How to Close More Deals with Outstanding Sales Content
Oh I’m sure you’ve been asking yourself about it already:
Why should I care about using content in sales? After all, as long as I manage to build strong connections with prospects and communicate the value of my offering to them, I should have no problems closing more deals, right?
But you see:
It turns out that sending prospects valuable information that matches their stage of the buying cycle can dramatically increase your chances for making the sale.
Here, let me prove it with a couple of statistics:
According to the DemandGen Report, 95% of buyers select a provider who “provided them with ample content to help navigate through each stage of the buying process” (source).
Forrester Research reports that 82% of buyers viewed at least 5 pieces of content from the winning vendor (source).
And so in this post I’ll explain to you why incorporating content into your sales process could help you close more deals…and I’ll show you how to do it.
Why Align Content and Sales
In case if the two statistics I quoted above didn’t convince you, here are a couple of other reasons why you should incorporate content into your sales process:
Content Captures Prospects’ Attention
Fact: Most of your prospects receive tens, if not more, potential sales emails per day.
But these messages typically include nothing more than a short text about the offer, boast its value proposition, a link to the website and a meeting / call request.
I’m sure you’ll agree, that’s hardly enough to capture a prospect’s attention.
For one, buyers often need more information before even deciding if what you offer is right for them.
Not to mention that they want to see that you understand their needs, pain points and are willing to invest time into tailoring your offer specifically for them.
Content Also Beats the Hard Sell
Sending prospects content that provides information, insight and solutions builds trust, positions you as someone willing to make the effort to educate them and in turn, outdoes any forms of a hard sell.
It Helps to Control the Sales Funnel
Delivering relevant information at the right time helps to slowly move the person through every stage of the buying process.
Without it, they would probably just randomly bounce from one information to another with a high possibility of dropping off your funnel at any point.
4 Tips for Closing More Deals with Sales Content
If you’re wondering how to use content to make more sales, here are a couple of points to get you started.
1. Ensure Marketing Creates Insight Driven Content
To help you sell more, your content MUST address the most common issues you face when interacting with prospects: their pain points and sales objections.
So ensure that whoever creates the content, includes your insights about them in their work.
Meet with content creators at your company on regular basis to discuss:
- What are the top product related questions prospects are asking you during sales calls?
- What are their most common pain points?
- What sales objections you constantly encounter when interacting with prospects?
Then, use your insight to brainstorm topics and content ideas that address them.
Such content will help you educate prospects, manage their objections and communicate the value of your offering in a clear and compelling way.
2. Develop Content Matching All Stages of the Buyer’s Journey
Content can educate prospects about their problem, persuade them to buy from you, communicate your value proposition, help overcome objections and accelerate the sales process.
But for all this to happen, it must match a prospect’s stage of the buying cycle.
For prospects at the Awareness stage, content should offer advice, explanation and information about the problem they have.
Therefore, develop content that:
- Educates them and answers their specific questions about the problem.
- Provides guidance on how to overcome the problem,
- Addresses their pain points and,
- Directs them to more resources.
Ideal content types for this stage include blog posts, infographics, presentations, videos, guides or eBooks.
For prospects at the Consideration stage, content should position your product or service as the solution to their needs and problems. It should also communicate your deep understanding of the problem and showcase your expertise to solve it.
This content’s role is to help a prospect evaluate your company against the competition and highlight the benefits of buying from you.
Ideal content types for this the consider stage includes testimonials, demo videos, whitepapers, webinars or drip campaigns.
Finally, for the Decision stage, sales content should provide the buyer with the final reason to buy. Prospects at this stage have already decided to buy from you. But they might still need you to provide them with information about your product implementation, launch costs and support.
Use content types such as product demos, FAQs, spec sheets, presentations, price sheets to help them determine if your product is the best solution to buy.
3. Develop a Sales Content Library
A study by IDC discovered that sales people don’t use up to 80% of content their marketing department creates (source). And that’s in spite of the fact that the majority of it was created specifically for them.
And that’s for a simple reason…they can’t find it.
According to Hana Abaza from Uberflip, 65% of reps admit having trouble finding sales content to send to prospects. (source)
To overcome this problem, create a content library that would include all materials you’d be using in the sales process.
Then, categorize each content piece by its purpose.
I’d recommend you at least include the following categories and content types in the library:
Lead Generation Content:
- Research findings,
- Webinar Recordings.
- Case Studies,
- Implementation and Spec Sheets.
- Pain points sheets,
- Detailed Spec Sheets.
Follow Up Content:
- Blog posts,
- Research statistics,
4. Pick the Right Metrics to Measure Your Content’s Effectiveness
Finally, develop a set of metrics to monitor how content you share with prospects helps accelerate and improve the sales process.
I recommend that at minimum you use the following 3 metrics:
Response rate is the number of desired conversions divided by the number of messages sent.
However, I typically understand it quite literarily as the number of prospect who have responded in some way to the sales content I sent them.
You could identify different types of responses and in turn, weight the content’s effectiveness by it.
For instance, you could measure how many prospects:
Emailed you back to thank for the content,
Requested additional information,
Took the next step in the sales process (i.e. agreed to a meeting or product demo).
Also, monitor how your prospects engage with any content you forward to them.
This metric might not be particularly useful when it comes to external content like blog posts or videos.
However, if you send your prospects documents like eBooks, whitepapers or spec sheets you could observe whether they even read them. And if so, what sections they spend the most time on.
This information will help you gauge their interest and plan the next actions.
Lastly, monitor the difference in conversion rate between deals you supported with sales content and those for which you didn’t use it to establish the value of content in your sales efforts.