One of the best strategies your sales team can borrow from your marketing department to be more effective is Content Strategy.
Research shows that sales reps spend about 15% of their day leaving voicemails and only 20% of all sales emails are ever opened. That’s where content comes into play, because that same research also shows that decision makers usually touch at least five pieces of content before they buy. Here’s how salespeople can take advantage of content and use it to close more deals.
Content as a conversation starter
If you’ve ever found yourself at a loss for words when writing that first sales email, content can serve as an interesting conversation piece. Strike up a conversation by simply sharing a blog article or a video that offers tips on a problem they may be experiencing, while in the meantime positioning yourself as an industry thought leader. The advantage to this approach is that focusing on prospect's issues with personalized articles, infographics, or other content removes the "sales" angle from opening dialogue. These types of messages are received and interacted with at a much higher equivalent than a 20% open rate. Then once your prospect is further down the sales cycle, you can continue to use personalized content to stay relevant and increase the likelihood of converting the prospect. Look at these examples and see the difference...
"Hi Bob, I was hoping to talk to you about our latest product and how it can solve all of your issues with X."
"Hi Bob, I found this article about how users like you in the X industry have seen huge increases in productivity/profits with Y product/service. Take a look, and let me know if you'd like to chat, because we actually offer this very same product/service."
Which one of these would you be more inclined to interact with? Sales teams who purposely send meaningful and relevant content give themselves a clear advantage over shot gunning hundreds of emails each day.
These types of conversational examples provide a clear advantage over the typical email copy and lead to higher engagement and open rates. If you want to increase the effectiveness of your emails: here are 5 ways to spice them up...
According to an article by HubSpot, here are some other ideas you can try out using content to land that first sales call:
Build custom landing pages that populate the prospect’s name, company logo, and value props catered to their business needs.
Host a live workshop that walks through industry best practices and helps troubleshoot common issues.
Nurture your relationships
Don’t let your current customers forget you exist, or even worse, move on to someone new. According to HubSpot, each year the average business loses around 20% of its customers by failing to attend to customer relationships. You can also use content to nurture these relationships by sending out information throughout the customer life cycle, such as monthly newsletters or industry updates. This is also a great time to invite your customers to provide a testimonial such as the example below from Kurt Owens from ESCO Plastics.
If you’re like most companies, your sales team probably doesn’t have the bandwidth to generate a well-crafted follow-up email after each interaction. Fortunately, email automation has simplified the process and content has strengthened it. Drip emails allow sales reps to trigger a series of emails designed to keep prospects engaged with video demos, case studies, podcasts, etc. These emails, as shown below, are sequenced and can be targeted down to a specific set of users, or even to a single user. This process is extremely valuable as content can be created for specific traits or stages of a user and utilized in many different areas of a CRM.
These follow ups are another one of the key reasons that your organization needs a CRM.
Often the most important emails are the ones that keep those customers who weren't ready to buy at the time engaged. Lead nurturing content, especially when automated, can help convert those customers as you can't always count on your sales team to move them throughout the sales funnel. How can you make content that they'll want to engage with though?