Content that helps the sales process

24th January 2011 | Posted in Content creation

Those immensely knowledgeable people at Marketing Sherpa have provided an insight into using content in the B2B sales process, available for a short time only.

Many of the thoughts of their three contributors fall in line with my own experience as a copywriter, so here’s a summary of their discussion, together with some words of my own.

1 Make everything work together. Everyone should know what your corporate and product messages are, so wherever and however you promote your company, you should be telling the same story. That’s your web site, direct mail, advertising, blog, social media and face-to-face discussions. So as well as having a messaging platform for outbound marketing, you need to pass the message on internally too. Really quick sales guides and information on the intranet are invaluable. And because the message is the same everywhere, you should be able to re-use and recycle your content, tailored to fit the channel and audience.

2. There are different reasons for sharing information at different stages of the sales process:

  • Education – your potential customers don’t yet know they have a need, but you can explain what issues you address. This is all about proving yourselves as experts in your field. Particularly if it’s a complex subject blogs, white papers, webinars and links to external specialists are all good.
  • Solution – your potential client has identified a pain point, and wants solutions. Being proactive in providing valuable information on your web site at all times will help to draw in visitors in search of a solution
  • Closing the deal – it’s time to get into specifics to prove your solution. Data sheets, customer case studies and testimonials and competitive knowledge will all help you win the deal.

3. One other point that Marketing Sherpa’s experts makes is to involve sales. When you’re putting your marketing content together, do you ask your sales people what they need? I know one company that operates almost entirely on case studies as their sales tool, because that’s what the sales team finds most useful.

By the way…

You can find this article on the Marketing Sherpa site until 29 Jan 2011. Contributors to the article, who are also speaking at the Marketing Sherpa Email Summit are Ardath Albee, a B2B marketing strategist, Kristin McElgunn from Western Union Business Solutions, and Michelle Levy of ECI Telecom.

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