That’s the dream, isn’t it? Every marketer has visions of their marketing team and the sales team running toward one another in a sunny field with joyous music swelling as they close in on a smiling embrace.
OK, maybe you don’t take the dream that far, but most of us certainly dream of better coordination and more respect between sales and marketing teams. (And do so at least as often as we have visions of sugar plums dancing in our heads.)
Content Complements Relationship Building
Unless your sales team is so old-school as to be ossified, they have come to respect (if not fully embrace) the value and importance of content. Sales is still built on relationships, but budgets and schedules are so much tighter than they used to be that it’s harder to get an acceptance to a good old, “let’s have lunch” invitation.
Truly great sales people won’t need to rely solely on content – they have the industry knowledge and relationships to add value to conversations with the client and prospect accounts – but high-value content is now a bigger part of the equation.
Content Encourages Conversation
So providing content that answers the big questions your main audience segments are asking is one way to your sales team’s heart. Even better is content that answers the main burning question and leads to related questions that the sales team can answer.
- How do we implement this?
- How have others implemented this?
- Can this be customized to our needs?
- How long until I can expect to see results?
In other words, for your content to work well for your sales team, it needs to encourage an open-ended conversation rather than yes or no answers.
Keep in mind that this is something different from the content that might be better at attracting your target audience, qualifying them, and building a basic relationship over time as the prospect moves through their buying process to the point where they’re ready for contact with a sales person.
Content Creates Cooperation
Here’s where conversations across departmental lines are critical. They are the ones who can tell you want questions they need the prospects to already have answered and what conversations they (the sales team) most want to have with prospects.
If you can work together on the planning, you’re much more likely to see improved conversions and, of course, happier sales people.