Being in the marketing industry, we get in the habit of anticipating trends and important changes in industries. One of the shifts happening is that business-to-business (B2B) sales and marketing strategies that have typically been treated as separate, need to work together more than ever.
B2B sales is a different kind of beast. To be good at it you have to have a single-minded belief in what your company does or produces – and how it’s better than the competition. And having the ability to talk to anyone about anything doesn’t hurt. There are many companies who have built their reputations and profits on the backs of their strong sales force. That’s still true today – sales-driven organizations need their sales force to help explain product/service nuances and close the deal when the customer is ready to buy.
But, what happens before a prospect lead is ready to buy?
The customer journey, from consideration set to final sale, has changed. Gone are the days when cold calls get through to the decision maker, gone is the sales funnel, which now looks more like a spiral or maybe a bowtie. Whatever the case, the path to sales is no longer linear. People want to read, see or hear content to help them understand and to educate themselves on the right choice and investment for their business. There are many sources that a savvy Google researcher can turn to, so why not be there with the right content at the right time?
Not with a traditional sales brochure or call, but with relevant content that addresses a problem your customers may be having.
This is where marketing content can really support the sales force. The complexity of products and services continues to increase, and the world is globally competitive so business people have more pressure than ever to make the right decisions for their companies’ bottom line. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Would you rather do business with a company who seems to understand what you need (by providing helpful content), or one that wants you to buy because they have a product or service they think you should buy?
As a part of our Sales and Marketing Works Together series. We’ll show you practical ways that sales can help marketing produce Sales Qualified Leads and how marketing can help nurture a lead with relevant information until that Marketing Qualified Lead becomes ready for sales. We’ve seen the companies we work with struggle with longer sales cycles and higher acquisition costs. Relevant content can help focus on the customer needs and help them make the decision to buy faster. So, start planning your content strategy today in concert with the sales team. Find out what prospects and customers are asking and ways to fill in the blanks for them – without an overt sales message. If you need help, give d.trio a call.