Part VI Of This 10-Part Blog Series on Enterprise IT Content Marketing Fundamentals
In the previous article we discussed: Developing A Strong SEO Foundation.
In This Article:
Perhaps one of the biggest challenges that all B2B companies face is ensuring the alignment of sales and marketing. A lack of coordination and discrepancies between the end goals of the two can result in squandered sales potential.
The struggle is real, and it’s costing businesses valuable resources. In fact, nearly 60% to 70% of content produced for B2B marketing is never used by sales (LOL, why?).
There could be a number of reasons for that, but top candidates include lack of internal awareness about the content and content having low relevance to individual sales contacts.
Whatever the case, if you can successfully share amazing content with the sales organization, content can be the catalyst to your sales success. Let’s find out what it all means and how Gorilla Guides can help.
Tunneling Between Sales and Content Marketing
The most prominent characteristic of modern B2B buying is that it’s mostly research-based. On average, B2B buyers spend a significant amount of time consuming content before they even talk to a sales representative (71% of B2B buyers begin the buying process with an unbranded or generic Google search).
That makes content marketing more important than ever.
However, that’s also not to say that sales is becoming redundant (don’t worry sales, we got you!). If anything, sales is becoming even more critical in this new exciting age. It’s just that the face of sales is changing.
The goal is to align your sales and marketing team around a consistent narrative and buyer’s journey. Content marketing can improve your sales efforts by answering the right questions, with the right messages, at the right time.
Marketers, when focusing on the big picture, tend to over-generalize. Since your sales personnel are the ones actually listening to your prospects and understanding their pain points, they can offer some truly valuable first-hand information (queries, special problems, and so on) that would, otherwise, be difficult, or even impossible, to turn up with SEO tools and such.
Your marketing team can make use of that information to create better MoFu and BoFu content.
Additionally, using that information, marketing can also help sales understand how their content assets can help them nurture prospects in different stages of the buying cycle and clear the way for the next step down funnel. Over time, consistent efforts will result in better-informed prospects and well-equipped sales personnel, resulting in more sales.
Again, the survival of this cycle depends on the level of collaboration between these two teams, or departments.
Catalyzing Direct Sales Efforts
With top-quality and in-depth ToFu and MoFu content, your B2B buyers will already have most of the information they need by the time they approach a rep. However, they’ll still need you to guide them through the next step.
That’s where your sales team steps in.
The inbound methodology discussed in an earlier article also applies to sales. And it doesn’t stop once the prospect approaches you—that’s where all the real work begins, in fact!
Instead of focusing on closing another sale, hopefully your reps focus more on sincerely listening to the prospect’s pain points and genuinely striving to solve their problems by offering the best solutions at their disposal.
Use Gorilla Guides to Nurture Prospects
By leveraging the existing content in your Gorilla Guides, you can create different presentations/videos, whitepapers, and briefs for your sales team. Over time, you can even consider tweaking them by including real-life scenarios and pain points of your different prospects.
You should even consider having your sales reps share an ungated Gorilla Guide in its entirety with target organizations; that could help the key decision makers there wrap their heads around a core concept/problem that you can solve.
If you have a sales force that is doing lots of face-to-face engagement, you could also consider stocking them with printed copies of Gorilla Guides to leave behind as food for thought for promising prospects. Gorilla Guides are really useful for getting those gears turning!
And what better way to become trusted advisors than supplying the prospects with ultra-high-quality content that helps them frame and then resolve their challenges?
By working closely with sales, marketing can develop content based on real-life scenarios. Furthermore, with the information collected by sales, they can create laser-focused, buyer-centric content assets that hit different personas and help convert them.
The Subtle Art of Indirectly Pitching Your Content & Nurturing Prospects
To boost the nurturing process, have your sales team share valuable content assets with prospects, even if they don’t ask for it. Because they probably won’t come right out and ask.
Here’s one quick, non-interruptive way to accomplish such a feat:
However you decide to do it, your best content assets, whether that’s a Gorilla Guide, presentations, videos, or a set of FAQs, should be easily accessible to the sales team. If your sales reps can’t access valuable B2B gold to answer the technical queries of prospects in a matter of seconds, you’ll risk losing easy wins. As a final thought: Investing in a decent CRM platform can help here, too. It would allow you to automate the delivery of your best assets at the right time.
In our next article we will discuss: The Emergence and Importance of Thought Leadership
This content was originally published here.