Creating engaging blog posts provides numerous benefits from increasing organic traffic to building your social media presence, but chances are you haven't thought of its potential impact on your sales process.
Think about it. Blogs are inherently useful for educating your prospects and answering some of their most common questions. That mission is exactly what your sales team is trying to accomplish on a daily basis!
Content writers should collaborate with your sales team to gain firsthand information on the pain points, questions, objections, and feedback that comes up during the sales process. These valuable insights will allow them to write 'sales enablement content that addresses those specific needs, helping to close the knowledge gaps that exist within your pipeline.
Rather than losing a deal, the sales team can send these helpful resources directly to the prospect either preemptively to help educate them or responsively to react to an objection or concern.
Blogs tend to be fairly concise at around 500-700 words, which makes them quite palatable for time-stressed prospects looking for direct answers. Additionally, they can be tailored towards a specific buyer persona or stage of the buyer's journey so the sales team can easily share the right information with the right audience at exactly the right time.
Make it Unique
Have your content writer interview your best performing salesperson and use that information to directly influence their blogs. They may ask the following questions to get started:
At what point in the sales process do you most frequently lose deals?
What questions do you commonly hear from prospects and how do you typically respond? How receptive are they to that response?
What do you wish leads knew before you contacted them?
What phrases or explanations do you find yourself repeating frequently to prospects?
Another useful tip is to use common questions from prospects as the title of the blog. While keywords and SEO strategies are, of course, very valuable, sometimes a simple, straightforward title will catch the prospect's attention if they've found themselves wondering the exact same thing.
Justworks offers back office support and solutions for growing businesses. Their target audience includes those running a business who may have limited to no understanding of HR, payroll, benefits, and compliance.
Their blog is categorized by their customers' pain points, allowing their team to easily find and share relevant content with prospects to address their specific concerns and objections.
The titles of their blogs are essentially verbatim questions that have likely come up again and again in their conversations with prospects and customers. For example:
Hiring for Seasonal Employment? Follow These 7 Tips
Hiring Remote Employees in a New State: Know the Rules
How Do You Write an Employee Handbook? Here's a Helpful Starter Guide
With dozens of blogs like these, the sales team is prepared to handle just about any question a prospect asks them.
Content offers should be a foundational element of any inbound sales strategy. Not only do they promote lead generation and qualification, but they are also a convenient resource for salespeople attempting to move leads from the middle to the bottom of the sales funnel.
Whitepapers, eBooks, and case studies can be built upon a similar foundation to that of blogs, but with more technical or specific information. Generally speaking, a lead should be at least somewhat warm before engaging with your sales team, so the content offers must reflect that by focusing on more middle to bottom of the funnel questions and solutions.
The content offers used in the sales process should strive to move the reader towards converting to the next deal stage. This may be a middle of the funnel guide explaining how your product or service can be used within a particular industry, or a bottom of the funnel case study showcasing a recent success story for a similar client.
In any case, the content writers should know when the salespeople will be sharing 'sales enablement content with a prospect and what next step they hope that prospect will take after consuming the 'sales enablement content.
Make it Unique
Your sales team has intimate knowledge of your customers. They know what that client's goals were when they started, how they were able to close the deal, and exactly how that client feels about your company and services. Moreover, your salespeople likely have the strongest relationship with your customers, meaning the customer will be more receptive to providing a testimonial, sharing images of your product in use, or even writing a recommendation on your behalf if their salesperson is the one to ask for it.
Rather than writing a case study about the biggest client, your content writer should collaborate with your sales team to write about a client with an experience that is most relevant to the pain points of the prospects that will be receiving the content.
HubSpot has an extensive library of free marketing resources that helps establish them as a thought leader in the industry while also nurturing leads through the sales process. Their downloadable content ranges from eBooks and webinars to templates and courses.
If a lead had questions about the social media capabilities of HubSpot, they may be sent any of the following resources that directly relate to their questions:
How to Generate Leads Using Facebook
How to Create a Monthly Social Media Report
Social Media Cover Photo Templates
All of these titles are clearly relevant to HubSpot's target buyer persona: marketers. There's a good chance that these questions (How can I generate leads using social media? What kind of social reports can I generate on HubSpot?) came up in the sales process with enough frequency that they warranted their own detailed content offers.
Sales enablement content isn't limited only to what can be embedded, linked, or attached to an email. Rather, the email copy itself can be a strategic effort with the use of sales scripts.
The premise behind crafting effective sales scripts is essentially the same as creating any of the other types of sales enablement content. It starts with the sales team providing insights into their prospects' pains, needs, and knowledge gaps and continues with the content team using that information to craft a clear and succinct script.
Sales scripts save valuable time and resources by automating certain phases of the sales process that would otherwise need to be manually and tediously written.
Make it Unique
Ask your sales team to share their actual client emails from recent won deals so the content writers can study which language and information was most effective in closing the deal. There may be overt insights such as certain features or benefits that win prospects over, or more subtle details such as the tone used within the communication that built trust with the prospect.
You may also find it worthwhile to share communications from deals that were lost to see if your team can identify tactics to avoid with future prospects.
Groove is a support software geared specifically towards small businesses that need help scaling and automating their support operations. The company has a distinct personality and brand voice that is conveyed through their content, including their sales scripts.
In their blog 17 Email Scripts That Have Helped Us Grow Our Business (For You to Steal), they share their most successful sales scripts as well as when they are sent out in the sales process. While their sales process may differ from yours (for example, you may not be doing influencer outreach), their scripts demonstrate how a successful collaboration between sales and marketing can produce compelling emails to send to your prospects.
Presentations are a mainstay of the sales process. To reach their full potential, however, they should be a joint effort between the marketing and sales teams.
Decks present a unique challenge not faced in many other forms of sales enablement content. They often feature copy formatted in bullet points, lists, or blurbs. It can be difficult sometimes to provide the needed context for these shortened messages in order to make them coherent for prospects to return to and review on their own after the salesperson leaves.
Content writers are trained to convey information in clear and easy to understand ways, and are often able to offer the perspective of someone outside of the sales side to ensure that decks are not only effective during the presentation, but useful to the prospect afterwards, too.
Sales decks also require a level of graphic design, which is why many companies choose to join forces with a full-service inbound marketing agency to make sure that all three aspects of their sales materials — content, sales, and design — are aligned.
Make it Unique
Collaborate with a marketing agency to develop sales decks for each of your buyer personas. While it may be impractical to customize sales decks for each individual prospects, developing persona-based decks is a pragmatic solution to providing an efficient level of personalization.
From there, you can spend some time running A/B tests to measure results and further optimize your sales collateral.
Cirrus Insight is a sales productivity software used to track emails, schedule meetings, and otherwise save businesses time and resources during their sales process. In a testament to the importance of a well-crafted sales deck, the company published 22 Sales Deck Examples to Create a Winning Sales Presentation.
Now that you have some inspiration, how will you align your own sales and marketing teams to produce sales enablement content that closes more deals?
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