If B2B marketers want to solve buyer’s problems and encourage lead generation, they’ll have to publish more content than ever before. But after the prospect is converted into a lead, organizations often end their marketing principles.
B2B Marketers are usually confined to converting a lead after which a sales rep follows a totally different procedure to qualify and sell.
Generally, people tend to drive all their content marketing efforts to generate leads which can create a major marketing and sales gap. A study reports that a mere 10% of sales and marketing people across the globe agree that there is alignment between the two sectors.
For your content strategy to be strong, it is essential that there exists a perfect alignment between these two teams.
The following graph properly sums up the importance of reducing the marketing and sales gap for brand awareness and increasing performance.
Image Source: weformulate.io
So how do you go about it? Read on to find out.
The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing for Business
How content marketing can help reduce the marketing and sales gap
Many marketers have a B2B demand generation myth that an increase in leads will automatically translate into more business and more revenue. If you’re able to collect highly qualified leads, you can still generate higher revenues even if you generate fewer leads.
Your business marketing team must formulate a lead generation strategy focusing on getting the sales team a higher number of qualified leads. If you want your leads to make a purchase, you must ensure that they’re closer to closing a deal with your business.
The more topics and keywords your lead searches for indicates their intention to make a purchase. For instance, if someone is looking for legal advice, they’ll search for phrases like ‘consult a lawyer’ or ‘find a lawyer’. If there are not ready to make a purchase, they’ll likely just try to understand particular sections of law.
When it comes to content marketing, you should distribute consistent and valuable content to your target audience to encourage profitable customer action. Your sales tools such as ROI assessments, pricing sheets, demos, collateral, etc. should be included in your content strategy. Your sales rep uses these sales tools to deliver personalized content to prospects to encourage them to make a purchase.
Initiate sales-oriented goals
The immediate goal of your sales team is to generate more sales, higher profits, and better revenue. Creating content is not a part of their day to day job. This can often make them confused about your marketing team’s content creation efforts.
Content marketing metrics driven by sales-oriented goals are very effective in examining and displaying content marketing value. You must ensure that your sales team targets and the content marketing goals are in sync. These goals will help your marketing strategies in generating more revenue and conversions.
One of the key benefits of B2B content marketing is a substantial increase in sales and revenue. As per the survey conducted with 700 B2B content marketers in North America, it was found that sales and revenue enhanced by 8% in just 12 months.
If one of your blogs goes viral, you should ask the following questions:
- How many made a purchase?
- How many booked a sales call?
- How many inquired about your brand’s services and products?
Connect marketing and sales teams to enhance your customer persona
A customer persona is one of the numerous tools marketers use to produce effective content. Your sales team will be more directly involved with prospects. Naturally, they’re more aware of the issues they face and also their solutions. Marketers can take advantage of this to produce more personalized content for prospects and guide them through the funnel.
By communicating with your sales team, you can enhance your customer personas with more detailed insights. The more details these insights contain, the more personalized content your marketing team can produce.
For instance, instead of forming assumptions about your prospects, your sales team can directly provide you with data to refute or confirm your assumptions. Data-driven personalization will offer your business with more accurate sales predictions.
Design content to reduce the pressure on the sales team
After some research by their decision-making teams, B2B buyers refer to your sales team. In this stage, sales teams are aware of producing valuable content that’ll influence prospects.
According to a survey, 73% of respondents rated the role of a sales account manager as ‘highly stressful’. Thus, it’s suggested that you balance out your sales and marketing teams for organizational productivity. Your marketing team should design the bottom of the funnel content to motivate your sales team’s process.
This will generate various kinds of content like case studies that display your enterprise’s success with a particular client. An infographic can also help in generating leads after or before they connect with your sales team.
Your marketing team could design detailed guides displaying each issue that your product or service solves for your clients. At the final phase of decision making, such guides can be influential on your prospects.
From the graph below, there is a huge contrast on whether businesses are effectively reducing the marketing and sales gap. According to the graph, a majority of respondents don’t feel that the teams are aligned. 31% of C-level executives contend that these two teams are perfectly aligned, whereas just 17% of individual contributors and managers feel the same.
Image Source: HubSpot
You must ensure maximum collaboration between your marketing and sales teams to produce personalized content. It heightens the probability of conversion by effectively targeting every member of the prospect’s decision-making team.
The importance of maintaining perfect alignment between your sales and marketing team cannot be emphasized enough. The data clearly portrays its contribution to business productivity. However, most marketers tend to overlook this issue and simply refuse to mitigate it. This can reduce not just your lead generation but overall organizational productivity.
Marketing and sales teams are often misaligned because they work separately and lack trust between each other. To break down the barriers, your marketing team must provide various types of content to help your sales team in later phases of the funnel and lead nurturing process.
As you decrease the misalignment between your sales and marketing teams, there will be an increase in trust between them. This leads to the generation of higher quality leads and rates of closing your deals.
Guest author: Clara Beck is a Business Manager with 8 years of experience at Thomson Data based out of Plano, Texas. She helps SMBs and Enterprise firms take full advantage of the latest marketing tools to scale up their business. She blogs about Small businesses, Marketing, CX, Entrepreneurship, Big Data and, other technological innovations. Connect with Clara on LinkedIn and Twitter to learn how to win more leads.