The marketing landscape has shifted. And, since sales and marketing teams usually work together closely and sales relies on marketing for reliable leads, it only follows that the sales landscape needs to shift as well.
As we discussed in a recent post, instead of the old school marketing approach wherein target audiences were interrupted by marketers shouting their messages at them, today, marketers hope to bring the target audience to them by providing value.
Salespeople can—and should—follow suit. Instead of only providing information on their company’s products or services, it’s imperative that salespeople provide something of value to prospects during every single interaction they have with them. And that doesn’t necessarily mean more legwork for the sales team. In fact, this can be accomplished by using content marketing assets that the marketing team has already developed.
Before You Make First Contact
Before your initial touch with prospects, it’s important that you understand them thoroughly. This is where buyer personas your marketing team has built can come in handy.
Take a look at what criteria your marketing team is using to create personas and how they qualify them. This will give you great insight into why a specific persona was attracted to your company in the first place. This information will also help you down the line when it comes time to provide these specific personas with additional content that speaks to their unique pain points, challenges, and needs.
During Interactions with Prospects
Whether you’re interacting with prospects via the phone, email, or on social media, it’s imperative that you’re always providing value. This is especially important when making consecutive touch points. Instead of repeatedly asking for a meeting, offer unique pieces of valuable information to keep prospects interested.
Think about it this way: your prospects are smart and know that you want to schedule a meeting so that you can talk up your products or services. By instead offering something that they find really helpful before pitching anything, you’ll establish credibility and build rapport.
Here are some content marketing assets that can help you do just that:
Blog posts are great value-adders because they’re usually shorter and cover a very specific topic. These can be leveraged throughout the sales funnel, from very top-level questions to more in-depth and technical issues. Share blog posts that are pertinent to each prospect’s unique situation via email or social media.
Instead of rattling off statistics to a prospect, why not let a visually appealing, beautifully designed and informative infographic do the talking for you? These can be utilized to provide prospects with industry-specific stats or information about a specific problem they’re facing.
Gated assets are great ways to further educate prospects on a specific topic. However, many times, prospects will first interact with your business by coming to your site, reading a blog post, and downloading a gated asset. This is where sales and marketing alignment, with a little help from marketing automation, can be hugely beneficial.
If you have the help of a tool like Hubspot that allows you to see which prospects have downloaded and accessed which files, you won’t make the mistake of sending prospects something they’ve already read.
Case studies are great for when you’re a bit further down the sales funnel and your prospect is ready to see exactly how you’ve done what you say you can do. Make sure that the case study you share is as similar to the project you’d be executing for that specific prospect.
Valuable content needs to be in both the marketing and the sales teams’ toolboxes. By aligning with marketing and understanding what content they’re producing, salespeople have the opportunity to gain an edge over the competition by serving up helpful information prospects actually want.