Marketing is evolving.
Even if you’re the founder, owner and chief bottle washer at your small business – the future of marketing no longer found in a marketing department or in your freelance network. These days, anyone and everyone at your company can contribute to your content mix — particularly your sales team.
Here’s why: your website is a 24/7/365 salesperson. If it’s loaded with the right content, it can answer the most common questions your sales leads have.
So instead of a sales rep pestering prospects by answering a few questions at a time, homegrown content allow you to upgrade your marketing and gear content towards different target customer types (personas) at different stages in their buyer journey. This gives you two essential benefits:
- it positions your business as an authority
- it allows prospects to “raise their hand” when they’re ready to talk
Plus, content like blog posts or white papers are able to convey information thoroughly and consistently while making sure all of your leads are getting the same messages.
So if you’re ready to try generating your own content, here are five things to keep in mind:
1. Capture Pain Points
Through conversations with prospects, sales reps uncover issues that trigger action – or “hot buttons”. These hot buttons correlate exactly to the type of content your prospects are interested.
The trick is to get sales reps into the habit of recording common questions and objections. Chances are they already have common responses to popular questions and a system of adapting them to different scenarios. But instead of keeping that intel to themselves, they can share it so it can be converted into marketing content.
2. Schedule a Sales and Marketing Powwow
No question about it: your sales team are the subject matter experts when it comes to your prospects pain points. But without a marketing mindset, there’s no way to brainstorm how to turn that knowledge into actual content.
Get marketing and sales in the same room for a powwow session to brainstorm ideas, prioritize needs, and create a plan for content creation. And if you don’t have two separate people in those roles, you take one role and have someone else at your company take the other.
Divvy up your leads into personas and catalogue their pain points at different stages of their buyer journey – awareness, consideration and decision. Doing a deep dive into your prospects and their challenges is the foundation of a robust marketing content plan.
3. Don’t Force Non-Writers to Write
If you’re like most small businesses, almost no one at your company is going to be comfortable writing content. That’s totally fine.
But it’s still important your sales reps are be involved in content creation to some degree because they’re the ones who know the questions prospects are asking and how to answer them effectively.
The easiest way to suck knowledge out of a sales reps head is to interview them and record their answers. A simple transcription of their answers can serve as the foundation for a blog post or whitepaper. A freelance editor can tag team with your sales rep to make sure their expertise is captured correctly.
4. Create a Resource Library
Collect all your blog posts, case studies, videos, and whitepapers in one central place to allow your sales team – and sales leads – to find the right resources. Tagging your resources by FAQ, content type, buyer stage or industry persona helps users find the exact resources they need.
5. Rinse and Repeat
Once you’ve built your marketing content system, don’t stop there. Continue sales and marketing powwows to address new data points, technologies, and questions that inevitably come up.
For larger businesses, consider using Slack or another instant messaging platform to make it easy continue conversations outside of meetings and to enable team members to share about questions or new ideas.
Keeping your sales machine humming isn’t easy, and it’s way tougher when you don’t have any resources. By following these five tips for creating content, you can help your sales team contribute to your company’s goals.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Robbie Moore is the founder of Rushminute, a digital marketing agency in Lincoln, Nebraska. With 20+ years of experience in digital marketing, Robbie has worked with dozens of companies and organizations, large and small, around the globe. He also writes extensively about design, development, and business in general.