From our conversations across the construction industry, it’s clear that building product Sales Leaders view content marketing with suspicion, feeling it could hinder their chances of getting in front of prospects and customers.
Once we explain the benefits to them and their teams of a well executed inbound marketing strategy, they soon understand the potential to help them improve lead generation and lead quality.
Making their sales team busier, more respected in their sector and getting them in front of more influential decision makers and specifiers.
Read on, to find out how we explain the key benefits to sales of inbound and content marketing.
Sales & Marketing As One Team
Before you consider embarking on your inbound marketing project, it’s essential to ensure that you’re committed to making content marketing and the principles of inbound, transparency and customer centricity, the bedrock of your whole organisation.
To make this happen, not only do the leadership and marketing teams have to be aligned in their vision, but the sales team must get involved in the process.
Your sales team needs to understand the what, how, and why of this important business strategy.
Adopting inbound and content marketing will affect sales as a team and as individuals too, getting this right will take your content marketing to far higher levels of success, and make the lives of sales people easier, less frustrating and more rewarding.
Here are seven benefits that sales teams will enjoy if they’re committed to integrating the principles of inbound into the sales process.
1. Producing Content Forces Us To Understand Buyers Better
If you’re going to be good at content marketing as a business, you need to understand exactly what prospects and customers are saying, thinking, feeling, and searching. You must know their pains, challenges, concerns, issues, and objectives.
In a nutshell, you must be ‘as one’ with your customers and prospects. In marketing terms, you would call this understanding your “buyer persona.”
But regardless of what you call it, many businesses and sales teams never get to a point where they are completely in tune with the way their customers and prospects think before, during, and after the buying process.
However when companies are forced to think about these things while they’re attempting to produce educational and helpful content aligned to each phase of the buyer’s journey, the ability of the sales team to put themselves in the shoes of their prospects and customers will never be higher.
In sales, empathy is everything.
When someone doesn’t have it, they generally aren’t very successful, and when they don’t have it with their content, it generally doesn’t work either.
2. Creating Content Improves Sales Messaging
Top sales professionals have not only heard most questions a prospect could ask, they usually answer them the same way each time.
Their answers are clear and communicated in such a way that the prospect understands what was said, and their concern has now been resolved.
This skill is needed for every successful salesperson, but it doesn’t happen immediately, and it certainly takes practice.
This is why content marketing can be so powerful: As the sales person gets involved in creating content, they start to think and learn more about answering the question better, explain it in an clearer fashion, and get the desired results they’re looking for.
We’ve seen first hand how our clients improved overall sales communication after their sales team became involved in the content production process.
3. Your Content Becomes Your Knowledge Base
Whilst the sales team is usually regarded as the revenue drivers for most businesses and their value to the future success of the organisation is recognised, most companies have never found the time to draw up their “Sales Handbook”, the inside track on how to position the business, the products and be successful in their sector.
With content marketing, especially if you set out to address customer questions as part of your strategy, you kind of get this for free! This is a huge aid when recruiting new members to the sales team.
Your written articles, videos, white paper and so on, ensure current and future employees have a database of training content that will help them to learn the company DNA and philosophies faster and more effectively, helping you get new hires up and running quicker and more consistently for years to come.
4. Bringing Sales & Marketing Together
Its not unusual for sales and marketing teams to not appreciate each other enough, and sometimes be working at tangents to each other.
Many successful companies understand that not only should the two teams be aligned, but sales should be using the content produced by marketing in their entire sales process.
So to succeed, marketing need to be working with sales to understand what information the customers need and sales need to help marketing by getting the tone and content absolutely perfect.
Not only does this ensure that it doesn’t just educate, but it also helps the specifier or prospect move through the sales funnel towards a successful conclusion.
This approach gets your sales and marketing teams on the same page, pulling in the same direction!
5. Sales Teams Can Discover What Prospects & Customers Want … Before They Ever Talk To Them!
With the technological tools that are available to your sales team today, you are negligent if you don’t take advantage of deeper lead intelligence.
For example, assuming a lead has filled out a contact form on your website, advanced analytics allow you to see every page that person has viewed on the site. It allows you to know how many times they’ve visited.
It can also notify you every time they return to the company website in the future.
By looking at these analytics, your sales team can start to piece together the “story” of the prospect long before the initial contact or phone conversation. This reality can be an absolute game-changer for your sales team, giving you a massive advantage over your competitors.
6. With Content, The Relationship Of Trust Can Be Built With The Sales Person (and Company) Long Before The First Sales Meeting
Every sales person wants better leads.
They also want to go on better sales calls.
Unfortunately, many sales calls and presentations are focused—at least for the first part of the meeting—on building relationships of trust (instead of the “selling” part).
But with the digital consumer of today, it’s possible to build that trust (much more, in fact, than in a twenty-minute conversation) long before the initial sales meeting by using your content, the quality of it and the depth of it to position your brand as the leading industry experts, a safe pair of hands.
This allows a sales pro to do what they do best: sell and secure more specifications and orders.
7. Great Content Shortens Sales Cycles & Makes your Team Happier
Not only does every sales pro want more (good) leads, but they also want more time.
Time to spend on more qualified opportunities. Time to spend with their friends and families. Time to do the things they enjoy most.
A well executed content marketing strategy can be the ultimate “time giver” to a sales department.
Not only do you see an increase in lead quality and quantity, but you receive more pricing enquiries where the specifier has never ever engaged with your business – they’ve just found you on the internet and trusted your content enough to specify you.
New leads are at a more advanced stage, with basic questions already answered by your content, budget expectations are realistic and the enquirer is ready to specify or buy upon answering a few specific questions (which you’ll produce content about soon!).
So your sales team is spending more time working on qualified leads, helping them to specify or purchase, rather than ‘hunting out’ new leads, many of which will never buy!
As we mentioned at the top, once Sales Directors, Managing Directors and CEO’s see the potential sales upside of content marketing in the construction industry, there is real interest to find out more about how they can position their brand as the trusted voice in their sector and make the sales process quicker, more efficient and more sustainable in the long term.
As content marketing has yet to be fully embraced in the UK building products market in the same way as other sectors such as Finance, Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals, acting now can give you a real competitive advantage, which will be hard to be overhauled.
To discover more about how getting content marketing to work for your building product brand, just get in touch with the UK’s Construction Inbound Marketing Experts – Insynth.
InsynthMarketing is a leading UK construction marketing agency based in Shifnal in the West Midlands.
Theyuse the latest inbound marketing techniques such asconstruction inbound marketing, to support buildingproduct companies to grow their business by proactively driving sales lead generation activity.