These days, content can be found everywhere! This includes data reports, infographics, white papers, ebooks, videos, podcasts, webcasts, and webinars. When it comes to generating inbound leads, content for sales becomes one of the most powerful tools in a marketer's arsenal.
But the fact is that utilizing content doesn't stop even after the handing over of the leads to sales.
To close a deal, you can leverage your content further as a salesperson.
There are a number of factors based on which content is being used by the sales. This includes, opportunity stage, company industry, role, and product – but it is not necessary that this aligns with the content created by your marketing team. To align content creation and utilization processes, both the sales and marketing teams must work together.
You can increase engagement rate and thus sell more effectively, if your content for sales is aligned, shared, tracked, and measured throughout the entire content cycle.
Here's how you can work effectively with your marketing team to leverage content and convert leads.
Steps to Effectively Plan and Utilize Content for Sales
1) Take Inventory
You must have an idea on where all of your sales assets lies and the time, they were updated recently. You also need to work with your marketing team and must ask them to update you on what you are having and what you need to have.
Knowing about what you have to work with -- and what type of contents help you in answering questions your prospects will be asking -- you will be able to suggest new collaterals which will assist you at specific stages of the engagement.
2) Get Organized
There is a chance that, your content might spread across multiple repositories and gets maintained by another department. In order to determine how to get access to those assets, you need to work with those owners and to access it fast; you must find the best way to organize this collateral. Some create bookmarks and others have used more advanced solutions that curate content specific to the engagement within their CRM. You must do what's best for your particular sales process.
3) Create a Content Map
You must create a content map, after identifying all of your usable assets and organizing them in a way which makes them an accessible one. This will help you in laying out the content needs of your prospects throughout the sales engagement. Even though this technique is generally being used by the marketing team, it can also be adopted by the sales team.
The rule of thumb here is to determine the level of education your buyer needs and only send content that matches those needs.
This helps in preventing "content puking" (sending too much of the wrong content to the buyer.)
4) Track Content Usage
The effectiveness of the content for sales will never be known until you track its usage. At the sales engagement level, this data is very important to a salesperson. But it’s the aggregate that helps in making strategic decisions regarding content that puts their weight behind in the future, when it comes to marketing. Keep a log on the content that you send to each prospect. The solutions out there, helps you in tracking when your prospect open the emails and clicks on links within.
You will be having solid numbers in determining, on what content; your prospect is most interested in! when you sync this data with a CRM,
5) Gather Feedback
Sales people are on the front lines every day. What they hear from prospects and customers should be shared with the organization and help give insight to internal decision-makers. The same goes for sales collateral. There are sales rebels out there who create their own collateral, which puts them at risk of being off-message and using retired collateral. Gather feedback and get it to marketing so they can work on improving existing content and educate buyers correctly.
It is getting critically important that you need to use an inbound sales approach. This is because of the fact that the prospects are increasingly doing more and more online research before they speak to a salesperson. This just means that you must be consultative and must use content to engage your prospect. To make your sales process more effective, you must have a system in place aimed at helping sales people to use the right content at the right time.
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