Most sellers know that they can use content to engage and connect with prospects. But many aren’t quite sure what content works or even how to present it. While there are certainly specific ways that make sharing content more effective, they’re not difficult. The key is to be aware of what your prospects value and what to communicate to them at the right time.
How to use content for sales
“When B2B customers are in need of a business service, they engage with online content that provides solutions to their problems or issues,” writes Grayson Kemper for TNS. He adds that sellers should share content that “interests them, speak[s] to their concerns, and convince[s] them to further research your company and ultimately purchase your products.” He highlights three ways that sellers can make sure that what they share is relevant and impactful enough to sway buyers.
One of his suggestions is to align your content with the different phases of the sales funnel. In other words, use content that will appeal to the buyer at each stage. As Kemper explains, “Each stage of consideration B2B customers go through aligns with their level of purchasing intent or interest in purchasing a product. The different levels of intent align with the stages of the customer sales conversion funnel…”
He notes that the sales funnel is broken down into four categories:
The awareness stage
During this initial stage, sellers should use content that informs the prospect. This is when they are first learning about your offering and your company. As SalesFuel notes, “The buyer knows that they have at least one pain point and they seek solutions. But, they don’t always know what those solutions should be, or what solutions are even available. This is where in buyers' journeys your product or service is introduced.”
This vital first stage is what captures the prospect’s interest and keeps it going to move them through the funnel. To do this, Kemper suggests using content that is highly educational, in particular in regard to their industry and trends. He reports that “42% of business consumers consume business content online to stay informed about industry trends,” so sharing trend-related content is a good match. Visuals can be key here, Use infographics to grab attention and make a fast connection. Video is also a good choice as it is compelling yet easy to digest.
The interest stage
At this point, you’ve got their attention; it’s time to nurture their interest. You should now use content that is a bit more specific to you and your offerings. You can shift away from general industry and business content to that which provides more insight into your solutions. Specifically, share specifics such as descriptions of your offerings to paint a picture of what they can expect to experience. Also consider how-to guides that show how your offering can directly address their situation or pain point.
Decision and action
These are the final stages of the sales funnel, so sellers should use content that clearly demonstrates direct value. “This is the time when customers make the decision about which company they want to partner with for their desired product or service,” Kemper writes. “For these customers, you want to feature or produce content that convinces them that your company is the best option for them.
Use social proof, like reviews and customer testimonials, to showcase your proven success. And remember that today’s buyers want to read what others have to say; SalesFuel’s Voice of the Buyer study revealed the importance of reviews when it comes to making purchase decisions. Specifically, 33.5% of buyers say they read comments about a potential vendor written by others on social media. 38.8% will read ratings/reviews on social media when researching solutions.
Today’s buyers are more likely to research purchases than ever before. Meet them where they’re at by sharing valuable, relevant content that corresponds to each stage of their buying journey.
Photo by PhotoMIX Company
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