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How Your Biz Dev Team Can Shrink the Sales Cycle With Content

By Kelsey Meyer

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If your company is like most, your business development team likely doesn’t have enough qualified leads and struggles to educate and convert the leads it does have.

Too often, content is only seen as a marketing strategy, and companies miss out on the advantages it offers sales teams. Don’t leave your business development team struggling when you have a solutionContent is perfect for generating leads and closing the sales loop.

Not all content is created equal, though. Different formats, approaches, and material can aid prospects at distinct points in the sales process, so that’s why it’s important to stay organized using an in-house editorial calendar.

Here, we’ll dive into the types of content you should develop to support your salespeople and explain how they can effectively utilize that content.

Content That Attracts Qualified Leads

If your team wants to get more qualified leads, we suggest creating a content funnel that can attract, educate, and convert readers into leads.

It looks like this:

Funnel2

The content you publish in external publications needs to be authored by experts on your team, and it should provide value to the reader instead of attempting to sell. Within this content, you should link to an article on your blog that provides the reader with additional knowledge on the topic.

Once readers have read an article in an external publication and clicked through to your blog, they are engaged. At this point, you have a prime opportunity to provide gated content such as an e-book, whitepaper, or template. This resource should be valuable enough that readers will give their email addresses in exchange for it.

At Influence & Co., our content team consistently publishes unique guides and templates that aim to help readers overcome common pain points. For example, streamlining the content creation process isn’t easy without a concrete starting point, and that’s why we created a downloadable Knowledge Management Template that marketers can use to get organized. Addressing common problems and offering free, helpful materials will build trust with readers, position your company as a go-to resource, and open the door for potential sales conversations.

With a similar strategy in place, your business development team will be thrilled with the qualified leads that come through the funnel. Instead of simply seeing an ad, leads will have already read multiple articles or long-form pieces from your company and will be much more willing to jump on a sales call.

Content That Educates Throughout the Sales Cycle

Some sales teams are fortunate to have a flood of leads, whether through a content funnel (shown above), client referrals, or other marketing channels. In this case, generating new leads isn’t the main pain point.

The issue, however, is educating leads. Many of these leads will have the same questions, and content can help bridge that knowledge gap more efficiently  before the salesperson ever gets involved.

This is when you need to develop content that answers those common questions and showcases yourcompany’s expertise and credibility.

Use the knowledge management template to keep track of the questions that prospective clients ask, and look to the content you’ve already created to see whether it answers these questions. If not, write blog posts and external articles that explain how prospects can overcome these issues, and arm your salespeople with this content so they can share relevant articles with leads, tackle their objections, and give the company a credibility boost.

Content can streamline the sales process by allowing your sales team to educate and nurture leads more efficiently. By creating content that’s specifically geared toward helping the sales team communicate answers to common questions and overcome objections, you’re maximizing the value of each article while prepping leads to become more valuable customers.

the-science-behind-getting-100-leads

Posted on April 28, 2015

About Kelsey Meyer

Kelsey is the President and cofounder of Influence & Co. She loves reading, learning, golf, orange Gatorade, and, most importantly, her amazing I&Co. team.

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