Content marketing is often undervalued because it doesn’t directly lead to revenue. Your content may be generating numerous good leads, but the sales team will generally get the credit for converting those leads to actual orders. With some extra effort, however, you can show how content marketing also helps your sales reps to close leads.
One of the objectives of your content marketing will be to build authority for your brand. When this extends to sales as well, it can help reps to build relationships with prospective customers and ultimately close deals. Buyers tend to engage more with thought leaders, so if your sales reps share useful content through their own social media channels, preferably with an informed commentary of their own, it will demonstrate how they understand the needs of your customers.
Relationships are increasingly being formed digitally
Many companies are moving over to an inside sales model, mainly because of the drastic savings (possibly as much as 90%) and the increased openness of clients to remote selling. Without the benefit of face-to-face contact, sales reps face much more difficulty in building relationships with potential clients.
Buyers are often looking to solve a particular issue. If a sales rep can point a potential customer to relevant website content, it helps to form a human connection by showing how the sales rep cares about the customer’s issues. You can aid this process by forwarding relevant articles to the sales department together with a brief explanation of why buyers may find them useful.
Decisions are often made by committees
It’s hard enough to convince one person of the value of your product, but this person does not always have the authority to close a deal. When it comes to large B2B deals, the final decision will usually be made by a committee, with your sales reps usually having no direct contact with them. This means that they need to rely on their contact in the organisation to “sell” your product to the rest of the committee.
The first challenge here is for sales reps to maintain the momentum until the committee meets. It’s much easier for reps to maintain contact with these clients if they can offer something of value, and this could come in the form of studies or reports from your content strategy.
If your sales reps do their work well, the contact will become convinced of the value of your product, but he or she may need help championing it to the rest of the company. This help can come in the form of content that illustrates how your company solves problems. Given that executives are busy people, easily digestible content like infographics are preferable to lengthy case studies.
Content helps sales
As you can see from above, a content marketing strategy can be directly helpful to sales efforts. In addition, when the sales team gets to grips with the personas for the target audience and reads your content, it can help them to speak the same language as their prospects and make connections with them more easily.