Brands typically think of their blog as a customer acquisition and audience development channel. And indeed it is. But it can also be a targeted resource for sales enablement.
Sales reps can reference relevant blog posts and proprietary reports to reinforce any arguments they have made in their sales pitch. For clients, reading a thorough article on a topic they are unfamiliar with or unsure about can provide just enough evidence to support a positive purchasing decision. In today’s world, salespeople should use whatever resources they have at their disposal to gain a competitive edge.
Using Content to Stay Competitive
For your sales team to be successful, managers must provide them with the right tools. Typically, this equates to customer relationship management software (CRM), sales training, and analytics. Going the extra mile with sales enablement, however, is vital to your sales process. A 2016 study by Demand Metric found, “75% of survey respondents reported that sales enablement made a moderate or significant contribution to their sales forces.” Developing blog posts with a keen eye towards the sales process is a great way to do just that.
How Storytelling Can Lead to More Sales
Over the past decade, the traditional sales cycle has been overtaken by the customer journey. This process allows customers to make their own purchasing decisions by leveraging a mix of existing brand recognition, targeted outreach, and personal research. If you’re able to capture a prospect’s attention and provide an exceptional experience, you can shorten the buyer’s journey and expedite the sale. And an authoritative brand blog can be your best ally.
For your blog content to be effective as a sales enablement tool, it has to align with buyers’ needs at various stages of the customer journey. The most opportune time to use your blog is what business writer Minda Zetlin calls the “parachute moment.” In an article for Inc., she explains, “Chances are, you already know what sorts of situations lead your customers to desperately need your product. If you don't, think back to some of the easiest sales you've made, the times when customers didn't hesitate or haggle, the times they paid extra for a rush delivery.” For your blog to be useful for your sales team, content must be strategically crafted to speak directly to customers encountering unique situations and obstacles throughout the buyer’s journey.
Complementing the Customer Journey
Creating content for specific stages in the customer journey means getting more creative with your blog. Here are four types of content that you will need to develop for your sales team to aid them in nurturing customers through each step of the sales process:
Making Your Blog Well-Worth Reading
The final step to turning your blog into the perfect sales enablement tool is: Make it more engaging. Use your blog as an open FAQ where prospects and customers can submit questions or topics they would like more information on. For every person willing to ask a question, many more will be wondering the answer themselves. This will help you figure out what content your sales team needs in order to provide an exceptional customer experience and further boost brand loyalty.
You should also use your blog to provide important product and company updates, and relevant industry news. This gives existing customers a reason to return regularly and use you as a hub of information pertinent to their career.
Creating content that is useful throughout the sales process is trickier than creating content for inbound leads. But by focusing on the needs and wants of your customers and sales team your blog will evolve into a powerful sales tool. Use it wisely to assist in streamlining the sales process. As a result, you may even see an increase in your reps’ close ratios.
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