Businesses are increasingly aware of how marketing insight empowers inbound sales teams to sell efficiently and at a higher velocity. Equally, the insight sales can return to marketing is invaluable. Collaborative sales and marketing alignment is core to consistent improvement throughout the funnel; enhancing your site, content, product and more. If you’re not making the most of sales insight to improve processes, you’re missing an opportunity.
How Sales Insight Can Enhance Content Marketing
Any interaction your sales team has with a prospect has the potential to inform content.
For example, you might uncover new obstacles or prospect challenges that need content to address. Or, may discover content gaps in your buyer’s journey to fill.
Effective alignment gives content teams the insight needed to produce prospect-centric, relevant content. As it better resonates with buyer interests, that content can then help sales teams shorten the sales cycle as a result of improved nurture and education.
Below are four tips for improving content with sales insight.
49% of marketers and sales executives agree that communication is the biggest challenge in aligning teams.
Yet regular communication is key. To produce effective, persona-focussed content, your writers need up-to-date information from the people making daily contact with prospects and clients. Your sales team, account managers and customer service teams will know current and ideal client’s needs and wants - inside out. Make the most of that information!
Sharing conversations and calls, monitoring social media engagement and holding regular inter-departmentmental meetings are good starting points to determine priority content themes/pain points.
2. Make the most of the insight you already have
Whether you’re adept at marketing/sales alignment or new to it, you should already have substantial historical data and assets to use as a content foundation.
As a starting point, you’ll already be able to:
Ask the sales team for insight into the challenges your prospects and customers face through each stage of their buyer’s journey (and after). Dig deep to find out if there are common light-bulb moments that help them make their decision, or purchase obstacles that stand in the way - and map content around each point.
Think about how your buyers use search. How are they currently finding your services? What keywords/phrases do prospects and customers use throughout the buyers journey, what questions are they asking the sales team? Do you have content build around them? For Strategic for example, a key term our customers search (and ask) could be ‘What is Account-Based Marketing?’. In response, we’ve created content to answer that exact question.
Consider what content resources and lead data you already have and can re-use; such as sales presentations, or other assets you can repurpose into fresh content. Old case studies, powerpoint presentations, photos etc. can be transformed and updated into new, relevant and insightful content. Regular content audits and reviews are wise to stay on top of relevant topics.
Marketing/sales alignment works both ways.
So make sure sales knows what marketing sees as a priority and vice versa. Keep everyone aligned on what campaigns are running, on the lead goals sales has, and make sure everyone in marketing and sales understands exactly what defines a quality lead for your business (both at MQL and SQL stage). Lastly, make sure sales teams are made aware when content is published so they can use it in discussions with prospects and clients!
4. Use sales-insight in content to convert quality leads
Lead generation and nurture are top goals for most content. With the right sales insight, you have the opportunity to enhance both the quality and numbers of leads your content converts through relevancy.
Create the right gated content (eBooks, guides, interactive tools and calculators etc), with the right insight, that addresses the right buyer pain, and your content will generate quality, qualified leads.
Other Tips To Enhance Content With Sales Insight
Make sure content isn’t too ‘sales-y’. Sales insight is important. But that doesn’t mean ‘talk about your brand and product at every opportunity’. Remember the buyer’s journey when creating content; and only consider mentioning brand in Decision stage pieces. If sales and marketing teams are already practicing inbound, they’ll already know this.
Create content to help sales teams with social selling. Inbound salespeople need to position themselves as trusted sources of information for your buyers. Content teams can help by providing sales with regular thought leadership content - often published in individual’s names. Collaboration on this type of content adds to rep’s (and brand) credibility.
Regularly review buyer personas. Both marketing and sales should have a clear view of your persona profiles. These profiles should be continuously updated as the business grows and as you define your best-fit customers. Sales insight is crucial for accurate persona profiling - but make sure both sales and marketing are involved in reviews to keep targeting accurate.
No matter the size of your organisation, or your content or sales teams, clear communication and alignment are integral to writing content that resonates with, converts and closes the right leads. Separately, your teams might do ok. But together, they’ll drive quality, qualified results.