If you run a business online, then you’re probably trying to answer the age-old question: how do I generate more sales?
It’s a great question with possibly hundreds of answers, but today we’re going to talk about one, content marketing. Now, what does content marketing have to do with the sales process? For a lot of companies, absolutely nothing.
But this can be huge mistake. Instead of having sales teams working independently on your content efforts, you can bring them together and make the process more effective. Don’t believe us? Then keep reading.
Below we dive into exactly how content marketing not only fits into, but can accelerate your sales process.
Content Marketing Ramps up the Trust Factor
Photo credit: Fabian Irsera
Sales is all about trust. Okay, there are other very important parts of the sales process. But one thing is for sure. If the customer doesn’t trust you, they’re not going to buy anything from you.
Think of it this way. Who’s more likely to buy from you? A cold customer who you just called and didn’t know you existed until their phone rang. Or a loyal reader who’s been able to solve a few of their smaller problems thanks to your blog posts, and have been entertained by your social media posts for months now.
I’m guessing you’re going to go with the latter option every time. There’s no greater trust-building tool in the world than great content.
With the near endless selection of companies your prospect can do business with, why would they choose your company? As much as you’d hate to admit it, it’s probably not because of the features of your product.
Take Amazon for example. Most people rarely need any convincing to buy something from the eCommerce behemoth. Part of the reason is the now decades amount of time they’ve spent building trust in the eye of consumers. Before Amazon, exchanging your hard-earned money for goods over the internet was a scary thing. But not anymore.
It’s going to be difficult to build the same level of trust as Amazon, but that shouldn’t be your goal. Instead, it should be to use content to speak to your customers’ deep needs, pain points, and objections.
Use your content as a way to consistently provide value to your visitors and solve their problems. That way when the time comes to buy, there will be little hesitation. You’ve already helped them solve a few minor problems free of charge. You’ve educated them in some way and maybe even made them laugh.
With the help of content you can say goodbye to hard selling.
How to Shorten the Sales Cycle With the “Right” Content
Photo credit: Joao Silas
Using your company blog as a personal journal won’t do much to improve your sales process. Neither will blogging about irrelevant topics. Below we offer a few ways to maximize your content to assist your sales process.
1. Speak to Price Objections Early On
As much as we’d hate to admit it price ends up being one of the most common barriers to people buying our products and services. As a result, a lot of business owners try to avoid talking about it until the very last moment.
Seems safer, but it can lead to a ton of lost time pursuing leads who could never afford your services to begin with. In order to stop this from happening, use your content to educate your potential customers on why you price the way you do.
List your pricing outright and use your content to back it up. Sure, you may lose some leads. But, those who do make it through your pipeline will be that much better of a fit for your business.
2. Create Pre-Sales Call Content
What happens when someone signs up for a sales call? Do they get a confirmation for their registration and that’s it?
Why don’t you use your content to educate your prospect before they even hop on the line. There’s no reason your prospect should join you on the sales call being completely uninformed. The more educated your customers are on what you do, the more likely they’re going to work with you.
Don’t spend the entire sales call giving information to your prospect. Do this ahead of time with your content.
3. Use Content to Get in Contact With the Right People
We all know how difficult it can be to get in touch with the main decision-maker at the company you want to work with. Often, they’re CEOs who are notoriously busy. How are you going to get on their radar?
With your content of course.
The worst thing you can do is approach them straight away with a sales email. Instead, you could warm them up with a useful blog post or video you’ve created that solves a pressing problem for them.
Use your content to make initial contact and provide value from your first very interaction. This will help to lay the foundation for a successful relationship moving forward.
4. Address Concerns Before and After First Contact
In every sales interaction there are going to be all kinds of concerns and objections for you to address. As a sales professional, it’s going to be fairly difficult for you to speak to every single objection on one sales call.
To combat these before (and even after) a sales call, make a list of the most common objections you hear from potential clients. Then, create a series of blog posts, or videos, that address each of these concerns.
Boom, problem solved.
5. Build Up Brand Familiarity for Easy Sales
Want to know the secret to a stream of steady leads for your business?
It’s building massive authority and trust in the eyes of your prospects. When you become the number one expert in your space, people will naturally want to work with you.
In order to reach these vaulted heights of online authority you must put your content to work. You won’t be able to do it by sitting back and keeping all of your knowledge and experience hidden.
Some ways to standout with your content in the crowded online space include:
- Create a series of how-to guides that are the absolute best resources in your space.
- Speak out against a commonly-held norm in your niche.
- Showcase a shortcut that most other experts tend to gloss over.
- Be everywhere. Blog on a consistent basis, promote on social media, and write for large blogs in your space.
The more often people can associate your name with high-quality value-added content, the better. There are virtually no downsides to investing time and energy into content creation. Except maybe time spent.
If you’ve been looking for a way to streamline and even boost your sales process, then we hope you consider implementing content marketing. Make sure your sales and content marketing goals are aligned for the highest effect.