How Content Can Help Your Sales Team Close More Deals
Providing your customers online with useful content is not only beneficial to your website’s success, but also to your company’s bottom line. Research shows that when a business provides prospective customers with information that interests them, they’re more likely to make a purchase. 90% of consumers find custom content useful and 78% believe that organizations providing custom content are interested in building good relationships with them. However, according to HubSpot, “only 20% of salespeople actually use content to engage prospects and clients. For marketers, this leaves us with a big question: how do we leverage the content we’ve created to help salespeople bridge the gap, engage more prospects, and close the deal?” This can be done through a process called Sales Enablement, Let’s explore.
Quality Content To Educate Your Prospects
Providing quality, applicable information to target your potential customers is the key to engaging with them online. Educating people on a particular topic of interest is a great approach to offering them content that they find useful. First, this requires your company to conduct research to learn about what your customers are interested in. Your research should tell you which channels to use online to deploy your content, the particular audience you should be catering to, as well as the various content types you’ll want to consider.
If your sales team is looking for ideas on how to better connect with prospects, here are some tips:
- Build custom landing pages that populate the prospect’s name, company logo, and value props catered to their business needs.
- Host a live workshop that walks through industry best practices and helps troubleshoot common issues.
- Read up on the latest blog posts from your target companies’ blogs. Follow up on recent content pieces with additional tips and tricks they can leverage.
Tailor Content with a Problem-solving Approach
One of the best ways a sales rep can connect with a potential client is to help them solve a problem. The good news? Because of social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, we can do a significant amount of research and digging for valuable information, before ever talking to someone. Start by reviewing someone’s company social media profile to identify any areas that need improvement.
Next, explore trends and common problems within the industry your lead works in. One idea is to research your prospects’ news releases, as well as their company, followed by “.PPT” in Google. This type of search will pull up presentations performed by the prospect and give you more details of the organization. Ultimately, if customers think you are on top of things, they are more likely to want to continue the conversation.
The more helpful information you provide someone, the more you build trust. By educating and informing your target audience about their biggest challenges and pain points through blog posts and other types of content, you start to establish a relationship with customers and work to build trust based on the value that your content provides.
Empower Your Sales Team in 3 Steps
1. Find out what pain points and challenges your sales reps are hearing from their prospects.
It’s important to ensure that your sales reps and marketing experts have an open line of communication, to discuss the issues they’re hearing first hand from the customer. Consider holding a weekly meeting where your core team learns about the challenges your sales team are learning about from leads. This will allow your business to react quickly and prove the additional content your sales reps need to quickly close the deal.
Ask your sales team 4 questions to identify their pain points:
- What are some of the most common objections you hear on sales calls?
- What are the top reasons why prospective customers don’t buy?
- What are a few questions or points of confusion about our product/service that you hear repeatedly?
- What are the most common pain points or challenges you hear from prospects?
Create content to solve pain points and challenges
Ask your sales reps to write down the most common 5-10 challenges they face when they are doing their job. Then make it your marketing team’s goal to brainstorm how they can address each challenge, through the use of content. For example, perhaps one challenge that the sales reps face is not having enough information to provide a specific demographic on the effectiveness of social media efforts.
Analyze to understand what content performs the best
Did you know that (sales) reps spend about 15% of their day leaving voicemails? And only 20% of all sales emails are ever opened. This means 80-85% of sales outreach efforts are going unnoticed by those prospects you’ve worked so hard to capture with content. By regularly analyzing the effectiveness of your sales efforts, you’ll be able to pinpoint where improvements can be made and additional, more tailored content can be provided to potential new leads.
How to Ensure Your Leads are Eager to Talk to You
There are several important steps to take to ensure your leads are excited and willing to talk to you.
1. First, determine the method of contact
“… A mentor told me that if you are hiding behind your computer then you have not asked all of the hard questions. If the interaction feels personal — if prospects feel that you understand their situation and can provide something of value, even if it is only information — then the relationship is going somewhere” (SAVO). Consider whether phone outreach, social media efforts or email blasts are the most effective way to talk to your leads. This will require some trial and error.
2. Next, decide the timing of your contact
According to Pushing Social, “an old lead is a dead lead. Create a process that puts qualified leads in your sales team’s hands within minutes, not days.” The quicker your sales team can initially reach out to a lead with quality content and get the conversation rolling, the better.
3. Last, be persistent, yet considerate in your communication
The sales process needs to be agile, data-driven, and timely. It’s important to note that not all leads are at the same stage in their buying process, therefore your follow-up needs to be appropriate for each particular lead. Also, keep in mind that providing potential customers with quality content is the way to go, rather than mundane, scripted follow up efforts.
In summary, it’s time to bridge the gap between your sales and marketing departments by better equipping your sales team. First, begin by researching your buyer’s demand, then determining the correct messaging and channels for your efforts. By providing leads with quality, engaging content that directly applies to them, your sales team will begin to develop meaningful relationships with customers. One of the biggest barriers that mid-sized businesses face when trying to get value out of content marketing is failure to align sales and marketing strategies.
At InCore we implement sales enablement strategies to help companies maximize the time that their sales teams spend selling, and ensure that they are as effective at this task as possible.