Our workshops on content strategy are attended by members of sales, marketing, training and other departments who have a stake in sales content. In these discussions, marketing professionals tell us that although they are responsible for content creation, sales content takes a back seat to their content marketing initiatives.
It’s understandable. In B2B companies, marketing is focused on providing leads to sales. That’s how they’re resourced, organized and measured. So they put much of their effort on creating content for demand generation. But the material needed to convert visitors to MQLs (marketing qualified leads) is not designed for converting an MQL into a customer. As a result sales reps are missing content to help them establish a trusted relationship with prospects and close business.
Your experience may vary, but we’ve observed that there are four types of critical sales content that aren’t sufficiently addressed by marketing teams:
Content to prepare for the sales conversation
In the era of the engaged buyer, B2B sales reps need to be much more knowledgeable than ever before about the needs of each buyer persona. Some reps have to be able to pivot from a conversation about the challenges of a marketer in the pharmaceutical field to the latest trends facing a CFO in a growing high tech firm. Adding substance and insight to these conversations is not something that a rep can do without a lot of preparation.
Marketing teams can help them with content to support sales conversations using this structure:
Key Messages to best position the company’s unique value propositions
Questions that are relevant to the buyer’s challenges and how the company’s solutions can help
Insights, such as what other companies in their industry are doing to solve similar problems
Competition and competitive positioning in an intelligent, non-disparaging manner
Objections typically asked by the buyer and the best responses
This content should take the form of a script instead of bullet points or lengthy paragraphs. Reps should be able to use this content naturally, in their spoken or written conversations. The scripts must be brief, clear and uncomplicated.