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Q1/2015 A New Sales Approach Method

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Message from Randy Sasaki, AFV Partner

A  ll marketers are eager to drive more business and increase revenue for their company. In order to meet this goal, marketers have had to get creative and combine their sales-oriented minds with different marketing strategies. In 2014, companies increased their budgets for content marketing by 71% indicating how important appropriate and effective content is in B2B marketing.

Having the right content is critical but developing that content can take time. The payoff—content offers sales representatives an opportunity to connect with their audience so they can sell more efficiently. With the right content, sales representatives can be better prepared for sales conversations, gain access to selling tools to engage more effectively, and learn more about their audience through analytics. Content creation provides the opportunity to align sales and marketing to increase brand awareness and website traffic, generate more leads, and, ultimately, bring in more revenue.

Content as a Preparation Tool     As information becomes more readily available, buyers are becoming more self-directed.  They enter the sales cycle before consulting any sales representatives. So how do companies reach those buyers before they make their business decisions? Companies must develop content and share it frequently to establish their position as a thought leader and trusted advisor to their customers. Ways to share content with buyers include sending emails with the content, blog posts, and conversations on social media.

Content as a Selling Tool     Use content as a selling tool and remember to create content that supports all stages of the sales cycle. Include customer testimonials, product or service demos, data sheets, white-papers, and company-approved PowerPoint presentations. Allowing buyers to access content relevant to them will help guide them through the sales cycle. Additionally, there should be a content “vault” for sales representatives to access content whenever they need it which will enable them to leverage the same information provided to the buyers they are engaging.

Content as an Analytics Tool     Companies are always looking for ways to better understand the needs and challenges of potential customers either generally or within specific industries. Platforms that track customer interaction with specific pieces of content provide companies with analytics that allow sales representatives to follow up on prospect who are more actively engaging with their content. For example, when a prospect views a video, the platform can track how long it was watched and how many times. The same concept applies for email click rates to landing pages. The metrics help sales representatives identify and focus on buyers that are interested in learning more about the content in the email.

Content marketing is no longer just brand awareness.  It is an effective way to reach buyers at any stage of the sales cycle. By providing buyers with content that speaks to their business wants and needs, a sales representative has already made an impact on the buyer’s decision, before personally engaging them. Content is not just information to be provided to buyers; it is sales enablement, analytics, and a company’s story.

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