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Sales and marketing have changed since 2008. Historically the two departments worked in silos; today it’s more important than ever that they work together as a team.
Organizations are sometimes reluctant to use their marketing team to help the sales team work more effectively. Maybe they aren’t convinced, or they don’t know where to start. However, it’s unmistakable that marketing contributes to sales success by informing and reassuring potential customers. In doing so, it actively lowers prospect resistance and reduces their objections.
It’s, therefore, a must to place the performance of the sales team at the heart of marketing concerns.
If sales performance is going to be at the core of what marketing does, the team will have to answer these simple questions:
- How can marketing contribute to sales efforts?
- What’s time-consuming for salespeople?
A practical solution: content marketing
With a content marketing strategy, an organization will provide better sales conditions for its B2B representatives by reducing customer resistance. To lower resistance, a company’s content strategy must act on 3 fronts:
1. Educate customers before they ever speak with sales
Your content needs to address your most common objections.
Lack of knowledge and misperceptions are the source of most prospect resistance. It’s, therefore, essential to provide necessary information, without taking up the salesperson’s time. A salesperson is a trusted advisor, not an educator.
Blog content, ebooks and free tools that address concerns and built to reassure prospects increase confidence. In turn, reps aren’t as often faced with resistance stemming from lack of trust.
Customers informed in early on in their purchasing cycle are more open, less resistant and ready to discuss.
2. Keep the company alive and active in the minds of future and former customers
When reps try to stay in the minds of former customers, many spend their time making the (largely unprofitable) rounds of accounts. Content marketing allows the company to remain top of mind without mobilizing a salesperson.
By publishing, for example, weekly blog articles supported by a content marketing strategy, the organization ensures that it remains visible to its customers and subscribers.
Without the need to stay top of mind, salespeople can spend their time differently – contacting former customers with significant purchasing histories, or approaching new prospects.
3. Enhance the organization’s credibility
A company that produces quality content demonstrates commitment and professionalism. It also allows readers and clients to see the breadth of their knowledge and expertise.
A strong online presence gives an impression of notoriety that is attractive in sales. Representatives will spend much less time answering questions about the company’s history, expertise and uniqueness to justify its credibility.
Can marketing content create objections?
Often, when I recommend using content to lower prospect resistance, some managers and sales leaders are reluctant. They often ask:
“If I publish content that talks about the most common objections, will it CREATE objections that the prospect hadn’t thought of?”
The answer is NO.
A price-sensitive customer will always have this objection, even if they don’t express it. It’s, therefore, better to address the concern upstream to facilitate the representative’s work.
Reps will be able to reassure customers with slight price objections faster with content than alone. Prospects with an insurmountable price sensitivity will disqualify themselves.
How Prima Resource benefits from content marketing
I founded PRIMA in 2008 and on February 21 of that year, I published my first blog post.
Between 2008 to 2012, I only wrote 75 articles. However, those first few years convinced me of the relevance and necessity of content marketing.
So I decided to allocate a larger content marketing budget, which took my company to a whole new level.
Over time, our content strategy has evolved and still improves today.
In the field, prospect resistance has significantly changed. At first, when I told my potential customers that it would be necessary to conduct a sales force evaluation, I was seen as an oddball.
Scientifically analyzing sales representatives and sales managers was something new, unprecedented, and perceived as radical by some.
Today, Prima Resource’s notoriety and the content we have massively produced on sales force evaluations do the work for us.
Of course, there’s always a sales job to do, but with our credibility established and customers convinced of the validity of our offer, there’s less resistance. Our marketing is, therefore, a significant aid when it comes to selling our services!
Collaboration between sales and marketing helps boost a company’s profitability, particularly when implementing a proper content strategy that, by lowering customer resistance, allows salespeople to use their time more efficiently.
The profitability of a marketing strategy designed to support sales is undeniable in the medium and long term. Business leaders should keep in mind that online content creation is an essential part of sales and marketing.