Self-Service Buyers Driving You Nuts? 5 Tips For Getting A Step Ahead

By the time they actually talk to a sales representative, buyers are already 40 to 60 percent through the sales cycle. This means in order for sales teams to convert leads to opportunities, they must find potential buyers while they’re self-educating, and then guide these people through the entire process with lots of custom-made content.

Of course, we realize that’s much easier said than done. Sales teams need to tailor these sales assets for each and every stage of the buying cycle. Here are five tips to help you do this effectively.

  1. Try to get in the mind of your buyer: Pretend that you are the buyer (be tough) and determine what you would want in their situation. Each buyer will be a little different, so you have to do research. After performing interviews, industry research and any other related data gathering, tailor sales assets to your buyer’s exact interests and needs. Some people are more tech-oriented, while some more interested in financials, so cater to your buyer. It’s impossible to personalize if you don’t know the person. They are doing this research and this is an opportunity for you to do some of the legwork for them. There is real value to the buyer in getting a curated experience from someone that knows that space.
  2. As the prospect moves through the sales process, give them the right content at the right time. Again, this is about creating a curated experience. Have they engaged previously with your content and visited the website 15 times? Or are they searching for general information about the industry and happen to have landed on your blog article? You will need technology to help you out here to get the analytics, but they give you the key on what to do next. Prospects need different kinds of information at different times of the buying cycle or they will lose interest. It’s especially important to place the introductory buying trigger as early in the process as possible. Don’t give prospects everything all at once. Have some self-discipline, knowing what might be more relevant later down the line. If you get through one or two pieces of content early on, then you can deliver other content later.
  3. Test content before you use it: Perfecting sales assets for prospects is like picking a shampoo: Try, test, rinse and repeat. Performing A/B testing is especially helpful here. Get feedback from users and find out what content works better than others. Learning what sales asset isn’t attractive to prospects is just as valuable as learning what works. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of putting the message out there and seeing what happens. Find technology to help you measure. Your marketing colleagues are doing this at an audience level — you need to do it with your individual prospects. Once you’ve posted some sales assets, use these publications to obtain better visibility into what’s working and not working. It’s not enough to have different types of content; you also have to track what’s getting opened and shared.
  4. Deliver sales assets in the right format: Timing isn’t all that’s important about content delivery; it’s also critical to think about the format. Different age groups, for example, will respond to videos and printed copy differently. An older businessperson may be more likely to click through a slide deck, whereas a younger consumer might prefer to watch a YouTube video on her smartphone. The motivations for your prospect will also impact the format. The key is to offer a variety of content types. It’s a good idea to share your sales assets in a video, slide deck and whitepaper early in the process to see which resonates best with the buyer.
  5. Use the right technology to deliver your sales assets: In some sense, it’s more important to put the infrastructure in place to measure your content than it is to have great content. Chances are your organization already has some content, but lacks the ability to measure its success across a variety of metrics during the sales cycle. You have to monitor sales assets because that’s how you improve your decision-making and determine what your prospects need. Work to get smarter about your approach and it will pay dividends down the road.

The Tellwise Nutshell (TTN): Buyers already know what they’re looking for by the time they reach you, which is why we believe the time to create quality sales assets along with a highly personalized and curated experience is now. The demand for content geared for the self-educated buyer is only going to keep increasing.

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