Tuesday, July 23, 2024

When Sales Content Falls Flat, Revenue Slumps

Last updated on August 10th, 2023 at 11:04 am

Sales teams are under immense pressure to close deals and meet quotas every quarter, particularly during tough economic times. In fact, 69% of sales professionals say selling is harder now than ever before. Throughout the sales process, these teams rely significantly on sales content to drive deals – much of which runs the risk of becoming outdated or inaccurate if the right technology isn’t leveraged to manage it. In today’s digital era, customers have become increasingly discerning and expect personalized experiences from brands. They seek content and messaging that is relevant, tailored, and speaks directly to their specific needs and challenges. 

What’s more: The average buyer now uses ten or more channels throughout the buying process. By the time a customer actually connects with a seller, they’ve already visited the company website, reviewed resources, and compared the organization to competitors. Not only is outdated content potentially harmful to fostering customer relationships, but it’s also detrimental to the bottom line. 

So how can GTM teams turn the boat around? Here are three tactics teams can utilize to spruce up their content today: 

Identify your customer personas

Understanding the audience helps align a business’s content strategy to the addressable needs of the market. A customer persona is a fictional character developed based on different attributes for a role or segment. These can include demographics like a buyer’s role and responsibilities; their specific challenges and pain points; or their influence on the purchase decision.

Sellers must work to uncover unique insights about their target customers – identifying particular traits that the rest of the industry overlooks or under-appreciates. Often, it will serve as the creative catalyst for a successful content strategy or campaign direction.

But how do they actually do this? Market research. Typically this will include analyzing demographics, psychographics, and behavioral patterns of potential customers. It also includes finding common characteristics, preferences, and pain points among the prospective audience. 

This also applies to a company’s existing audience: What patterns crop up within the existing customer base? Using this information, teams can identify the key traits that define the target customer – and then develop data-informed content that speaks to those prospective customers. 

Develop a customer journey map 

Once teams define who the customer is, the next step is developing a customer journey map that outlines a persona’s needs at any given point in the sales funnel. This visual representation of the customer journey is based on what the buyer is thinking and feeling at every stage. 

It’s crucial to capture each touchpoint on the buyer journey (and develop content that speaks to that touchpoint) because customers are taking more into consideration than just the product a company is offering. They’re also thinking – whether consciously or subconsciously – about past interactions with the brand, advertisements they have seen, and recommendations from colleagues and acquaintances. 

Identify the Content <> Market Fit

At times, the content a company creates doesn’t satisfy the customers it’s trying to attract, either because the content doesn’t reach them, doesn’t serve their needs, or both. For example:

  • Findability issues: Content is published without first considering how potential and existing customers might find it. This often leads to time and effort being wasted on content that nobody sees.
  • Relevance issues: Content is published without making sure it is what potential and existing customers are interested in and need. This leads to time and effort being wasted on content aimed at the wrong audience.

As important as it is to understand the customer, it’s equally important to understand the current state of content in the industry to better identify impactful opportunities. GTM teams must pay attention to the state of media behaviour and content consumption formats, including device usage and visual trends. For example, a recent study found that B2B e-commerce has taken the lead as the most effective sales channel. It is rated first by 35% of respondents, ahead of in-person sales (26%), video conference (12%), email (10%) and telephone (8%).

The key is to find a unique place to stand out and add value to the conversation – especially in today’s market. GTM teams are facing challenges unlike any they’ve faced before. A business’s sales collateral must speak to those challenges and offer tangible solutions that meet those needs to resonate with prospective customers. 

Invest in the right tools 

Once the above practices are in place, the next step is scaling these efforts – ensuring content is updated and aligned company-wide. Enablement technology is a great example of a tool teams can leverage to streamline the creation, management, and deployment of numerous content types – including emails, social posts, interactive pieces, sales presentations, case studies, and more.

Of note, 63% of salespeople say that the content they use at work is not personalizable enough for their customers – which is hugely detrimental to their outreach efforts. 

But equipped with enablement technology, personalization for each content asset is scalable through a variety of intuitive features. Having every asset stored within a single centralized library equipped with context-driven search and tagging capabilities means it’s easy for reps to find what they need when they need it so they can meet each customer wherever they are in their individual journey.

With the right technology solutions and proper management strategies in place, teams can enhance their sales processes to deliver compelling content. And those tools enable sellers to develop stronger relationships with prospective buyers and ultimately drive revenue to boost the bottom line. 

By Paige O’Neill, CMO at Seismic


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