Content Marketers: Don’t Fire Your Sales Staff
Content marketing can help with lead generation and nurturing, but your business still needs a solid sales staff to close deals.
Content marketing helps generate a steady influx of quality leads and provides relevant information to prospects as they move down the sales funnel. Content can even help close a deal.
But forget any notion about content marketing replacing the work of your sales staff. The two must work together to convert leads into customers.
Even quality leads do not typically turn into sales on their own. You need a sales staff to take those opportunities and cultivate them into new business.
What content marketing does vs. your sales staff
Content marketing and sales staff provide different touch points for leads at distinct stages of the buying cycle. Here are a few examples:
Forming a relationship
- Content marketing opens up dialogue with potential customers. Often the first signs of customers’ interest appear after they read one of your blog posts, when they open and click through an email, or they share your company’s posts on social media channels.
- Your sales staff keeps that positive contact going to the next level. They develop it into a conversation. That person who read your blog post now has a relationship with a person in your company.
- Content marketing can reach a potential customer early, while they are looking for solutions. B2B buyers report spending more time conducting research, using more expert content such as vendor websites, user reviews, and social media, before making a purchase. Your business should be producing content in order to make the short list of buyers who are looking for products and services like yours.
- Your sales staff answers those important first questions. When a customer reaches out with a query, s/he is likely 60% through the sales process. The customer has done a fair amount of research, and the sales rep must speak specifically to the customer’s needs — in a way that generic content can’t — to keep them interested and moving down the funnel.
Advocating for your brand
- Content marketing increases brand awareness for your business. It helps elevate your brand position within the industry and keeps your business top of mind, even when potential customers aren’t ready to make a purchase.
- Your sales staff is the advocate for your brand when a customer is preparing to make a purchase. They should be proactive in pursuing business when customers show interest in your content or when they reach out with questions. They drive dialogue and get to know customers and how your business can help them.
The content marketing, sales staff partnership
Curating and creating great content will generate quality leads for your company. But, your sales staff is vital to building relationships with potential customers and closing the sale.
- Marketing vs. Sales: Why There Shouldn’t Be a Competition
- Adapting B2B Sales for the Information Age
- Most B2B Buyers Use Social Media in Their Research
- 50% of Sales Go to the Vendor That Responds First