Modern B2B marketers understand that a solid content strategy has a place in the marketing toolbox and that written content has never been more in demand. Between extensive content (e-books, white papers) and requests from executives and sales managers, there is an infinite line of content needs.
About the content requested by the sales force, this frightening statistic makes marketers tremble: up to 70% of the content they develop is never actually used by the sales force. Cheeky, right?
Whether the resulting article is a customer story, a CEO resource, or an innovative leadership article, such as a subscription article, media coverage can and should be treated as a content resource to be leveraged. From both departments.
Salespeople as marketers
Salespeople can be the real voice of the customer. Through daily conversations, they have a good understanding of the problems that potential customers currently face.
Answers to questions can provide ideas for innovative leadership content, which can be turned into blog posts or presented to the media assigned articles. Questions to get you started to include:
- Why do potential customers buy?
- Why do we lose?
- What are the three main customer pain points that our product solves?
- What frequently asked questions and objections do you receive?
- What changes or trends in the market do you see?
Find themes for innovative leadership content
After the information is collected in conversations with sales managers, marketers can set their own creative boundaries and turn responses into innovative leadership content. Using the sample questions described above, the information collected can be turned into compelling comments.
- Why do potential customers buy? Unveiling the experience of potential customers in problem areas and what distinguishes the organization/product from the competition can be highlighted in an educational piece.
For example, a sales manager’s response to a SaaS marketing company may include predictive analytics, scalability, and reliability. This article can be transformed into a piece entitled “The three most important factors when choosing a marketing automation platform”. An article like this helps to educate potential customers to consider what to think before investing in a solution while highlighting the three main differentiators as primary considerations.
- Why do we lose? By highlighting the weaknesses deliberately perceived, an opportunity is presented. Addressing common misconceptions directly with innovative leadership content can ease a prospect’s fears before making a decision.
For example, a sales manager’s answer to the question “why are we losing?” potential customers may choose not to buy because of the perceived headache associated with buying and implementing new technologies, opting for slowness, and adhering to outdated or home-made systems. In that case, create an innovative leadership element that addresses the ‘build versus buy situation (emphasizing the benefits of the ‘buy’ option) or a blog post that focuses on ‘when it’s time to switch from self-built solutions’ can help customers Overcome the potential fear of change before talking to a sales representative on the phone.
Use it or lose it
Creating points of contact with leads is critical to helping account representatives move leads into the funnel, and editorial press coverage provides another reason to reach customers.
Regardless of whether sales representatives share media coverage via email or social media, PR content is more powerful than the content itself, as press coverage has the credibility of third parties from a respected media. And because the topic was addressed directly by the sales team, the content includes posts that attract potential customers.
The media coverage of the PR team can be related to different stages of the buyer’s journey:
- Awareness. For this step, the signed articles are not about a company or product but serve as educational articles or problems/solutions to determine the need for your product/service.
- Consideration. Every salesperson has experienced it: a good connection with a potential customer – maybe even several phone calls – but now a month has passed and this is the ghost. Media coverage can provide social proof that your solution is being used by reputable companies as is. Articles that emphasize a case study, charge the customer’s price, or share the customer’s experience with the product or service are ideal for this type of point of contact to close the deal quickly.
- Purchase. For potential customers who have chosen a solution strategy, but have compiled a long list of all suppliers, product coverage can influence their decision to buy your solution instead of the competition. The need for the product has already been identified and they are researching suppliers, wouldn’t it be powerful if a reputable third party agreed? If sales and marketing are the same, the reach of the product will reflect your message and create a sense of trust with the brand.
Ultimately, marketers need to change two perceptions: the way PR is viewed and the separation between sales and marketing. Just as public relations must be included as a legitimate source of content, sales managers must be seen as a source of ideas, like the voice of the customer. Companies that take this approach to reduce friction between departments and eventually close more quickly.