There was a time when the sales and marketing departments didn’t know much about each other, and they certainly didn’t have to collaborate with one another unless specifically asked to do so. But times have changed, and nowadays, these two teams need to be working in harmony if you want your business to succeed.
We live in a content-driven world where individuals are consuming content all the time, from breaking news online to blog posts, Youtube videos and social media; the list goes on.
As such, content has become king in the marketing world, and content marketing has become an important buzzword over the last few years. If done right, content can secure huge amounts of search engine traffic, attract new customers and move them one step further down that sales funnel.
This is why it is so important that your sales team understands the benefits of content marketing and utilises this to meet their targets – and that’s where this guide comes in.
Below, we’re going to share with you five reasons why content marketing is so important for your sales team, so you can make sure that content collaboration between these two departments is a top priority this year.
1. Content can deliver organic leads
One of the key ways that content is used by the marketing team is to drive traffic to your website and/or products through organic searches and social media exposure. For example, offering a free eBook or download encourages a prospect to share their contact details, but someone then needs to take this one step further.
If these details are passed to the sales team in a timely manner, they can reach out to prospects while the lead is still hot. The fact that they were interested in your content in the first place suggests your business can help them, which puts the lead further down the sales funnel than an initial cold call would.
2. Content helps your sales team to nurture and convert leads
Today’s consumers rarely search for one specific item or brand and immediately make a purchase. Instead, they go on a longer journey of discovery to ensure they find the goods or services that are perfect for them.
Content is a very valuable part of this journey and one which can help your sales teams to nurture leads and maintain contact with prospects. In the first instance, this can be a great way to let consumers know who you are and what you offer in a less ‘salesy’ way and in a more educational and helpful way.
Not only this, but if your marketing team has created a bank of useful content such as blog posts, videos, how-to guides, eBooks, etc., it becomes much easier to reconnect with prospects by simply sharing these resources with them.
For example, let’s say that someone wants to invest in a new security system and this is exactly what you sell; rather than simply targeting them with adverts or making cold calls and hoping to get lucky, you could:
- Create blog posts about online security or the latest cyber threats that link back to your website
- Share videos on similar content or share videos on how your business can help protect their systems
- Create interesting infographics using the latest cybercrime statistics
And these are just a few ideas; there are plenty of other ways to generate interesting and genuinely helpful content that will get prospects engaging with your brand.
The more they see your name and consume your great content, the more likely they are to reach out for information on your services or perhaps even sign up for a free trial. Hey, they might even buy your product/services there and then if they’re impressed enough!
3. Content can help to answer prospects’ questions
Throughout their journey from discovery to purchase, it’s inevitable that prospects will have some questions about your goods or services, and they’ll want these answered before they part with their cash.
Now, of course, outbound sales reps are happy to answer questions if it makes a sale, but this can be time-consuming, and they might come on a little too ‘salesy’.
That’s where content comes in. From how-to videos and brochures to whitepapers, having content that answers their questions in greater detail can be extremely helpful for both parties and can support sales reps in their outbound sales process.
4. Content helps to establish your business as a thought leader
Brand awareness is important when you’re trying to sell, but so is trust in that brand. Today’s consumers are prepared to spend more money to buy from a company that has good reviews and that they feel they can trust.
If your sales team is able to share interesting and helpful content to help prospects and customers alike solve a specific query or problem, this can go a long way to earning their trust. Not to mention, this can give more credibility to your team and the business as a whole, positioning you as a thought leader within your industry.
Which again, is only going to help customers and prospects to trust you. This, in turn, can help to boost sales and move prospects further down the sales funnel until they eventually make a purchase.
5. Content helps to establish culture
Creating a killer marketing and sales strategy isn’t just about getting prospects engaging with your company and learning to trust you – this also applies to your teams as well. After all, how can you expect a sales representative to pitch your goods or services with passion if they’re not passionate about your company and its mission?
Clearly defining your company culture and using content to do so can educate your teams about your missions, visions and values and can shape the way they behave and talk to prospective and existing customers.
By creating and sharing interesting content and encouraging your sales team to engage with this, you’ll help them to identify with the culture of your brand and interact with prospects in a manner that resonates with your brand’s image.