One of the biggest mistakes that marketers make is not going deep enough into the sales cycle their content efforts. Marketers spend valuable time and resources creating amazing blog posts, videos, eBooks and other resources. But far too often, they assume that this amazing educational content should only be used to generate leads or raise brand awareness.
But with the right approach, the same content that is used to generate leads can be used to vastly accelerate those often glacial B2B sales cycles.
We recently partnered with Heinz Marketing on an eBook focusing on several ways that marketers can enable Sales. From our eBook, here are three ways to maximize the ROI of your content efforts by aligning with Sales.
Create Content that Aligns with Roles and Buyer Stages
When executed strategically and used as a part of nurturing campaigns, content can be used to guide buyers through various stages of the sales funnel. Be sure to create a library of blogs, videos, eBooks and other content that can appeal to leads at various buyer stages including:
- Awareness Stage – prospects that might not even be aware of a solution
- Information Stage – top-of-the-funnel leads seeking information
- Decision Stage – leads on the verge of making a buying decision
- Action Stage – leads that are ready to purchase
As an example, imagine that you sell high-end telescopes and you put out two eBooks: the first is called 20 Must-see Celestial Sites. This eBook is aimed at stargazing enthusiasts who are gathering general information online. The second eBook, however, is called The Amateur Astronomer’s Guide to Buying a Telescope. This is aimed at leads that are on the verge of making a buying decision.
This content doesn’t just provide marketing a way to generate leads. In the case of the second eBook, it also gives your sales reps something useful and educational to send leads they’re already in contact with.
Set Up Alerts for Sales
As leads engage with content, help your sales reps sell more by setting up notifications at interesting moments. For example, when a lead downloads content that identifies them as being potentially sales-ready (such as The Amateur Astronomer’s Guide to Buying a Telescope) you could also up alerts that tell your reps that a potentially hot lead just downloaded content. This will help sales reps reach out to the right leads at the right time.
Create Email Templates that Can be Customized and Personalized
It’s important for sales reps to send great emails when responding to inbound leads. And while some sales reps are intrinsically great writers, there are also a lot of sales reps who have masterful verbal communication skills, but aren’t as strong when it comes to crafting emails that trigger a high rate of response.
Marketers can help by crafting email templates that are not only engaging and eloquent, but also perfectly aligned with any messaging that marketing might be sending.
Ready to learn some more sales enablement secrets? Download The B2B Marketer’s Guide to Managing Inbound Sales.