Best practices for leveraging content throughout the sales process?

I'm a super passionate seller. When a potential buyer expresses a problem, I get amped up about recommending a solution that'll help solve it.

I find myself speaking to my own experiences most often, and iterating on the details of how awesome my solution will be during conversations with prospects.

My team often gives me the advice to back up my statements with social proof while objection handling, or to use content to add value in light touches throughout the sales cycle.

However - I'm so used to relying on my own words - and sometimes forget to back up my ideas with real customer stories and testimonials.

As someone who prides myself on my organization, I totally fail when it comes to keeping track of content and sales material 🤦‍♂️. My personal Slack DM's are a never-ending pile of links without descriptions - and ideas without any context - and I often find myself scrambling the internet for social proof material on a case-by-case basis.

This quarter, I'm working on getting into a better rhythm with leveraging content throughout my sales cycles and better organizing my most useful resources.

At what stage in the buying cycle do you find content and social proof to be most valuable? And, how do you organize the heaps of sales resources you have access to?

Comments

  • This is such a good question! Personally, I think content and social proof can be valuable at every stage of the buyer's journey. The key is to understand where the prospect or customer is within the buying journey and quickly identify a piece of content or social proof that matches their current mindset. (Easier said than done, of course.)

    Educational, vendor-neutral content is great in the earliest stages of the buyer's journey since it can establish your brand as a trustworthy source of information, even when someone isn't quite ready to make a purchase. The further on in the journey, the more specific content should be- videos, case studies, reviews, etc.

    In terms of organization, I think everyone in sales and marketing runs into this question at some point. The more content you have access to, the more resources you have to pull from- BUT navigating those resources can be insanely difficult, especially if you only have a second or two to find something.

    Something that's worked for me in previous roles, is when marketing owns and organizes sales enablement content- whether its through a software, a drive, or even just a spreadsheet. Marketing can handpick a set number of resources so you're not constantly rifling through folders and folders of content. Pick five to ten pieces for each stage of the buyer's journey for each persona you serve. Sales and marketing should keep in sync with one another and have regular conversations about what does and doesn't work.

    That's what's worked for me! I'd love to hear other people's takes!

  • I worked with a sales leader about 5-6 years ago who would always tell the marketing team "marketers should make sales people famous". It really stuck with me for a while, because he put a lot of time and energy into getting speaking gigs and using that as a lever for credibility, and guess what? It worked, a lot. It worked on closing deals, and it helped him grow his career quickly.

    I think at some stage, there has to be some sort of "neutral" credible influence to really hit it out of the park today in moving a deal along. My advice to sales folks (as a marketer): If I see you doing a really well done talk at a conference on a topic that I'm struggling with, you've got my attention. That's when you shift from sales person, to expert in my field. Even if your team writes the entire thing for you, I think it's a strong play to have as a sales person.

    Now instead of relying on the opinions of the people who wrote the case study, you're the one driving the conversation. Combine them both and you've got me.

  • I think at some stage, there has to be some sort of "neutral" credible influence to really hit it out of the park today

    Absolutely! I leverage content in a deal, when we have it, to back up that I understand their pain, what they are solving for, and their objectives. Truly to be helpful which leads to increase trust levels.

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