Marketers understand that content drives action and many organizations now create original content—websites, blogs, video channels, social feeds, podcasts, and the like—as an essential way to reach buyers. However, most B2B companies focus their content effort only to attract attention and generate sales leads. At these organizations, content stops being important once the salespeople take over.
Effective marketers take the entire buying process into account when creating content. People in the early stages of the sales cycle need basic information to help solve problems and educate about the product category. A bit later, they will want to know a little about what you offer.
However, when the potential customer expresses interest and a salesperson takes over, now is the time to deliver tailored content especially for each buyer!
Content to drive both marketing and sales
Here is how I think of content for both marketing and sales: Marketing is communicating to many buyers at once. Sales is communicating to one buyer at a time. Both require content!
When a salesperson is engaged with a potential customer, it’s a great time to deliver content and a perfect reason for a salesperson to send an email because those further along in the process need more detailed information. It’s so much more friendly to send a buyer with a link to an appropriate video then to do the typical “are you ready to buy now” sort of email.
A focus on understanding the buying process and developing appropriate content that links visitors through the cycle to the point of purchase is essential.
Salespeople as content curators
Ideally, marketing should create a library of content that’s ready to share. Salespeople, who manage one deal at a time, are perfect to share the content because they are experts in each buyer. They understand precisely which video or blog post or ebook to send.
Recently, I discovered Qwilr, a SaaS tool that works great to deliver tailored content to one buyer at a time. While Qwilr is primarily used as proposal software (it has e-signature and payments modules), I see a huge benefit as a tool to deliver content to one buyer at a time.
I like to think of Qwilr as an easy way to create a custom website for one potential customer with exactly the content they need and nothing more.
Marketers can use Qwilr to make a library of content modules. Then salespeople can quickly select with modules are best for each potential customer. Each Qwilr page can be customized with the company’s branding. Qwilr integrates with HubSpot and other marketing software.
I’ve used Qwilr myself and have had excellent reactions from people I have sent custom pages to.
Yes, product superiority, advertising, the media, and branding remain important to the marketing mix. But on the web, smart marketers (and salespeople too) understand that an effective content strategy, tightly integrated to the buying process, is critical to success.