Continuing Education: Recasting Marketing Assets As Sales Assets
When prospects want to do their own research and draw their own conclusions, sales reps are best able to demonstrate their value by supplying educational information and sales assets, instead of trying to sell and persuade. Buyer behavior has been evolving in response to a number of factors, including the emergence of content marketing.
An organization that uses this content marketing approach responds to self-starting buyer behavior by trying to establish itself early on as a source of expertise and useful information. This provides an opportunity for sales teams to build on that educational relationship and sales momentum, with a seamless handoff from marketing to sales.
It sounds simple: Focus on educating prospects instead of selling to them. But you’re inviting confusion if you’re telling your sales reps to not sell your organization’s products and services … and then reward them for sales.
It’s helpful to think of the rep’s role as providing a highly personalized service: curating relevant, interesting and educational information for each prospect. That doesn’t mean salespeople need to spend lots of time creating their own blogs, videos and other sales assets. Instead, they should focus on developing customer relationships by finding and presenting relevant information in an appropriate format and context.
And a great place for sales teams to find that relevant information is — you guessed it — your marketing department. Often, marketing creates a number of videos, whitepapers and tip sheets that end up collecting dust after their initial use. While you should be careful to avoid presenting outdated information to prospects, much of this marketing content could be repurposed as sales assets.
The key is coming up with creative ways to package marketing and sales assets. Think of this as setting the stage for your prospect, providing context for each sales asset you decide to present. If all this curating of sales assets is starting to sound like way too much work, that’s because it is … if you’re trying to create your own content, organize it with a spreadsheet and distribute it manually.
That’s where a sales content platform comes in handy. This software streamlines content curation for the sales rep while collecting valuable data on buyer behavior, setting up a feedback loop that improves the curation process. And for the buyer, the sales content platform serves up useful information in a sleek, user-friendly format.
The Tellwise Nutshell (TTN): As buyer behavior changes, sales teams need to continue the educational approach of content marketing and drive it further into the sales process. Prospect behavior is changing in part because prospects are getting lots of information from marketing, and sales needs to continue that process, educating the customer all the way through.