Are You Creating Sales Content?

by | September 29, 2022 | Content Creation

I’m outing myself. In my past marketing roles, I sometimes blamed my company’s lack of success on the sales team–just in my mind. My internal dialogue went something like, “Marketing is doing everything we can to bring them leads and support their efforts. It’s not our fault!” On the flip side, I’ve witnessed sales teams blame marketing for a lack of success, too.

In hindsight, I wish I focused less on finger-pointing or what was going wrong in our marketing-sales alignment. Instead, I wish I focused more on finding a solution and creating high-quality sales content.

What is Sales Content?

Sales content refers to any content piece–blogs, videos, social media posts, case studies, lead magnets–that demonstrates to your target audience that your company’s offerings can solve their pain points and help them accomplish their goals. The goal of sales content is to make it easier for your sales team to nurture and convert leads. In fact, 68% of content teams create sales content for each stage of the buyer’s journey.

The way I see it, creating sales content has a couple of benefits. First, it gets marketing teams out of blame-game mode and into solution-focused action. Second, it has a real impact on business. Just look at the data:

  • Content marketing generates about 3x the number of leads per dollar spent than traditional marketing, such as advertising.
  • 70% of people prefer to learn about a company through content rather than an ad.
  • Buyers in the B2B space prefer to read 3-5 pieces of content before interacting with a salesperson.

As these points suggests, high-quality content has a direct impact on attracting leads and supports sales teams in warming up leads so that they’re closer to making a purchasing decision. If your marketing team isn’t creating content specifically for your sales team, then it’s time to make it a priority. The tips below will help you get started.

Tip #1: Get Aligned with Your Sales Team

In order to create effective sales content, your marketing team must know what your sales team actually needs. And for the most part, what your sales team needs should be driven by the needs of your target customers. In other words, both marketing and sales teams need to know and agree on who the target audience is–their needs, pain points, goals, likes, dislikes, etc.

Furthermore, marketing and sales teams need to agree on their company value proposition. What problems does your company solve for your target audience? What do you help your audience accomplish, experience, etc.? How does your company serve your audience better than anyone else? What makes your company unique?

Reach a consensus on who your target customer is and how your company is uniquely positioned to serve them. When marketing and sales teams can agree on these crucial factors, it’s much easier to identify which sales content topics and formats will best move your audience to action.

Tip #2: Talk to Customers

Your sales team interacts with customers everyday. When was the last time your marketing team had direct customer interaction? Talking to your target audience–prospects and current customers–is a must for marketers. Of course, your sales team has valuable, unique and sometimes a high volume of customer insights. But their accounts of customer conversations is still secondhand information.

Also, when your audience talks to a salesperson, their responses, questions, etc. might be different from what they tell someone on the marketing team. When you, a marketer, speaks with a prospect or customer, you will likely get invaluable insight that a salesperson just can’t obtain. Customer insights from both the sales and marketing side will help you create targeted, effective sales content.

A few ideas on how marketing teams can gain firsthand (and a bit of secondary) customer feedback and insights:

  • Sit in on sales calls with customers at a variety of stages in the buyers journey. This includes someone from a cold call, someone who signed up for a free download, a brand new customer being onboarded, etc.
  • Email your current customer base that you’d like to interview 5-10 people about their experience with your company. Incentivize them with a gift card or other type of bonus.
  • Read any and all testimonials, reviews and social media comments that prospects/customers have left you. Collect updated testimonials and reviews too.
  • Read transcripts of live chats your sales team has with website visitors.
  • Join online forums in your industry. Check out Quora, Reddit, LinkedIn Groups and industry Twitter threads. What is your audience asking about, complaining about and hoping for?

Did you know Hey Sarah can create and launch sales content for your company?

 

Tip #3: Create Simple Sales Content Consistently

So far, you know your marketing and sales teams must align on your target customer and your company’s value proposition. Additionally, you know how important it is to collect insights from your audience directly. Now it’s time to turn all of that direction and raw data into high-value sales content.

I’ve said it before (and before) and I’ll say it again. When it comes to content creation, start simple and focus on consistency over frequency. Consistency trumps frequency every. single. time. Why? Because a consistent–not necessarily high–output of sales content is easier for your marketing team to sustain. A consistent schedule also gives your team enough time to collect feedback from sales about how the content is performing. Prioritizing frequency, on the other hand, is an almost surefire path to burnout and thus much less frequent and effective content.

Another tip when you’re at this stage? Create content that’s 80% educational and 20% promotional. High-converting content pieces provide value to customers. They help make your target audience’s jobs and lives easier. They allow your audience to experience the transformation that your products/services offer.

A one-sheet with a list of benefits and features has a place. But that type of sales-first content doesn’t nurture your audience nearly as well as an industry trends report chock full of research, expert recommendations, infographics and action items. Why? Because when you really help your audience in some way–by teaching, informing and/or inspiring them–you gain their trust. And when your audience trusts you, they tend to move through the buyer’s journey faster than if you were to just hand them that one-sheet.

Additional educational sales content ideas:

  • Video series that teach your audience how to solve a specific problem.
  • In-depth case studies featuring interviews with current customers who have achieved tangible goals with your product/service.
  • Podcast episodes that feature experts who provide useful commentary on popular industry topics.

Tip #4: Measure Effectiveness

Part of creating strong sales content is knowing how it performs with your target audience. Work with your sales team to develop ways to track the results of your content. Keep in mind that the metrics you collect for pieces directed towards prospects will probably from those directed to current customers.

For prospect-oriented sales content, you might track:

  • Number of downloads.
  • Number of demos or calls scheduled via a unique link.
  • Number of forms completed on a blog or landing page.

For content directed towards current customers, you might collect:

  • Qualitative feedback during sales check-in calls and customer satisfaction surveys.
  • Number of account upgrades or upsells.
  • Number of account renewals.

Tip #5: Make Sales Content Accessible

The sales content you create must be easy for your sales team to find. This seems like an obvious point. But if your content isn’t accessible–in a way that works for your sales team–all of your content efforts could be rendered fruitless. In other words, if your content isn’t easy to locate, download and share, your sales team won’t use it.

Creating a content library on your company’s shared drive is a great first step. But the content must then be named and organized in a way that works with how your sales team works–or a way that’s easy for your sales team to learn. Additionally, you’ll need to update content regularly to reflect any product changes, industry updates and more.

Finally, it’s also a great idea to include editable templates of each of your content pieces. Your sales team will appreciate the ability to customize a content piece to reflect the name and branding of particularly serious prospects. This saves you the work of having to do it yourself and speeds up the process for sales reps so that they can get the content to their prospects immediately.

Need strategic sales content that will help your company succeed?