With the recent emphasis in the B2B sales world on social selling, some weaknesses in B2B-focused sales organizations are starting to show up. Some sales reps are now receiving training on the platforms and the strategies they need to be a successful social seller. What’s lacking, though, is the content they need to brand themselves—and by extension, their companies—as true subject-matter experts in their fields.
The 2019 B2B Marketing Outlook Survey [download] from Chief Marketer bears this out. Many companies are creating marketing pieces that work well for Google searches, general social marketing campaigns, and so on. But they’re not producing collateral that’s specific to the buyer’s journey—content that can be used in a targeted way by salespeople to guide prospects through both their decision-making process and your sales funnel. This is borne out in the study, too, as 57% of B2B marketers said that their number one challenge in generating new leads was “getting targeted prospects to engage.” As social selling is all about getting prospects to start conversations, social sellers need content to share that gives them opportunities to engage.
We’ve identified seven categories where you should ideally have content ready for your sales reps to share for your buyer’s journey. Sales and marketing need to smash the wall that can exist between the two departments to achieve this goal. In Part 1 of this series, we shared how to attract people to a sales pro and their company’s product or service pre-funnel. This article will deal with the types of content needed once a prospect is actually in a company’s or rep’s funnel.
You’ve probably seen the statistic from CEB, stating that 6.8 stakeholders on average are now involved in the typical B2B purchasing decision. And as CEB says, “… each of those stakeholders comes to the table with different, often competing, objectives, metrics, and priorities.” Why not develop content that both advocates your product/service to those specific members of your purchasing audience?
You likely know which titles in a typical organization are involved in the purchase of your product. Concentrate on developing content collateral that not only speaks to how your product helps them with their problem(s) but shows their role in assisting in the roll-out and continuing support of your product once purchased. This kind of education will go a long way in not only supporting your sale but will also further brand your company as the expert in your field.
Every salesperson alive has heard objections in their sales processes. Chances are they run into many of the same challenges from multiple prospects. Why not build a collateral piece that circumvents as many of them as possible? Depending on the types of objections your reps generally hear, you can support your reactions with data like key-performance indicators (KPIs) and return-on-investment (ROI) that your current clients see. By providing not only strong responses to objections but giving hard data from companies already involved with you, you can “negate negotiations” to a great extent.
Seal the Deal
This is a very targeted content piece that details what the roll-out process is once they purchase your product or service. Collateral like this will not only give them the steps they’ll go through to implement, but it will further brand your rep and your company as leaders in your industry as you’ll show you already know what they’ll need to undertake for a successful roll-out.
A “seal the deal” piece can also detail the risk of inaction, or what happens if the company doesn’t buy your product. This speaks to the Create FOMO (fear of missing out) collateral as detailed in Part 1 of this series, which can be used at any stage in your sales funnel.
Once they’ve signed on the dotted line, why not try to sell your new client other services? They should already be fans of your company at this point. So align your other offerings and build on your successes you’re having with them by creating collateral that reinforces the stellar results they’re already having and promotes your other products as furthering those positive results.
By building and utilizing content that anticipates your buyer’s journey, and then combining those pieces with sound social-selling strategies, you’ll see more prospects moving through your company’s funnel through to the close. You’ll even see referrals coming from those newly minted clients, as they’ll be stark-raving fans of your offering.
Want to learn more about creating content for your buyer’s journey? Whether we work with your marketing department to guide content for social selling or our team writes it for you, our program builds thought leadership that converts to opportunities and sales. Contact us for details and to set up an introductory call.