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Whether logging into Netflix or Amazon, we as consumers expect to see personalized content served up according to our tastes. And your B2B buyers are no different in their expectations at work — meaning your sales team has to be able to curate and share the right content with them.
Content can make or break a sale. When used well, it helps your sales team establish credibility, tell your brand’s story, and explain the value of your service. Poorly executed content, however, only adds to the noise — at best. At worst, it turns off buyers to your brand. It can even end deals.
What Does the ‘Right Content’ Look Like?
It’s rule No. 1 of content marketing: You can’t ask a prospect to accomplish any of your goals (for example, complete some kind of conversion) until you’ve helped them accomplish one of theirs — educating them on a business issue, solving a pain point with a detailed whitepaper, or something else useful to their aims.
All sales content should be educational, provide third-party validation, and give an immersive experience by incorporating video and multimedia. Any time you help a prospect solve a problem, gain a new insight, or learn a new skill, it forms a bond of reciprocity with that person, meaning they’re likelier to listen to what you have to say.
Matching Content to Demographics and Behaviors
The right content combines a number of factors that will move the buyer through the sales cycle. Content should align with the following attributes of the buyer:
- Role in the organization
- Unique business process and terminology for their industry
- Where they are in the sales cycle
- What they care about the most
- What stage of the sales cycle you want to expedite them to next
A buyer is [1.] head of sales at a [2.] manufacturing company. The sales rep sends them the [3.] overview deck, and they spend most of their time on [4.] the customer case study slide/page. They are currently an open opportunity in [5.] discovery stage.
In this example, the overview deck in particular resonated with the buyer because she was looking for the third-party validation and thought leadership that the case study slide demonstrated.
When they deploy the right content in the right context, sales leaders engage their prospects and marketing teams improve their content’s ROI. Use these tips to optimize your sales team’s content strategy:
- Create a resource library.
Keeping all of your resources in one place makes it much easier on your sales team (who isn’t as familiar with your content as you are) to identify what is available, approved, and relevant for their buyers. Any time you can add notes or context clues to help them quickly identify the intent of a piece, it saves time and resources down the road.
- Organize content by type and stage.
Organize your content by internal and external resources, and then by stage in the sales funnel. For instance, internal content includes sales tools such as competitive battle cards and sales playbooks. External content might include presentations, case studies, and discovery decks for top-of-the-funnel; immersive videos, e-books, and whitepapers for middle-of-the-funnel; and new feature releases, product one-pagers, and technical brochures for bottom-of-the-funnel.
- Make it easy on your sales team.
Between nurturing prospects and closing deals, your sales team has a lot to focus on. What they don’t have is the time to sort through massive amounts of content. Keeping your content organized and putting rules in place to serve up recommended content not only saves them time, but it also makes it likelier that they’ll leverage the content. It’s even better if you can sync this information with your CRM and email system so the sales team can quickly access recommended content during their daily tasks.
By optimizing your content management system and automating personalization rules, you can empower your sales team to serve up the right content to the right prospects. The more you put appropriate content at your sellers’ fingertips, the more successful your new business development efforts will be.