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How To Enable Sales Teams Using a Strong Content Marketing Strategy

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Is your marketing team providing the content that sales really needs? Here are four considerations to improve your process.

Sales staff state that prospecting becomes harder if a lead is poorly educated on the sales topic. 36% of sales staff say prospecting is difficult when a lead is ‘not at all knowledgeable’ vs. ‘very knowledgeable’ (26%) - Hubspot State of Inbound 2016

Does your sales team have access to the right content to build quality relationships with SQLs? Is your marketing team aware of the resources sales really needs?

To run successful, buyer-centric campaigns, marketing and sales teams must be aligned. But for sales to be able to close relevant deals, it’s important they are enabled with the right marketing data and content to support their efforts.

We’ve previously looked at common lead generation mistakes that B2B marketers should avoid; in this post we’ll discuss considerations that marketers must account for, to produce the right content to support the sales team.

4 Considerations To Enable Your Sales Team With Strong Content

1. Make sure your content is buyer-challenge focussed

In traditional ‘push’ marketing, it used to be that sales teams (and sales content), worked to ‘push’ products/ services to prospects; regardless of whether prospects had shown an interest or not.

Today, that’s not effective. Instead, sales teams need to be enabled with a variety of relevant - often personalised - content, that addresses the specific challenges prospects have throughout their buying journey. Through social selling, and sharing this relevant content in lead conversations, members of your sales team can build their reputations as respected, trusted experts; strengthening lead and client relationships. For best results, sales and marketing should work together; using sales insight to inform content direction.

2. Create content to support every buying stage

Content teams and sales teams should be working together to produce content that aligns with every stage of the buyer’s journey. Without the right buyer mapped content assets; firstly your marketing team will struggle to attract the right leads, and secondly, your sales team won’t have the right resources in place to hold effective conversations or progress relationships.

Here, sales and marketing should:

  • Collaborate to plan out the buyer challenges and questions that must be answered at each stage of the funnel. Sales insight is invaluable here; consider the questions, barriers to purchase and other obstacles that your prospects are experiencing - and create content to address them
  • Plan and create content to suit each buying stage, through the top, middle and bottom of the funnel. It is also wise to audit current content to see where any gaps sit

3. Align marketing & sales departments

We’ve already touched on this, but without strong marketing/ sales alignment, it’s incredibly hard to see good results. For sales teams to engage effectively, they must have insight into marketing’s lead intelligence and know what marketing resources are available to use in lead conversations and social selling activity.

As new content may be published on a daily basis, occasional updates may not be enough. Instead, teams should develop a process that enables sales to know what content assets (old and new) are available, and to let marketing know where content gaps exist.

4. Create personalised content

Data shows that personalised content drastically improves the performance of your website and the engagement of your visitors. - Hubspot

Effective social selling efforts and strong account based marketing strategies work by addressing the specific concerns of particular accounts and individuals. If you can provide your sales team with that personalised content, your process holds incredible power for engagement and nurture.

However, not every piece of content you create will be personalised to suit a precise individual. Often there’s not the time! Instead, marketers can support sales by creating scalable content; that aligns with specific target industries and persona challenges, so helps prospects feel content has been produced specifically for them. Using SMART content fields, and creating sales-customisable content templates are also good ways to enhance content personalisation.

Give sales the content they need to succeed

If your marketing and sales teams work closely together, your organisation will be better able to understand what content resonates and contributes positively to sales efforts.

Then, by using sales insight, marketing teams can ensure new content contributes value at the right stage in prospect’s journeys; enabling successful lead and sales relationships.