There will be the inevitable handoff from marketing to sales in any marketing campaign. However, this handoff shouldn’t be a clean break. When marketing and sales are properly aligned, it should look more like a Venn diagram than a segregated flowchart. Marketing needs to keep supporting sales on the tail end of the customer journey, just like sales should support marketing on the front end.
One way this symbiotic relationship can manifest itself is using content to close deals. Studies have shown that decision makers look at five pieces of content before making their final decision. It’s also true that sales reps spend a lot of time leaving voicemails that aren’t returned and sending emails that don’t get opened. This makes for a prime opportunity for marketing to support sales with high-quality content. Here’s how to make it happen.
Have the Talk
The first step is to get the sales and marketing teams in the same room to talk it out. Sales needs to communicate what common problems they’re having, value propositions customers have difficulty understanding or appreciating, and the most frequent reasons they can’t close deals. It doesn’t matter if they think content can solve the problem, it just needs to go on the whiteboard. This will serve as the starting point to start crafting content.
Steer the Conversation Toward Content
Once the assets have been created, sales can steer the conversation toward the content they have ready to go during conversations with prospects. If marketing developed some case studies that illustrate the results of a specific product, the sales team can either bring those case studies to meetings or reference them in conversation and then use them as a good excuse to send a follow-up email.
Custom Bait for Big Fish
Every B2B sales team will have a list of the whales they’d do just about anything to get a meeting with. Why not use this list and create customized content for each company on the list as an introduction? You can identify problems the prospect is facing and inform them about how you can solve all these problems. Creative packaging is very important when using this method. After all, custom content isn’t worth a plug nickel if the mark doesn’t open it and read it. You may consider going old school and sending a printed version of the content as part of a mailed care package.
Mix it Up
Written content is great, but don’t stop there. Make sure you have a good mix of written, video, and graphic content available to your sales staff. It’s okay to cover the same topic in a few different ways. You never know what format prospects will connect with most, so be sure to cover all your bases.
When used the right way, content can be a sales team’s secret deal-closing sauce. Isn’t it time you gave your sales team some secret sauce to work with?