales team constantly faces the same objections. So why not create content around that concern and get it published on a third-party site? Once it’s published online, your salespeople can simply send a link to the article in a follow-up email to validate their response. Prospects will see that you understand their concern, and responding with a well-written article from your CEO or EVP will put their objections at bay.
2. Garnering the first click
The first click is always the hardest to get. Once you secure that initial click to a site you control, you can begin the marketing process and use tools such as retargeting to stay in front of that prospect as the sales rep tries to engage him. By sending a highly targeted and relevant article to a prospect without asking for anything in return, you deliver value and give that person an easy, relaxed avenue for engaging with your brand.
3. Gathering customer insights
You’re ultimately creating content to benefit your customers or prospects. This is a great opportunity to reach out to them and gain an understanding of the challenges they face in your area of expertise. Gauging feedback will help you relate to prospects more closely and develop content that addresses these worries and facilitates a conversation. This is another great touchpoint your sales reps can use as they work with leads.
4. Closing the feedback loop
Marketing and sales are often more detached than they should be. If your marketers play nice and assist salespeople with developing this content, they’ll be more plugged into what’s actually happening on the ground with sales and can collaborate their efforts for a more impactful result.
5. Developing deeper relationships
Create content with strategic partners. This process will help you understand what’s important to them and find ways to add value to the relationship.
Implementing these strategies is a powerful way to equip your sales team to be more effective. But salespeople have to understand the value of using content before they’ll buy into these new techniques. Position content as a handy tool they can add to their sales toolkit. Emphasize its ability to qualify leads and save them time down the road, and involve them in the content creation process (whether they’re writing articles or strategizing potential topics) so they can seamlessly incorporate it into the sales process.
I know what you’re thinking: This all sounds great, but how do I get started creating and distributing this content for my sales team? For a thorough explanation of the process and necessary people you need to execute a solid strategy, check out this article and this one, too.
Content is a valuable asset your marketing team has likely discovered. But don’t overlook its ability to drive the sales process. By uniting these efforts, you can help your sales team close more leads and develop better relationships with customers.