What do we mean when we talk about content enabling sales? This guest post for the Content Marketing Institute (lots of really great resources there) puts it in terms of the challenges faced by your sales people (field or inside) and how great content can help them do their job better.
Here's a sneak peek into the 5 reasons mentioned, with some comments from us:
1. "Sales reps need to be seen as thought leaders" - Thought leadership is about showing yourself to be an expert in your field. It establishes credibility. Usually, when we talk about thought leadership, we focus on the C-suite and the company as a whole, but it's important for your sales people to carry that credibility forward by showing that they also know their stuff. Ideally, they'll actually be following trends in your industry and helping generate the thought leadership content you all share but, if not, your marketing person can help generate, curate or collate the content.
2. "Sales reps need to build a relationship digitally" - In the digital age, every type of relationship is changing. Whether it's commercial, social or romantic, we're not getting face-to-face as often as before. Thought leadership content therefore serves a dual purpose, serving as a springboard for your sales people to get in direct touch with prospective buyers.
3. "Sales reps need to stay top of mind between long touch points" - B2B sales processes are long and complex, especially where technology is concerned. If you're in on the early part of the process, your solution helping define the problem that needs to be solved, additional information dripped to prospective buyers at regular intervals can ensure you stay in the running, so that your sales people get a chance to get in front of the buyer the first time (when the decision is 57% taken). As the process goes on and more people get involved, more targeted information keeps you ahead of the pack.
4. "Sales reps need to help their prospects sell internally" - About that targeted information: there are many people involved in the average buying decision. Latest figures (2016) from CEB in their B2B Brand Survey say 6.8 people is the average, up from 5.4 in 2013. That means 7 people have to say yes. And their reasons for doing so have a lot more to do with their own image than with the suitability of your solution (according to CEB). Content that specifically targets the functions involved and addresses their concerns will give buying-decision participants confidence in your solution and can encourage their advocacy.
5. "Sales reps need to understand their prospect’s world" - With fewer opportunities to get in front of the customer to ask questions, your sales people need to make a strong impact when they do get there. The research that goes into great content can be invaluable to customer-facing personnel of all types, putting everyone on the same page, and arming them with important intel that can help them impress.
Click here to read the CMI guest post.
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