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Content Is For Closers: How to Leverage Content For Sales Enablement

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Content Is For Closers: How to Leverage Content For Sales Enablement

  2. 2. TABLE OF CONTENTS i. Introduction ii. Myth Busting iii. A Framework for Using content to Enable Sales iv. Building A Content Library For Your Sales Team v. Creating Targeted Content Streams for Specific Prospects vi. Spoon Feeding Your Sales Team vii. Closing with Content 01 03 07 14 16 19 21
  3. 3. Editing Writing & Research Graphic Design Braveen Kumar Hana Abaza Jenny Choi
  4. 4. Put. That coffee. Down. Coffee’s for closers only. If you work in Sales or Marketing (and were born before 1992), you probably recognize that line from Alec Baldwin’s character in Glengarry Glen Ross. But let’s shake it up a bit. Forget coffee. Content is for closers. “ 1
  5. 5. t’s time to consider content an integral part of the sales process. We all know that content can be a reliable source for lead generation, keeping us flush with a steady stream of qualified prospects. But, in many cases, that’s where the ball drops. From a marketing perspective, leads come in and we do our best to qualify them, score them, and nurture them. Eventually, we pass them off to Sales and all of a sudden the steady flow of useful content dries up for these sales qualified leads. Maybe it’s not being sent, or maybe it doesn’t exist. The sales process becomes long and cumbersome. The prospect begins to waver in their belief about the value you provide. They doubt whether they truly need your product. This, of course, is a scenario that can be avoided. Leveraging content throughout the sales process is a powerful way to educate and persuade potential customers, clarify the value proposition, manage objections and expedite the sales cycle. To be clear, I’m not talking about bottom of the funnel content versus top of the funnel content. I’m talking about content your Sales team can use to overcome the challenges specific to each prospect to help close a deal. I
  6. 6. Myth Busting If you know content marketing, you know it’s important to create content at every stage of the buyer journey. On paper, this seems like a nice, clean way to guide people towards a sale. People will consume content at one stage, then move along to the next. Awareness Consideration Decision “I think I have a problem, but I can’t quite put my finger on it.” “Got it! Now I need to research my options for a solution.” “I’ll go with Company A. They’ll cost more, but have better customer service.” ii 3
  7. 7. But the reality is not that linear—people won’t just magically find their way along the path you created. While it’s true that great content marketing can help bring a prospect closer to becoming a sale, there are often more questions or concerns that arise once they speak to a sales rep. The more complex and expensive your product, the more likely this is to occur. This is why Marketing and Sales have to work together to expose relevant content during the sales cycle. But before we get into how you can do this, we need to bust a few myths. “Content is the marketer’s domain.” Yes and no. Social, blog articles, websites, videos, the list goes on and on—they all start with the formulation of content. Many take this to mean that content belongs only to the Marketing team. To craft great content you need to stretch past the perspective of a marketer. Yes, you need to talk to customers. But beyond that, your content must be informed by Sales. If your Sales team can provide input about the type of content that’s created, they’ll be more likely to use it. On the flip side, understanding the conversations that Sales reps are having daily can help marketers create amazing content.
  8. 8. “Salespeople are lazy.” “Salespeople don’t care. They just want something to send in their follow up email.” While in some cases this might be true, “lazy” isn’t necessarily the problem. But “busy” might be. If you’re on the marketing side, how many times has a Sales rep asked, “do we have a blog post about X?” So, you go to the blog, search for the post, forward the link, and as your temper rises you secretly imagine the Sales rep spontaneously combusting. After all, couldn’t he have done all that himself!? Part of making sure your sales reps use content throughout the sales cycle is to make it as easy as possible to access the right content at the right time. Wrong. Good salespeople — effective salespeople — do care. They understand the impact that a well-crafted, strategically placed piece of content can have on the sales cycle. And if they don’t, fire them. 5
  9. 9. UBERFLIP GIVES MARKETERS FULL CONTROL OVER THE FRONT END CONTENT EXPERIENCE. Aggregate all your content blogs, videos, social media, eBooks and more into a single content hub designed to boost engagement & generate leads. Learn MORE
  10. 10. A Framework for Using Content to Enable Sales iii In a perfect world, Marketing and Sales are like bees and flowers, participating in a give-and-take relationship that enables both of them to flourish together. But the world isn’t perfect and history has shown that marketing and sales need defined processes in order for a company to thrive. It doesn’t have to be a complicated process, but it does have to be explicitly understood. When it comes to leveraging content for Sales enablement, there are a few things you should consider as you develop your process. 90% of the best performing firms surveyed by Aberdeen Group show that marketing is primarily responsible for sales enablement. 7 Did you know?
  11. 11. Aligning Content Creation With Sales Insights Mining insight from your Sales team can help you surface gaps in your content marketing, identify questions at each stage of the sales cycle and manage objections via content. Here are a couple of questions I like to ask my Sales team to get the conversation going: This is a great way to mine for “top of the funnel” content that would resonate with your broader audience. Chances are that if your sales teams’ prospects have these questions, so do many others. And remember, just because it’s top of the funnel, doesn’t meant it can’t be helpful at the bottom of the funnel, as you get closer to closing that deal. Creating content that addresses these “big” questions will give you the opportunity to answer them before the prospect 1. What is the biggest non-product related question you hear?
  12. 12. even speaks to a Sales rep. And if they don’t see the content beforehand, then your Sales reps are now armed with relevant content that they can use to help close the deal. A great example of this type of question at Uberflip is about content curation. While our solution does offer tools to facilitate curation, the questions our team hears are often around best practices or processes to curate content effectively. So, our team put together a killer webinar called 7 Tips to Conquer Content Curation. 9
  13. 13. First, let’s talk about what we mean by objections. These are reasons “why not” - reasons why a seemingly qualified prospect won’t commit to your product or service. Whether you’re talking content marketing, marketing in general, or the entire organization for that matter, it’s essential to understand the objections that potential customers might have. Do they think your product is too expensive? Do they have other priorities that take precedence? Is it something related to the product itself? Understanding the objections that your Sales team hears on a regular basis will help you understand what kind of content you can create to help put these objections to bed before prospects enter the sales cycle. And even if these issues are still brought up, your Sales team is now armed to deal with them. Here’s an example of a blog post we wrote that answered one of the objections our Sales team heard when we first launched Uberflip Hubs: “We would love to create a content Hub, but we don’t have enough content.” 2. What are the most common objections?
  14. 14. The reality was that most of these people had a ton of content. Between blog posts, eBooks, videos and social media content that needed to be organized into a better experience - they were the perfect candidates for our solution. Once again, our content team stepped in to help address this concern. Top-performing companies for sales enablement, surveyed by the Aberdeen Group, have a significantly higher adoption rate of critical technologies: content marketing, marketing automation and CRM softwares. 11 Did you know?
  15. 15. Like objections, pain points are something that your entire Sales, Marketing and Product engine must be in tune with. Pain points are the specific struggles and challenges that your customers experience, ones that your product or service will solve for them. Much like the process for developing content around managing objections, developing content that addresses a person’s pain points can be a powerful way to hook them in at the top of the funnel by speaking about the topic broadly. And by understanding the pain points thoroughly, you can also drive them towards a sale at the bottom of the funnel by relating the pain point to the solution you provide. Both scenarios provide your Sales team with relevant content that provides real value for prospects. Here’s an example of our content team addressing a major pain point that many of our customers face — namely, how to deal with the IT bottleneck that often slows down the Marketing team. 3. What is the biggest pain point we’re solving for people?
  16. 16. While these questions are a great start, the key is to continue the conversation with your Sales team. At Uberflip, we have a weekly “stand up” to touch base with our Marketing, Sales and Customer Success teams that usually lasts between 10 and 20 minutes.We stand because it’s less formal and keeps the meeting short. The topics usually span these three areas: Quick updates from all teams (Customer Success, Sales and Marketing) “Asks” from Sales and Customer Success Team (e.g. content, sales collateral, etc.) Product related issues and updates (e.g.. new features in the pipeline, etc.) While this doesn’t take a ton of time, it does help us stay aligned, not only with respect to content, but for everything else from product to promotions to customer marketing initiatives. 13
  17. 17. Building A Content Library For Your Sales Team iv We all know that experience matters, whether we’re talking about customers or your own Sales team. One of the best ways to ensure that Sales can find and use the content you’ve created is to set up a content library. When it comes to building your content library, take an integrated approach when you’re selecting the content. Here’s what to include: Content that answers the non-product related questions we talked about before Content that manages objections and addresses pain points Case studies that also speak to the pain points Whitepapers or eBooks that relate customer challenges and needs to your solution Videos or webinars that do the same Once you’ve identified the right type of content, take the time to organize it for your sales team. There are many different tools you can use to do this.
  18. 18. For example, if you’re already using content automation software like Uberflip, you can create a stream within your content hub that’s dedicated to these types of resources. This way, your team has one link to access and they’ll find everything they need at their fingertips, including blog posts, case studies, whitepapers and videos. Another option is to include the content in a shared Dropbox, Box or Google Drive folder. In it, you can easily include things like case studies and whitepapers, as well as a simple resource document that includes links to any other relevant content. While it might not be as visual as a content hub, it gets the job done. 15
  19. 19. Creating Targeted Content Streams for Specific Prospects v Whether you’re sending a blog post, a whitepaper or a video, the content experience is key. Remember that perfect world we talked about? In it, Sales reps can send prospects to a highly targeted stream of content curated just for them. Here’s a custom content stream that we created for one segment of our customers who use Pardot. This was created by our marketing team and provides information about our Pardot integration and marketing automation in general. It’s a great place for our Sales reps to send prospects that fit into this segment.
  20. 20. We’ve even been able to target individual prospects specifically thanks to one of our account executives, Jon, who took it one step further with our content marketing software. Below is an example of a custom content stream created specifically for one of his prospects. The stream is hidden, meaning that only those with the link can access it, but you can see that everything about the experience is targeting this company, including the title, description, even the call-to-action that prompts them to “email Jon” directly. Depending on the industry, 57% of the purchase decision is made before customers ever speak to a Sales rep. 17 Did you know?
  21. 21. At Uberflip we have an advantage. Our product revolves around content marketing and, as a result, everybody (including our Sales team) buys into the power of great content. If your Sales team isn’t ready to take the initiative themselves, then as marketers we need to create these experiences for them to leverage. Want to see an example of how this works? Here’s Jon, from our Sales team, showing how quick and easy it was for him to create a custom content stream for one of his prospects. Want to learn more? Watch this full webinar as our VP of Marketing and Sales Team Lead discuss using content to help close deals. SALES ENABLEMENT WEBINAR
  22. 22. At this point, we’ve talked about everything from content creation to building a content library for your Sales team. You might be thinking, “how can we possibly make it any easier for them?” In a sense, you have to think of the Sales team in your organization the same way we think about our customers. You’d never limit yourself to one channel when creating a marketing campaign or program, so why limit yourself with the Sales team? Here are a few ways you can make things even easier and facilitate better communication: Update your Sales team regularly about new content, particularly if it’s something they’ve been requesting. At Uberflip, we use Skype company-wide for quick, on-the-fly updates. Send a monthly newsletter with a roundup of new content and other assets. Spoon Feeding Your Sales Team vi 1. 2. 19
  23. 23. Tag content based on buyer persona so your Sales team knows who the intended audience might be (because, let’s face it, they won’t read all of your content). If your team leverages a CRM like Salesforce to manage email followups, include content links within the email template they might use. Use a content marketing platform that facilitates the search and curation of your content so your sales reps can easily do it themselves. Hold “content reviews” and ask sales people what their go-to blog posts or whitepapers are and why. 5. 4. 6. 7. Hold an internal webinar to explain new content releases and assets.3.
  24. 24. Closing With Content vii As we round off this eBook, let’s recap the essentials of effectively leveraging content to enable your Sales team: A Sales team armed with content—content inspired by their own insights—is a Sales team that can more effectively close deals. To make this happen you’ll need the right tools combined with the right processes for your company. So before you craft another piece of content, take a step back, walk over to the nearest Sales rep, and have a conversation. Align insight from your Sales team with the content you create (they’ll be more inclined to use it!) Build a content library that’s easy for your Sales team to use (keep them updated and listen to their feedback around your content) Enable your Sales team to target specific segments or even individuals to personalize the content experience around the prospect’s needs. 21
  25. 25. tips & tricks? WANT MORE CONTENT MARKETING Subscribe to our HUB Get your own Uberflip Hub! Start your free trial now.