How to create content for selling: part one

We inform on how to empower your sales team with content.

The future of B2B sales

The role of content in sales

In a world where you are only as good as your last content initiative, why is it that 60 – 70% of content churned out by B2B marketers goes unused?

With the increased focus on the role of marketing in the sales journey, and the pressure on sales to deliver despite having little influence, how can content help?

Let’s keep this simple. 

Companies consistently want to sell more. And marketers are tasked with making this easier through their various methods, resources and channels. Clever marketers know they need to be challenging audiences with insight, so as to reach the multiple buyers when they are learning, not buying.

In the ‘information economy’, content needs to play a more impact full role than before. Thought leadership only serves to explain the benefits of ‘alternative action’ but true commercial insight – highlighting the ‘cost of inaction’ – is significantly more compelling, especially when selling.

Making the link between content marketing and sales can be challenging to prove if done carelessly. The simple way to overcome this is by equipping your sales team with the same insight you produce in a stretegic, appropriate way – giving them the tools to disseminate it and thus implicitly giving them the the power to unlearn and re-teach their targets on the point.

Engaging sales — the internal communications battle

Your internal stakeholders (eg. sales team) are ‘paid’ to read your content – if they don’t engage with it, why would your prospects?

  1. Speak to each other: Meet with your sales team regularly, and have a concise but flexible content calendar. Get ideas from them — they are front and centre of client needs- and collaborate on the execution.
  2. Make it easy: Build a useful internal content bank with explanatory notes, templates and trackable links so your sales team can keep it front of mind while you are keeping things ‘on message’.
  3. Communicate cleverly: Communicate with your sales team (and other internal stakeholders) with the same enthusiasm and finesse you do with prospects. Focus on headlines, engage with stats, be independent and use real insight to help them in their day to day conversations. Have an internal comms strategy for every piece of flagship content you create.
  4. Compare and contrast: There are countless anecdotes on how the use of content in sales has dramatically shortened sales cycles, built trust and increased revenue. Help internal stakeholders to see this by doing a ‘landscape audit’ of their competitors content activity.
  5. Evaluate: Most companies evaluate their external communications with predeterminated metrics. To monitor engagement with content initiatives, take a similar tack. Employee surveys, intranet open rates and water cooler conversations are helpful barometers.

When should you engage a buyer? Find out in part two.