Content marketing and sales are two distinct departments in a business. But it’s wrong to say that they have no connection with each other at all. In fact, when content marketing and sales work together, you’re more likely to have “happily-ever-after” endings for your business.
Here are some statistics to clear your doubts:
- When content marketing and sales teams work together, they are 67 percent better at closing deals
- Almost 90 percent of teams that align content marketing and sales report an increase in leads and conversions
- Aligning sales and marketing teams leads to 24% faster three-year revenue growth and 27% faster three-year profit growth
Wondering how can sales teams help with content marketing?
Here are some ways
1. Use sales call for marketing content ideation
In the 2018 B2B Content Marketing Trends, 74 percent of respondents said they value creativity and craft in content creation and production. Undoubtedly, you’ll agree that creativity in the content creation process begins with coming up with topic ideas to create content on. Thankfully, this shouldn’t be difficult if you let your sales team help you.
Your sales team is in a good position to help with content ideas for every stage of the sales funnel. They’ll hear objections or problems prospects have with your product or service and it can help them create content addressing this problem, where they can easily direct prospects to instead of verbally responding to the same objection over and over again. If they’re not creating the content – which they should – they can send it over to the marketing department or your writers who will handle it better.
2. Don’t overlook sales’ content assets
An effective sales team will generally use some content resources to generate and close leads. Ideally, your sales team are often in the best position to create such content assets because they can easily gauge how important a problem is to prospects by their tone of voice and they can address these concerns by using terms the prospects are using. That has been proven to be a powerful copy-writing tactic that’s excellent for increasing conversions and sales.
Additionally, research has shown that up to 70 percent of marketing content is unused. It happens because content marketers create content that disinterests prospects because they don’t know what’s going on in a typical sales funnel.
People readily think of content like webinars, case studies, or white papers as good content assets for generating leads, but a demo is also great for lead generation.
3. Send sales leads to the marketing team
Sometimes sales teams have leads of their own they did not acquire through content marketing but maybe through companies that sell leads, or in-person events for example. After several follow-ups and conversations with these leads, they may still not be ready to buy yet. It’s not uncommon to have sales teams discard them as bad leads, but they should do better.
Cold-calling or buying leads works, but the fact is, not everyone will purchase from you initially. Maybe they’re not a part of just 19 percent of buyers who prefer to connect with a salesperson during the awareness stage of the buying process. And that’s okay.
Salespeople need to change tactics here.
Sending some of those leads to the marketing team for nurturing is a good idea. A Forrester report shows that 82 percent of customers viewed five or more pieces of content from the winning vendor before making a purchase. Those leads probably need content tailored to their unique stage in the sales funnel, and the marketing team should be on hand to deliver several pieces of content for their consumption.
4. Sales teams can help in creating more accurate buyer personas
Buyer personas help you determine who your target market is and the best way you can market to them. There are many ways you can create buyer personas, but Jeff summarizes it best with these questions:
What are their biggest problems and challenges in their job?
Where do they get their information from? Blogs, trade magazines, books?
What would stop them changing to your product or service?
What conferences do they attend?
How do they convince their boss to make a buying decision? Do they print off an ebook and put it on his desk?
What media do they consume? YouTube videos, white papers, podcasts?
Without personas, you’ll likely be creating content you think your audience wants and not content they really need. Personas make your content creation efforts more likely to succeed and strike a chord with your audience.
Your sales team is at the forefront of customer interaction, especially if you’re a startup is trying to get your first few customers, so they’re in a good position to help you with creating content your audience will devour.
When your content marketing and sales teams work as one, the benefits are enormous. However you choose to do it – whether in the actual content creation process or in creating buyer personas and content idealization – you can accomplish more with your content marketing efforts if you involve your sales team.
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