In marketing everyone knows that content is king. But it doesn’t end there. Content plays a big role in the sales process, too. It helps establish value with prospects and customers, and build relationships with them.
Customers want information. They want to be educated in order to make informed decisions. Just as content can smother the lead nurturing process, with the wrong content, you could lose or miss out on important sales. However, a golden opportunity lies in wanting to educate prospects – the chance to persuade them. It lets you explain the problem to them in a way that leads them to be convinced that your offer is the best solution to the problem.
When your sales team understands the buying journey of your customers (how they make buying decisions, who influences the decisions, what convinces them etc.), and they understand the product you sell, they can talk to customers intelligently, convincingly and with authority. They help them find a solution to the problem rather than them just selling a product.
While the website is the hub of the content marketing strategy, it is useful to sales people to be able to direct customers there for easily accessible information. The other type of sales content formats that are effective are:
- Presentations (slides covering different topics)
- White papers (discussing topics in detail with stats to back it up)
- Videos (always accessible and always engaging for any kind of communication)
- Podcasts (for busy executives and other people who haven’t the time but can consume your content on the go)
Ways content helps sales reps and the overall sales process:
- Leveraging personalised content to land the first sales conversation.
- Building on the prospect’s content and tying in your value with it to create curiosity when they aren’t receptive to initial conversations about your own product.
- Nurturing a prospect with suitable content when they aren’t sales-ready by aligning your strategies to the way buyers consume content.
- Regularly sending out content to nurture customers in different stages of the sales cycle to build a relationship with them.
- Using content from satisfied customers (text or video contributions to a blog, content on a community forum, Twitter etc.) to advocate for the brand to help you close other deals.
- Bringing the sales team key takeaways of important marketing content pieces, target audience for those pieces and product mentions of an article from industry content or other publications the latest content to keep them abreast of what you’ve got so they are updated for customer calls.
- Employ visual content – especially videos – at all stages of the sales process to make content stick with customers and drive a high ROI.
- Use e-mail drip templates with video or tailored content that trigger automatically or manually to follow-through or reach leads as soon as first contact is made to have meaningful conversations with decision makers.
Content is communication. And sales works primarily in communicating with customers and prospects. And it doesn’t end with a sale! There are content factors that affect your business after the sale is made. So you can see how content plays an important role in the sales process and how important it is to recognise the content opportunities to convert leads.