October 14, 2014

How to Support Your Sales Team With Content Marketing

Today’s consumers are getting more and more savvy. They no longer fall for the typical sales pitch that salespeople have been relying on for years. Rather, they take their time, checking online reviews, researching company credentials and reading content. That being said, which salesperson do you think is more effective: the one who has good phone skills and an infinite amount of charm, or the professional who brings to the table engaging and educational information to help guide buyers? Chances are you guessed the latter, which is where content marketing comes into play.

The role of the modern day salesperson has changed from being a seller to a trusted advisor. By supporting your sales professionals with valuable, educational custom content that speaks to a prospective customer’s pain points and challenges, you’re helping them fulfill that exact role.

However, sales teams are not taking full advantage of marketing resources. In fact, 70 percent of content created by B2B marketing teams is never used by sales, according to Sirius Decisions. Furthermore, businesses with positive alignment between marketing and sales teams accomplish 20 percent revenue growth per year, while enterprises with poor alignment experience a 4 percent revenue reduction, according to HubSpot.

Between sales sheets and white papers, marketing departments can provide sales teams with custom documents that can be sent to prospective clients. Leveraging content is also a way to build loyalty; for example, continuously sharing relevant, interesting content with your customers will reassure them that you are thinking about them and their needs. When the stars align with marketing and sales, profitability goes up and customer churn decreases. So, how will your company break down the wall between your marketing and sales teams? Let’s take a look:

  • Foster Communication: Why do sales teams often toss aside the compelling collateral from the marketing division? Well, many don’t know what to use, how to use it effectively or when to use it. Sales and marketing teams need to open up the channels of communication to address these gaps. On one hand, the marketing division should thoroughly explain the intention of each document to the sales team, while, on the other hand, sales should monitor how buyers are responding to the different forms of content, relaying those results to marketers. It’s a win-win opportunity: Marketers get direct feedback on content, while sales receives content to help speed up the buying process.
  • Share Feedback and Questions: When a customer frequently asks the same questions and complains about a certain product or service spec, use this commentary as a launching point for blogs and white papers. These conversations between the sales team and customers highlight what consumers specifically want, which is incredibly valuable to content marketers. Therefore, sales professionals should aggregate the most common questions from consumers and pass them on to marketing. Then, the marketers can figure out the best way to address these topics, whether it’s creating a FAQ sheet, case study or white paper.
  • Trust One Another: For effective collaboration between sales and marketing, an underlying cultural shift must occur, which starts at the top in the C-suite. By making sales and marketing alignment a top priority, salespeople and marketers are more likely to fall into line and trust one another, using their combined efforts to boost revenue and enhance customer relationships. Eventually, marketing teams should shadow sales teams on customer visits to understand what customer demands are driving sales. That knowledge will help marketers spread messages that better resonate with the targeted audience.

Content marketing vendors, such as Content Boost, can provide plenty of content for sales purposes, helping get buyers to sign on the dotted line. At Content Boost, we can generate sales sheets and white papers, which help move the sales process forward. Click here to find out how Content Boost can ignite your sales team.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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