Content marketing is reshaping the sales process. Here’s what this strategic resource can do for you.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll probably say it again: content marketing is not about making a sales pitch. Nor is it a substitute or replacement for an expert sales staff. However, with the right strategy, and with a closely aligned sales and marketing team, this inbound approach to marketing can revolutionize the way supply chain businesses approach sales.

There’s no question that content marketing has changed the sales process. Thanks to the content and resources available to them, potential customers are more informed as they enter the buyer’s journey. Content marketing helps generate a steady flow of quality leads and provides targeted information to usher prospects down the sales funnel.

Content marketing helps generate a steady flow of quality leads and provides targeted information to usher prospects down the sales funnel. Click To Tweet

In this new environment, marketing and sales need to work in tandem to be at their most effective. This way they can help each other generate leads, nurture current leads more effectively, and close more deals. Here are three important ways content marketing is changing the way businesses accomplish these goals:

1) Inbound over outbound

Old school marketing was all about outbound — a marketing approach that pushes a message onto a buyer. Traditional advertising — tv and radio ads, telemarketing, banner and display ads — are all examples of outbound marketing. Content marketing takes the opposite approach: inbound marketing.

Inbound marketing focuses on audiences finding you. Instead of pushing a message onto buyers, inbound marketing allows you to establish your brand as an industry leader and let interested audiences come to you. This type of marketing attempts to draw in potential customers through interesting and engaging content.

When it comes to sales, inbound marketing is a game-changer. Content marketing is all about creating a relationship with prospects and paving the way for the sales team to nurture and develop that relationship. Your sales staff is empowered to nurture more leads through to conversion when they are armed with effective, targeted content.

2) Providing information

Once your prospect is ushered into the sales funnel, content marketing can help your sales team continue the conversation. The content you share with prospects at this stage of the buyer’s journey should be designed to answer informed questions and demonstrate that your products and services are there to meet their needs.

Quality content is your sales staff’s best friend. As sales personnel answer questions from prospects and help guide them toward conversion, email, blog, and other types of content are key to keeping prospects interested and moving them down the funnel.

3) Cultivate loyalty

Converting leads is important, but it’s only half the battle. Cultivating loyal customers for your business is crucial to success. Content marketing can not only help you do this, but it can turn those loyal customers into ambassadors for your brand.

Your sales staff should use the high-quality content and guidance provided by your marketing team to engage with satisfied customers on social channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Rather than trying to push products, they can use these social spaces to share expert information and foster conversations that will lead other prospects to your business.

Content marketing and sales are a match made in heaven. Curating and creating great content will generate quality leads for your company. It also empowers your sales force to build relationships with potential customers — and close the sale.

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