Generating and maintaining a healthy sales pipeline is an all-year activity that every sales person needs to focus on. With so many changing trends and the need to meet customer’s and prospect’s where they are, there is a lot more that sales people need to do to help craft more fruitful buying journeys with the aim of boosting conversion rates.
Most B2B marketing teams already pursue a well thought-out content marketing plan that is meant to enable buying journeys. But not a lot of sales people use these content assets to drive their sales cycle.
In a highly competitive and dynamic B2B marketplace, well-crafted or smartly repurposed marketing content can actually enable a more effective B2B sales process. Here are a couple of quick tips that might help:
Learning to Pick Content from Existing Marketing Channels to Align to the Typical B2B Sales Funnel
Marketing teams spend hours to decide on different content creation, content marketing and ad spend initiatives. While content and marketing teams do this with a specific goal or purpose in mind, B2B sales people can still use all of this content by picking parts of these content assets with the aim of using it across the typical B2B sales cycle. Seasoned sales people have actually been known to pick their marketing counterparts’ content to align it to the typical B2B sales funnel – with the aim of driving top, middle and bottom of the funnel lead cycles.
Marketing teams will in most cases already have a content calendar in place with blog topics, podcast or webinar topics, ebooks and whitepaper topics defined with intended execution or go-live dates in mind so that they can use it as a framework to drive content and marketing initiatives.
Salespeople who actively take the time to understand more about what type of content their marketing counterparts are working on and what type of content is set to hit the brand’s site in future can use pieces and elements from those assets to create more impactful sales messaging.
Using Marketing Content to Boost Thought Leadership Around your Buyer’s Pain Points and Actual Buying Stages
A crucial part of any B2B sales person’s activity lies in understanding their potential buyer’s core pain points and then offering up solutions that can be useful in helping to alleviate their problems. B2B buyer’s too typically go through common buying stages – B2B sales people who know what content to re-use based on what their brand’s marketing team already has in place (viz: blogs/podcasts/whitepapers/etc) can take things a step further and align this to the typical buying stages -> mainly the awareness/consideration/decision stages.
- At the awareness stage, educational content that can boost a potential buyer’s understanding of a particular type of product and how it benefits users as well as industry point of views on similar product types can be useful. At this stage, even thought-leadership content can help drive product awareness or interest. Salespeople can automate their sales cadences and drive impactful messaging by using snippets from these content assets or even share some pointers from them across their social media to drive engagement with target prospects.
- At the consideration stage, sales people can repurpose how-to guides, take pointers from their marketing team’s infographics and other playbooks. Driving impact with points on how their product differs from that of a close competitor is also useful in getting a prospect to lean towards your brand more.
Understanding what content can resonate at what stage is the key to using what a marketing team already has in place to further sales initiatives.
- At the decision stage, sales people need to be a tad smarter about what content they are using. Elements from recently published research and industry insights, case studies, pricing comparisons are just some of the triggers or content types that can help here.
The decision stage is the more sensitive part of the cycle where sales people need to know (based on the buyer’s behavior through the previous stages) what can be used to drive a potential buyer to finally convert.
Repurposing Most Marketing Content to Drive and Nurture Pipelines
For any salesperson, the basis remains the same: maintaining a healthy pipeline throughout the year is what can help make or break quota. Sometimes, all potential buyer’s need is some time before they can take a final B2B buying decision.
During this period, salespeople need to consistently automate cadences and keep communication ongoing with all their prospects, the cold/warm and hot ones. Understanding how to use a brand’s marketing assets by turning them into micro assets to build better nurtures based on the above audience segments (cold-warm-hot prospects) can enable salespeople to eventually convert more from these lists while also ensuring their brand stays top of mind throughout the prospecting cycle.
Last Words: Content is King for Marketing – Queen for Sales!
Salespeople need to spend more time doing what they do best – that is proactively selling. Tasking sales people with content development activities or other manual sales ops tasks can eat into their selling time and cost the company in the long run.
When most companies already have dedicated marketing teams who are meant to partake in all the content development and content marketing activities, having sales people learn how to use what is already being made to drive their own goals and company growth is a more optimized way forward.