Content is for more than marketing. While content does an effective job of building brand awareness, boosting SEO, and telling your company's story, it's also a valuable sales tool. Content can make cold calls or emails less awkward. It can help explain complicated products and services. It can nurture leads your marketing efforts have captured. Content can even be used to close deals. What is 'content'? In this case, it's written collateral (like blogs, case studies, and eBooks), video, and AR/VR experiences. Essentially, it's anything that marketing produces that can be integrated into your sales process. When marketing and sales work together, it makes both stronger. Start using these strategies for incorporating content into sales:
1. Use Content to Start a Conversation
If the popularity of ordering online or from an app is any indication, most people aren't a huge fan of phone calls. In that example, at least the pizzeria has a good idea of why you're calling. With most sales calls, it's ice cold. Your team has to charm its way around gatekeepers and create conversation from scratch with decision makers. Content can help. Sending a blog article or piece of premium content ahead of time can warm up the ensuing phone call, giving your salesperson a jumping off point for the conversation. Original, quality content can also give the decision maker something to chew on, making the inevitable conversation smoother.
2. Use Content to Explain Complex Concepts
Content can help open a conversation. Content can also help carry it. If your business sells a product or service that leaves most people scratching their heads, it's worth creating content that clears up the majority of questions. This holds true for businesses that sell something very expensive and they need to explain the value. This applies to businesses who are selling something brand new or off the mainstream. This strategy makes sense for businesses who sell a nebulous service without clear deliverables. Content can tell the story and explain the value of what you're selling before your sales team takes over.
3. Use Content to Nurture Leads
If your marketing team captures a new lead and your sales team goes to follow up, it's helpful to be able to lead with content. If the lead has expressed interest in a certain product, your sales team can send additional reading materials or an explainer video to help move that individual closer to a buying decision. Instead of plain text emails, work content into your email campaigns. Give your leads more and more reason to do business with you. Your sales team can lean on content, spending less time composing long emails and taking up time on the phone. Content lets your leads learn more at their pace and helps take some pressure off of your sales team.
4. Use Content to Help Close Deals
Send your sales people out with content that will help them close more deals. That might be a short video that can be played on loop at a trade show or industry event. It could be a printed eBook that drives home the value of your product or service. It can even be an augmented reality or virtual reality experience that allows your prospects to interact with a 3D version of your product anywhere in the world. In that scenario, your sales person can literally bring your product with them in an attempt to close the deal. That gives them an invaluable tool and gives them an advantage over the competition.
Start using content in sales. It makes starting and continuing conversations easier. It helps move leads closer to a buying decision. Content can even assist your sales team in closing more deals.