At Gabriel Sales we look at sales and content marketing execution like we do any other business process – it should be just that, a process. Sales and marketing can no longer live in their own silos and operate independently. Efforts need to be aligned from initial targeting and strategy development and all the way through to client servicing post-purchase. There are two things that remain constant through this process: the presence of your team and educational content marketing. This blog will focus on the importance of content for the sales side of your organization, and how it can be best employed to convert more opportunities.
The days of the hard sale and forcing buyers to purchase are long past. Buyers want to buy on their own terms. When you couple this with the increasing strain on organizational budgets and budget making, the job of the traditional sales rep is getting ever-more difficult. This shift in the relationship of the buyer and seller is driven even further by the abundance and proliferation of information in the digital space. Information is readily available for buyers to educate themselves, identify potential solutions and make purchase decisions. The role of the seller is to help them through this process while keeping your solution top of mind.
There is no substitute for talented, intelligent and effective sales reps. However, in today’s market, it is impossible for even the most exceptional reps to be effective if they don’t have the necessary content to support them throughout the sale. This blog will focus on what content should be available to help maximize efficiency and conversions, differentiate yourself within your competitive set and how that content should be organized to achieve these things.
Content marketing can be designed in order to increase the effectiveness of your sales team, not just fulfill obligations of the marketing department.
How is your content marketing going to empower your sales reps?
We view content organization in a three-stage system. It is imperative that you have ammo in place across all three fronts in order to effectively empower your sellers and provide value through your content. Your content should be clear, digestible and actionable.
The thought process here is that the role of your reps is to help move the buyer through each level of content as they themselves move through their own buying cycle. You have to hold their hand and make them feel like they are in control and buying on their own terms. If you do this effectively, your content will make the sale for you. A description of each stage of content that you need to address can be seen below:
Stage 1 – Inform your potential buyer that solutions exist and that there is a gap between their current state and the “ideal state.”
This is the education level of content. Content that falls in this stage is not designed to convert your buyer. Many times, your organization’s branding and offerings are not even discernable at this stage. The goal here is two-fold: educate the buyer on an area of solutions/offerings that your business lives in and bring to light for them the pains and needs that they need to solve within their role. You need your potential buyer to be aware that there are gaps between how they are operating and the most efficient level that they could operate at.
Your sales reps need this information so they can properly help the buyer along their purchase process. The most effective reps will know how to properly apply this information to prospects that are ready to be moved along the sales cycle.
Stage 2 – Educate your potential buyer on your solution.
Now that you are dealing with a buyer that is aware that they have performance gaps or inefficiencies, it is time to present how your solution can help them do their job more effectively. Use this stage of content to differentiate yourself within your buyers consideration set. Show how you out perform compared to the competition with your offering.
Your sales reps need this stage of content in order to keep moving the sale forward. The only way to properly convince a buyer of your effectiveness in today’s market is to show them concrete examples and allow them to come to the conclusion for themselves.
Stage 3 – Convert them!
Your buyer is aware of the market of solutions, they’ve identified pains and needs that they need to fulfill, and they know there is a gap between their current state and the “ideal state.”
Now is the appropriate time to utilize the more traditional hard sell. Pricing structures, key performance metrics and client servicing value-adds are going to be effective now that your buyer is prepared and ready to digest them.
This is where your most experienced sales folks will strive, but they will only do so if they have effective content to combine with their personal style and influence. Empower your reps effectively by putting the tools in their hands that they can use to close more deals faster.
Buyers are 100% in control of the buyer-seller relationship now. This is directly due to the availability of information present in the digital space. It is more important now than ever that your sales and marketing teams are aligned with content strategy geared to guiding the buyer to your solution; not forcing it upon them.
Gabriel Sales has excelled for over 10 years at developing strategy and content plans that result in successful, scalable and repeatable sales engines. For more insight on content marketing and sales execution, check out “Get Your Prospects to Take Action: Content Variety.”
If you’d like to chat with us directly about your own system or getting one into place, please don’t hesitate to contact us.