How should I use content in my sales?

In today's business climate, it is increasingly challenging for salespeople to reach the right decision-makers in order to successfully secure a meeting and ultimately a deal. I think many salespeople feel the same way. So why is it this way?

Well, that's because our buying habits have changed a lot in recent years. Today, buyers want to research a product or service before they decide to contact a salesperson. Decision-makers also want to find out the answers that solve their challenges and meet their needs and then try to solve the task themselves. That's why we ask search engines a ton of questions every day.

Then, when a buyer encounters a stumbling block and needs help solving a task, they usually turn to the company that has been most relevant and generous in sharing their knowledge to try to help them. This is what we call content marketing, among other things. Read more about content marketing here.

content marketing

So what does this have to do with sales and how does it help a salesperson?

Salespeople can use content that is tailored to reach decision-makers and their needs and challenges to create opportunities to successfully open doors to them. So how do you do this?

First and foremost, you need to have content that focuses on meeting your customers' needs and solving their challenges. Find out what concerns your target audience has, what they search for to find it and what kind of content answers their questions. We call this situational content. If you don't have this type of content but only salesy product or service descriptions, it's a good idea to address this internally. This may be an issue for sales and marketing together. If you are interested, you can find an article here on how to develop situational content in the best way.

How do I use our content in my sales?

There are several ways to use situational content. Below are some different uses:

Social selling and content

More and more salespeople are using social selling to reach the right decision-makers. The biggest channel for this in B2B is LinkedIn. An incredibly powerful platform and network if used correctly. LinkedIn is growing all the time and those who play their cards right can make a big impact. A lot of lost business is a result of sales people contacting people straight up and down and trying to sell without having an idea of the customer's needs, instead focusing on their product or service. Alternatively, they try to set up a meeting without a relationship having been established. Of course, it is possible to get meetings and business this way but you risk burning a lot of bridges along the way.

To reach relevant decision-makers in an effective and professional way, content is an excellent way to do it. This can be in the form of videos, articles or case studies used in different ways. In combination with building your network of key decision-makers, you can, for example, publish different types of content in your feed to increase your visibility. In this way, you keep an indirect contact with different people. Maybe your article is so good that a decision-maker clicks to go and read more about your company and your products on your website.

Once a contact is established, it can be a good idea to use different types of content to follow up and spread even more knowledge. For example, you could write a private message saying "Hi! Thanks for the last call. I thought of you when we published this article. Maybe it would be interesting for you." In this way, you show that you want to help and give the person something before moving on to the next step. This is a good way to build trust.

If you want to learn more about social selling and content, I recommend that you take this 30-minute social selling course, which is completely free.

social selling

Meeting booking and content

Very many sales people pull their hair out when it comes to booking appointments. It's tough as nails and it takes time, but with content you can work your decision makers before you call them. Here it can be a good idea to send an email first with some content tailored to that person. Something that hits them right in the heart. With today's technology, you can then see if they have opened the email and if they have clicked on the link to the article, for example. When you see that the person has done so, you can call them up and suggest a meeting. In this way, you have softened the person and arranged a warmer entrance.

Build trust before the first meeting with the help of content

The people you are selling to often have calendars full of meetings and it can be easy for them to forget what the meetings are about and who you are meeting. Say you're meeting with a potential customer to talk about solar PV. To refresh the person's memory and to build trust before the meeting, you can email them an article about what to consider when procuring solar cells and a customer case study on the subject. In this way, you will probably get a much better start to the meeting and it will not be as easily cancelled.

Use content to give weight to your offer

In quotations, we often try to say as much as possible, which often results in too much information. That's why it's effective to include links to various articles where you can read more about the different parts of the quote. This adds weight to your quote without overwhelming the potential client with information.Then, when you go through the quote with the client, you can tell them that they can delve into any of the articles if they want. Then don't forget to always make an appointment to go through a quote together. Don't just send it over and hope for the best.

content marketing

Follow up a quote with content

The last thing a salesperson wants is to be perceived as nagging and clingy. That's no fun for anyone. You may have made an appointment for a follow-up but it keeps getting postponed for various reasons. Instead of calling or emailing the pitch and asking how it's going, send an email with an article or case study that can provide additional value to the decision maker. This way, you remind people of the offer using good content without directly pointing it out. This is almost never perceived as tedious, only as caring a little extra.

More sales and content

Selling more to your customers is something most salespeople want. Either you sell more to the same customer or there are more departments with different challenges that could be potential customers. Whether it's selling more to an existing customer or reaching new decision makers at the same company, content can come in handy. For example, if you want to sell more of product x to a company, you can send relevant articles and videos telling how the product helps other companies. Here, it's important that your content focuses on educating rather than selling. Most likely, decision makers need to gain a better understanding of the product before you can take the next step in the sales process.

Use more content in sales

In summary, there are lots of benefits when it comes to using content in the sales process. It's all about building trust through knowledge so you can reach the right decision makers and make them feel confident about their decision. Try to sell less and help more. The important thing is that you have really good content at your disposal for this to succeed. If you don't have it, I recommend you read this article on Content Marketing.

If you would like to talk further about content and sales, don't hesitate to get in touch with us at Contitude.


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