I've been in a number of client calls with sales teams to work on aligning marketing and sales goals. Listening to salespeople talk about prospects and the types of questions they want answers to in order to qualify leads as sales opportunities can yield a ton of insights for marketing and content strategy development.
One of the things that keeps popping up in these conversations is that salespeople across the board are saying their prospects already know about the types of solutions they sell. This is followed by the disclosure that salespeople spend a lot of time educating these already informed prospects about how to apply the solutions to their business objectives.
If they can get their foot in the door.What I keep mulling over is this:How do their prospects KNOW? Who is it that's educating them? And, if it's not your company, why not?You see, whoever your prospects are choosing to learn from swiftly becomes the anchor for how they think about solving the problem. That company's content and communications are defining the context for the conversation and influencing beliefs about why the prospect needs the solution in the first place.I wrote a blog post about why buyers need educational content recently.
The commitment to educate your prospects and play a consistent role in delivering valuable insights during their early-stage process is critical to setting your company up for inclusion in the buying conversation when the time comes.If you do this well, when your salespeople call, they'll get responses like:Hey, I really appreciated that article about X.
I've been hearing a lot about your company, lately.Tell me more about...If you don't, the responses could be more like:Where did you say you're calling from?We're already talking to someone else.
Educational marketing content serves the purposes of building awareness, setting context for your buyers, increasing your company's credibility and pulling prospects to the next stage of their buying process-with YOU. Oh, and done well, it also clarifies issues, simplifies complexity and increases knowledge that builds the buyer's confidence that they're on the right track. So, go ask yourself...How do your prospects know?
And then make sure the answer is related to their engagement with-and the takeaways from-your b2b marketing initiatives.
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