Marketing and sales teams may have different goals day-to-day, but they both work toward the same overarching objective: grow the business. When marketers and sellers can put aside their differences and focus on working toward that goal together, great things happen. Content marketing is one such area where marketers stand to benefit from sellers.
Content marketing, which can generate 3 times as many leads as traditional marketing, is a powerful tool in a marketer’s arsenal, and pairing content marketing with sales takes it to the next level. Results improve, leads convert, your data is supercharged — and your business grows.
Take a look at the four ways a sales team can give your content marketing campaigns a boost.
1.) Create More Precise Buyer Personas
Buyer personas are an essential part of defining a target market and deciding how best to approach said market. 74% of B2B marketers have said that they use sales team feedback for target audience research.
Because the sales team is on the front line, they’re in the best possible position to help you nail your buyer personas. The sales team will be talking to prospects on the phone every day and will, therefore, be in a position to take note of their objections and challenges, as well as their greatest needs and problems. This puts them in a strong position to answer key questions, such as:
- What are my buyers’ biggest problems?
- What would prevent my buyers from purchasing my product or service?
- What media do my buyers consume the most?
- What sources provide my buyers with information?
If you already have buyer personas, revisit them with the sales team. It could be that they have key information that your content marketing team has so far overlooked.
2.) Provide Content Insights
The easiest way to increase organic traffic with evergreen content is to create stronger evergreen content. It sounds simple — and it’s even simpler when you invite the sales team to help you create it. Because sellers are handling buyer objections every day, they’re in a very good position to come up with content ideas.
This proves especially useful if responding to the same objection over and over again. For example, you could leverage their insights to create an informative section on your website that addresses common objections. After all, who knows more about your buyers than your sales team, who are engaging with them every day?
To generate the most qualified leads, it’s a good idea to have your sales team and content marketing team share data and work together to create powerful lead magnets.
3.) Nurture Quality Leads
Content marketing works to build relationships, foster trust, educate, inform and engage leads before sellers go for the sale.
Many sellers may dismiss quality leads as dead-end leads before asking key questions that marketing can help answer: Has the lead shown interest in content? Have they asked for more information? How long have they spent on your website?
If, after asking these questions, it’s clear that the lead has potential to progress through the funnel, sales reps can look to the marketing team to create more personalized content that’s specific to a certain buyer and their needs.
It’s a smart idea, too, because when sales and marketing collaborate to create content that addresses specific buyers and needs, it improves the chance that content will be put to good use. Research shows that 70% of content goes unused, so it’s important to work toward making sure that marketers’ time and resources are well-spent.
4.) Create a Stronger Sales Funnel
Your sales funnel is important to your success. But have you created content that addresses the needs of your customers at each stage? Wherever buyers are in the funnel, your business should be building trust.
To do that, your content marketing team needs to work alongside your sales team. The sales team is in the best position to inform what content will work at different points in the sales funnel — from blog posts to webinars to demos — which your marketing team can then work on creating.
Let’s take a closer look at the sales funnel and the content you’ll need to create:
- Top of the funnel: This is the awareness stage where your team needs to create content that introduces the consumer to your company, products, and services. At this stage, you don’t need to go for the sale. But by creating an enticing lead magnet, you can at least provide value and persuade them to come back.
- Middle of the funnel: This is the evaluation stage where your team needs to create content that shows the buyer how your solution is the best solution. At this stage of the funnel, your team will work to nurture a lead and strengthen the relationship via content that positions your company as the expert and trusted advisor.
- Bottom of the funnel: This is the purchase stage where your team needs to create content that gives the buyer that one final nudge in the right direction. All final objections are parried away and a strong call to action convinces them to make a purchase.
In 2019 and beyond, building trust with buyers is critical. Together, sales and marketing teams can work to supercharge content marketing campaigns to build rapport, provide value, and enhance selling success.
Anita Sambol is a content strategist and graphic designer at Point Visible, a marketing agency providing custom blogger outreach services.