Your sales team might not be the first people you think of when you go to write a new article, but perhaps they should be.
More often than not, they are the people closest to your prospects. They talk to your potential customers daily, they understand what they genuinely care about, how they behave online, what they consume, and – crucially – what holds them back. Marketing departments can create all the fancy audience persona diagrams they like, but speaking directly to the people themselves on a regular basis is invaluable, and these insights should be shaping the content you create.
Working with sales teams to fuel content ideas
Engaging with sales teams early on in your planning process allows you to be led on what areas your audience needs more information on. Finding out what your business development team’s most frequently asked questions are gives you a great topic for a blog for example. What do they already know, where are their gaps in knowledge? This is all helpful for putting together a content strategy.
Understanding what the biggest barriers to closing a sale are is also really useful, and means you can plan content and messaging that works to overcome this, whether that’s through educating people on a particular area, strengthening certain landing pages on your site, or even putting together case studies that show how such issues are resolved.
Don’t forget, sales teams often have all the inside information on competitors too. Who your prospects are also talking to, who outperforms you in certain areas, who else’s content they’re also reading.
It’s an exercise that should be mutually beneficial too. Your business development team are providing you with content inspiration and insights, but in turn you’re making their life easier by providing more suitable and relevant content for these warm leads.
Sales teams can also help promote your content
The other great thing about sales people, especially when you’re working in a B2B environment, is that their social media followings are going to be heavily swayed towards your target audience. It’s common to see members of the marketing team make a point of sharing company blog posts across their personal LinkedIn accounts, but how often do you ask the sales team to do this? Probably not as frequently, if ever. Yet, it’s likely that they are also often on the lookout for suitable content to share, so it makes sense to kill two birds with one stone. Often they simply aren’t kept in the loop when new content is published.
Aside from sharing content on social media, try and think more widely about any other useful contacts they could have that you’d like to get your content in front of.
Beyond the reciprocal benefits of the sales and content relationship, working more closely with business development also gives you more visibility over your whole business’s content, and you can make sure your messaging, content and tone are all consistent across marketing and sales collateral.
When sales and marketing are ultimately targeting the same people, it makes sense to pool knowledge and take advantage of the closer relationship your sales team have with your audience.