The old days of sales reps going into the field to court cold or lukewarm prospects have largely shifted. In their place, inside sales teams are reaching out to, monitoring and even closing with sales prospects who are making their way down the sales pipeline. Occasionally, a star player is needed for a field call, but most organizations simply cannot afford to support recurring travelling sales calls without good cause.
This transformation has been largely brought about thanks to the internet, where almost all of an organization’s research and communication can take place on both sides of a transaction. In this digital era, content has emerged as the primary differentiator for companies that clinch sales and win over leads.
A full 95 percent of buyers end up choosing vendors with ample sales content available to educate, inform and answer questions, according to a 2012 study. As more marketers and sales organizations mobilize content to help spread their reach, an even higher win rate for content producers could be seen. Those that refuse to keep pace with the expectations of a content-rich world could conversely be seen left in the dust.
To help explore further why and how content can help sales, consider adding the following content into your sales repertoire:
Research-Backed Content That Paints a Picture of Trends
Many potential sales prospects may have general questions about the state of an challenge and how people tend to solve it. To learn more, they will likely go online and search for a description of the current business landscape and how their issue in question fits within it.
Content that can answer these questions often gets clicks. For instance, a company grappling with printing costs may wonder about document output software that reduces their costs. Since every vendor in the world would say “Oh! That’s us!” a prospect may instead wish to hear what others have done and how they fared.
To that end, a well-researched article describing hard facts about the issue and its possible solutions could easily drive traffic. Statistics and quotes can show what are the most common costs involved with printing and which features people prefer when trying to reduce them.
In the end, the reader ends up with a solid basis of comparison and a way to describe their pain points relative to others. Sales reps can then leverage this type of vocabulary mindshare to forge deeper connections further down the sales pipeline.
Inspiring Sales Content That Indicates Thought Leadership
When an employee can go beyond selling into the realm of inspiration and motivation, that is the mark of a true salesperson. Sharing content and adding their own take on it can help them reach closer to this goal while talking with, not at, sales prospects.
Research shows that this type of thought leadership approach works; 92 percent of buyers engage if a professional is considered to be an industry thought leader, according to LinkedIn Research.
For example, Elon Musk and his Tesla Motors company have managed to brand themselves as a disruptive revolution rather than just a new type of product. Musk and his cohort helps encourage this idea by selling people on a vision of the world with less emissions and more user-friendly vehicle designs. In the end, he isn’t just saying “buy one of my cars,” he is asking people to buy into his future characterized by sensible albeit cutting-edge solutions instead of “more of the same.”
Not every salesperson can be Elon Musk, naturally, but by helping your sales staff tap into the passions of their client leads, they can connect on a level that most cannot. Sharing intelligent content with their own thoughtful commentary on it can help.
For some inspiration and potential mind-bending content of your own to consider, take a look at our other helpful and informative B2B sales blog posts.