Agency Sales Enablement Services: Enhances Inbound Marketing Agencies

Agency Sales Enablement Services: Enhances Inbound Marketing Agencies

As any inbound marketing agency knows, a full inbound program involves a full spectrum of change within a company. When implemented to its greatest effect, though, inbound marketing facilitates both the marketing and sales teams. Therefore, one way for an agency to maximize its effectiveness is by offering sales enablement services. What are the benefits of these services, and why should you give special consideration to employing these tactics in your agency? Read on for all the benefits and positive consequences of investing in sales enablement.


Why Inbound Marketing Agencies Should Offer Sales Enablement Services

The Bottom Line: Sales Enablement Helps Inbound Marketing Agencies Increase Profits

There are lots of qualitative reasons for agencies to invest in sales enablement, but there are also quantitative reasons. After all, sales enablement is all about implementing methods and tactics that maximize the productivity of the sales team. When that happens, revenues increase, and your agency is simply more likely to retain (and increase) retainers by keeping clients longer.

Sales enablement is one of many ways to help manage leads better, and that directly relates to closing more deals and increasing profits.


How Sales Enablement Bridges the Gap between Sales and Marketing

While salespeople have traditionally thought of themselves as a somewhat separate group, inbound marketing illustrates that any lack of alignment between marketing and sales teams is a surefire way to be less effective with that inbound campaign.

Therefore, if your agency can demonstrate that they bridge this existing gap, your clients are more likely to see greater success, better results, and increased profits.

Inbound marketing—when it incorporates proper sales enablement—allows sales and marketing to work collaboratively and pull from their communal knowledge base to better address the concerns of leads, educate their potential customers, and provide value through strategically devised content.

This collaboration should permeate every aspect of the inbound campaigns, from the initial strategy that goes into identifying buyer personas to the creation of the actual content and sales collateral. The two groups should even work together to determine the parameters of their lead-qualifying system, so everyone is on the same page as to when a lead should be handed from one group to the next and successfully taken through the sales cycle.

If your agency does this consistently for your clients, you have a much greater chance of finding long-term success with those clients.


1. Sales enablement Facilitates Sales Buy-In

Inbound marketing and its collaborative techniques only work if you have total buy-in from every group involved. If marketing doesn’t believe in the power of the campaign being initiated, that campaign is put at a serious disadvantage. By the same token, sales needs to also be fully invested in all inbound efforts.

Because sales has traditionally been somewhat separate from marketing, it’s perhaps even more important to ensure you get that buy-in from the sales members. Focusing on sales enablement—that is, making it a priority to facilitate the sales team reaching its goals—is one essential way to accomplish that.


2. Align Content Strategies with Markeitng and Sales

With sales buy-in its imperative that you have them involved in the content strategy process. Especially when it comes to creating buyer personas and specific content for sales.

Sales is the front-facing side of any business and they have valuable insight into prospective customers challenges, needs, desires and roles. 

Sales input will provide you much better results when developing a content strategy, developing buyer personas for different stages of the buyers journey and creating effective sales collateral.


3. Incorporate Technology into Your Sales Enablement Efforts

Another important way to demonstrate to your clients that you give sales enablement its proper emphasis is by utilizing the technology that is best going to aid sales teams.

One essential tool is a CRM, and as an agency, it’s important to walk all your clients through how to maximize this powerful software.

Failing to harness technology for your clients can lead to inefficiencies and lessened success with the campaigns. To get the most out of you and your clients’ inbound efforts, the relevant technologies should play roles in the campaigns from the outset.


4. Provide Coaching and Training throughout the Inbound Marketing Campaign

Inbound marketing can mean a lot of changes for a company. Genuine collaboration between marketing and sales might be a somewhat foreign concept. The technologies to streamline inbound efforts might also seem unfamiliar.

Whatever aspect your client needs a helping hand with, a successful agency will be there to answer questions, provide guidance, and offer any coaching or training necessary to make inbound marketing make sense and work for that particular client.



Receive a Free Inbound Marketing and Inbound Sales Assessment

Inbound Marketing System – 10 Steps to Get Started in Three Months

Inbound Marketing System – 10 Steps to Get Started in Three Months

There’s a widely held misconception regarding inbound marketing, and that’s the idea that it takes a long time to get any effective inbound marketing campaign off the ground.  While it’s true that inbound marketing is a building process that takes time to see concrete results, it is very possible to plan, strategize, and implement an effective campaign in a three-month window.

How to Launch an Inbound Marketing Campaign in Three Months

A Step-by-Step Guide to Effectively and Efficiently Starting Your Inbound Marketing Efforts


1. Create a core brand positioning strategy and message.

The first thing you want to do is create your brand positioning strategy. This statement identifies who you are, positions you within your market, and conveys your specific value within that market.

A good brand positioning statement clearly aligns your marketing and sales teams toward common goals and heavily informs your strategic, targeted content creation.

2. Determine if you’re going to outsource or tackle your inbound marketing campaign in-house.

Once you have your foundational brand positioning statement, the next step is to figure out who in your company will be doing what for the inbound marketing campaign. Some positions to consider include the following:

  • Inbound marketing strategists (including SEO strategists).
  • Copywriters.
  • Designers.
  • Web developers.
  • Internal account managers.
  • Paid ad specialists (to drive demand generation).

If you don’t have the right people in-house for every aspect, don’t worry. You can use a third party for none, some, or all of this process. Those third parties can be inbound marketing agencies or consultants, freelancers, or even individuals with relevant skillsets.

However you choose to divvy the work, you want to ensure you have the right people to deliver on your strategy. That means excelling at the individual task but also having a big-picture mind-set in order to ensure your work properly aligns sales and marketing and pushes the whole team toward common goals.


3. Define your projected goals and what you want your inbound marketing efforts to achieve.

If you don’t have explicitly created goals, you have no way of gauging how effective your inbound marketing efforts have been. Therefore, it’s important to understand and define both your goals and business objectives (as they relate to inbound marketing). Also remember to create short-term goals as well as long-term goals.

For the greatest chance at success, make sure to only choose SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.

When you’re in the process of creating these goals, it’s imperative you have the input of both your sales and marketing teams. These goals should be shared and beneficial to everyone on the team, so you need that valuable input from all sides of the company. A service-level agreement (SLA) should be created between marketing and sales to facilitate the creation of these shared goals.


4. Define your industry verticals and your buyer personas.  

A crucial aspect of inbound strategy is identifying what industry (or industries) you will be targeting and what specific buyer personas relevant to that industry you will be creating content for.

If you are a small or even medium business, be extremely targeted with your initial inbound marketing efforts—especially if you want to be as effective as possible in that first three-month window. That means focusing on no more than three verticals with your inbound efforts, as diverting your time and resources in too many directions can dilute your results.

Once you’ve identified the vertical or verticals you want to target, identify the relevant buyer personas. (A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer. It can include information such as age, gender, income, geographic area, and so on.)

Your content should be created around these buyer personas and every stage they go through on the buyer’s journey. In this way, you have targeted, relevant content to answer questions, provide information, and address concerns of your buyer personas at the top, middle, and bottom of the sales funnel.

Don’t forget, you might be dealing with different personas at different stages of the sales cycle. For example, maybe a manager will be making decisions at the middle of the sales funnel, but a C-level executive will be making the final call at the bottom of the sales funnel. If that’s the case in your vertical, your buyer persona strategy and associated content should reflect that.


5. Assess your current website and content for its alignment with your inbound marketing strategy. 

More than likely, your existing website copy and content will not perfectly align with your newly defined brand positioning statement and marketing strategy. Therefore, you’ll have to determine what content you can repurpose to target those buyer personas (at each stage of the buyer’s journey) and what pieces you’ll need to create from scratch.


6. Build your inbound marketing and inbound sales strategy.

With all the groundwork laid, it’s time to put your concrete strategy together.

Once again, for content, you want to assess what you already have and then repurpose or create from scratch content that targets your buyer personas throughout the buyers journey. (This strategy will include SEO tactics, such as keyword research.) You will want markeitng  and sales involved in the content development process. Markeitng will drive the content development process for marketing and sale collateral. Sales should be involved in input for the content creation process, with their detailed knowledge of prospects challenges, needs and desires. 

From there, you want to put together your conversion paths for both markeitng  and sales. This includes how you plan to generate leads and then nurture those leads through the sales cycle, aided by tools such as calls to action, landing pages, thank you pages, e-mails, and so on.

Once those elements are in place, you’ll then assess what technology you require to effectively and efficiently implement that strategy. This can include everything from customer relationship management (CRM) tools and marketing automation software to a shared content catalog and analytical tracking software. Integration of technology is a crucial piece because it allows you to more efficiently utilize and maximize your strategically created content.

7. Ensure you promote strong conversion through your website.

Your website is arguably one of your most powerful marketing and selling tools.

To be maximally effective, it should contain the following elements:

  • Aesthetically pleasing, clean pages.
  • To-the-point content and graphics.
  • Easy-to-navigate structure.
  • Sound SEO strategy within the pages as well as optimized content.
  • Calls to action that lead to landing pages for specific pieces of content.
  • An educational blog that promotes nurturing a lead through the sales cycle.

Strong conversion architecture doesn’t happen without planning and forethought. Make sure your site is consciously designed to align with and promote your inbound strategy, lead generation efforts, and lead conversion.


8. Publish optimized, strategic content at least twice a week.

Content can mean a variety of things, such as the following:

  • Blog posts.
  • Videos.
  • Premium content, such as e-books or whitepapers.
  • Case studies.
  • Interactive tools, such as calculators..

Especially in this first three months, when your SEO rankings are more likely to be low, don’t forget paid advertising is one way to garner leads before you start organically earning visitors to your site.


9. Promote your published content through a variety of channels.

Your content can be as strategic and optimized as possible, but if you don’t then promote it, fewer people are going to be interacting with that content. Therefore, you should focus on the following:

  • Build your social media channels in order to promote your content.
  • Participate in relevant forums.
  • Make a subscription option for your blog.
  • Utilize the power of e-mail campaigns.
  • Promote your business through paid advertising.

10 Review your site, blog, and content analytics weekly.

You want to constantly evaluate and assess how your various tools and individual pieces of content are performing. By doing this careful analysis and data examination, you can ascertain what needs to be changed versus what’s garnering success, and you can use those cues to inform your subsequent content creation.

See What Your Inbound Marketing Can Accomplish in Three Months

While a steady supply of leads and site traffic is often the result of your inbound marketing efforts over time, that doesn’t mean you can’t strategize and implement the solid foundation of your inbound marketing campaign in a much shorter window.

As long as you’re deliberate and methodical about the ten steps listed, you can be on your way to sustainable lead generation and lead conversion in a few short months.

Receive a Free Inbound Marketing and Inbound Sales Assessment


Video Marketing for Agencies: Huge Opportunity for Inbound Marketers

Video Marketing for Agencies: Huge Opportunity for Inbound Marketers

Video marketing can be a hugely beneficial aspect to any inbound marketing campaign. Agencies that harness this power in their clients’ marketing efforts are simply going to have an advantage, and in this competitive landscape, that advantage can be the difference between getting your clients more business and allowing your clients to stall. The more success you can help your clients garner, the more likely you are to continue receiving your retainer, meaning video marketing can be the powerful tool that fuels not only your clients’ success but yours as well.

How Video Marketing Can Bolster Any Inbound Marketing Campaign

Why Is Video Marketing So Powerful—Especially Today?

It’s no surprise that people are increasingly busy, and reading articles, blog posts, web copy, and other word-based content takes time. Video, on the other hand, allows you to build credibility and trust (arguably even more so than with written content), and it allows your consumer to get that information in a shorter amount of time.

Simply put, this means the potential customer is more likely to view video content than read written content, and that video content will ultimately be more impactful, engaging, and successful than written marketing material.

Also keep in mind that you want to vary your clients’ campaigns to tailor to different learning styles and engage as many people as possible. Since many people are visual learners, video is a great opportunity to get your point across both quickly and effectively.

Video truly builds powerful connections with your buyer personas because video content is relatable and easy to understand, and it yields that always-important engagement and personalized experience for your personas.


Video Marketing Is Easier Than Ever

While video production used to be complicated, time-consuming, and technical, advances in technology have increasingly made this video production easier and more accessible to more people. As an agency, you have a distinct opportunity to take advantage of these technologies and translate them into your clients’ inbound marketing strategies.

Again, the greater success you can help your clients reach, the more successful your agency will ultimately be, and incorporating video production into your inbound marketing strategies is one key way to produce those successful results.


How to Use Video Effectively in an Inbound Marketing Campaign 

To maximize the utility of these videos, produce visual content and then use that content in a variety of ways. That is, when it makes sense, make sure to repurpose content within web pages, blogs, e-books, and more. This can be the whole video or just select parts of the video. In this way, video can be used effectively throughout the buyer’s journey.

This does not mean, however, that you should create one video and be done. Much like written content, multiple videos can be created with different parts of the buyer’s journey in mind (top, middle, and bottom of the sales funnel). For maximum efficiency, you want to ensure you’re getting the most out of each video produced by repurposing where appropriate. 

Also like written content, videos still need to incorporate sound inbound marketing strategy. That means the following rules should be followed:

  • Target videos to specific buyer personas.
  • Address buyer persona objections and answer buyer persona questions within the content of the video.
  • Add calls to action at the end of videos to funnel viewers to another video, blog, or landing page.
  • Use videos to accomplish SEO goals and lead generation through social media accounts, blog posts, home pages, landing pages, and more.


Producing the Video Content: What Matters Most? 

You might be thinking that your agency specializes in inbound marketing but not video production specifically. The good news, however, is that creating high-definition video is possible now with relatively inexpensive cameras and lighting systems.

Of all production elements, remember that lighting is the key. To be effective in an inbound marketing strategy, overall production value does not need to be of a professional caliber. Even a talking head with a static background can offer all those mentioned benefits as long as the lighting and sound quality are good and the content addresses legitimate buyer persona concerns and acts as genuinely educational material.


Tools to Improve Your Clients’ Video Production Value

  • Wistia -This marketing tool offers tons of benefits. It includes calls to action within the videos; it integrates with HubSpot, allowing analytical tracking of your video data; it’s competitively priced; and videos can be securely stored on the Wistia site.
  • Adobe Premiere Pro – This software is ideal for video postproduction, allowing you to fix lighting or contrast issues and skyrocket the video’s final production value. After learning its initial logistics, it’s also not overly complicated.
  • B&H – This is one of many places (online or onsite) you can buy cost-effective video equipment.

A quick online search will also reveal a multitude of sources with tips and tricks for improving your video production skills. Many of these services and tutorials are free, but there are also pay services for more comprehensive educational material.


Video Production Benefits Every Aspect of Inbound Marketing

Like any good piece of content created within an inbound marketing strategy, a well-done video is effective for both marketing and sales. This is not a tool that should be created or utilized exclusively by one of those teams. Just as effective content can bridge the gap between marketing and sales and help those teams achieve shared goals, so too can video content.

In this way, sales should be involved and have input during the strategy that goes into video production as well as actual video creation. Nobody knows a potential customer’s objections better than a salesperson. Utilize that knowledge to create videos that are effective at every stage of the sales cycle and drive those leads seamlessly down the sales funnel to the next stage.

Video creation can understandably feel overwhelming if it’s not your agency’s area of expertise. There are, however, two important things to remember. One, you don’t need to hold your video to a professional standard for it to be effective within a client’s inbound marketing strategy. (It just needs to be well lit and audible.) Two, if you are truly uncomfortable or feel ill-equipped to create these videos, you can hire help—whether that means a video production company to actually make the videos or a video production consultant to get you up to speed and comfortable from a production standpoint. 

A video marketing consultant will provide the following guidance:

  • Video production and postproduction tips.
  • Tools and assets to help you create better videos and integrate them effectively into your established inbound marketing campaign.
  • Information about how to marry video and effective inbound strategies.
  • Information about how video benefits marketing and sales (from a strategic standpoint).
  • Identification of who within a company is best suited for different aspects of video production (who is comfortable being in front of the camera, creating the scripts, filming the videos, and so on).

Whatever assets your agency utilizes to create the best videos for your clients, if you acknowledge the power of video marketing, you are sure to give yourself a competitive edge against those agencies that strictly produce word-based content.


Receive a Free Video Assessment for Marketing and Sales


Brand Fuzion Becomes a PandaDoc Certified Partner

Brand Fuzion Becomes a PandaDoc Certified Partner

In an effort to provide our clients with the best in sales enablement services, Brand Fuzion is pleased to announce it’s now a certified partner of PandaDo

PandaDoc and Sales Enablement: What It Means for Our Clients

What Is PandaDoc?

PandaDoc is a template-based document automation service. This means you can create quotes, proposals, case studies, and other documents directly in PandaDoc.

What Are the Benefits of PandaDoc?

PandaDoc is an invaluable sales enablement tool that helps increase the productivity of your sales force. This increased productivity helps lead to increased results—more customers earned in less time.

How does PandaDoc do this?

Save Time with PandaDoc

Because PandaDoc works through customizable templates, it allows you to create, use, and reuse documents. Recreating proposals every time is extremely time consuming. Therefore, having the document already made and accessible online saves your sales team a great deal of time.

All documents are kept in your PandaDoc content catalogue, so everyone has access and need not waste time searching for desired documents.

It also takes less time to create high-quality documents. PandaDoc allows you to add graphics, videos, pricing tables, and more to ensure your documents are as clear, professional, and engaging as possible.

Integrate PandaDoc with Your CRM

PandaDoc integrates seamlessly with HubSpot’s CRM. That means prospect information (so long as it’s in your CRM) will automatically populate in your template document. This leads to less errors from manual information entering, and it saves the time and hassle of copying and pasting. 

Track and Finalize PandaDoc Documents

PandaDoc also allows you to obtain legally binding e-signatures on all your documents. This makes it as easy as possible for your clients to sign contracts, which increases the likelihood this is done and done in a timely manner.

You can also get analytical data on these documents, meaning you can see information such as what pages have been viewed and for how long. Therefore, if you haven’t received a contract yet, PandaDoc helps you pinpoint the problem. If, for example, a client has opened the contract and reviewed it for a long time but hasn’t signed, it might indicate you need to reach out and answer additional questions or address concerns.

Putting Sales Enablement First

Brand Fuzion always strives to provide the most effective sales enablement tools for our clients, and this new partnership with PandaDoc is just another way we help you increase the productivity and efficacy of your sales team.


Learn how to increase your sales productivity with PandaDoc.


Inbound Markeitng Alone Will Not Solve Your Lead Generation Problems

Inbound Markeitng Alone Will Not Solve Your Lead Generation Problems

Inbound marketing is an incredibly powerful and effective tool at the disposal of your business, but the question remains: Is it sufficient for the entirety of your marketing efforts? Businesses and marketers alike agree that rather than focusing exclusively on inbound marketing (or outbound marketing, for that matter), the more well-rounded and ultimately successful approach is “all-bound marketing,” which is a collaborative balance between inbound and outbound techniques.

Strive for All-Bound Marketing: The Combination of Inbound Marketing and Outbound Marketing

Why Is Inbound Marketing Alone a Dangerous Tactic?

Salespeople are always talking to your customers and potential customers. It’s a necessary part of the job. This means salespeople have unique insight into what your customer base needs and wants. They know your customers’ challenges, barriers to success, goals, and so on.

Inbound marketing is extremely effective for what it’s meant to do, and that’s largely lead generation and lead nurturing through the buyer’s journey. By and large, this means customers are seeking you out, which is, of course, a positive.

However, there is a potential downside. When customers are exclusively finding you in this way, they might not always be your ideal customers. That means they might not be interested in the products or services you’re interested in focusing on, or they might not be interested in repeat business with you.

Whatever the case, all of this can lead to high levels of customer churn, which can be costly for you—both in terms of finances and more intangible resources, such as time and effort.

When you take a more holistic all-bound approach, though, you harness the power of inbound marketing but incorporate the targeted benefits of outbound


So, What’s the Ideal Balance between Inbound Marketing and Outbound Marketing?

This is the hardest part to pinpoint because there isn’t a coverall answer for all businesses. The balance that’s ideal for you isn’t necessarily ideal for a different industry (or even a different company within your industry).

The amount of inbound versus outbound varies across the spectrum, but for your ideal success, recognize that some combination of inbound and outbound is going to yield better results than exclusively one or the other.

From there, it’s a matter of using your company goals and assessing which techniques will help you accomplish those goals with the greatest efficiency and success.

Whether you’re working alone or with an inbound marketing agency, make sure the focus is always on aligning all inbound and outbound efforts. This way, the techniques aren’t ever at odds or working independently. They are a collaborative effort to get you more of the right kinds of clients and increase your revenue stream.


Inbound Marketing Techniques to Utilize 

Inbound marketing is largely about producing strategic content with search engine optimization (SEO) for greater visibility and success.

The most popular methods include the following:

  • Organic SEO
  • Blogs
  • Premium content (e.g., e-books)
  • Social Content
  • Visual content (e.g., video, webinars and more)
  • Podcasts


Outbound Marketing Techniques to Utilize 

At its core, outbound marketing essentially tells people about your company. Popular tactics include the following:

  • Pay per click (PPC)
  • E-mail marketing
  • Press releases
  • Direct Mail
  • Cold Calling
  • Trade shows and/or conferences

Remember, these tactics don’t always fall squarely in either the inbound or outbound category. They can incorporate elements of each technique.

For example, say you have a unique offering. You could send a potential client something tangible directly in the mail that then generates legitimate interest and drives that person to take action, such as visiting your website to learn more about the offering.

Once that person has visited the site, you can pull all kinds of analytics about him or her, including what site pages were visited, what information was requested or downloaded, and more. In this way, direct mail can act like an outbound version of a call to action, thus incorporating both inbound and outbound techniques to drive your revenue.


Account-Based Marketing: What It Is and Why It Matters to an All-Bound Approach 

Account-based marketing is essentially being as specific as possible in the targeting of your buyer personas. For example, say your target audience is dentists. Rather than marketing to that very broad category (and risking the attraction of customers who might be costly and time-consuming for you), you can drill down to only dentists who offer a specific product, such as Invisalign. 

By using all tactics at your disposal (an all-bound approach), you can more effectively target those highly specific ideal clients.

Throughout this process, you can even further facilitate lead nurturing by employing sales development. This involves an employee who can bridge the gap between marketing and sales. Therefore, if a lead is past the point of dealing with marketing but not yet ready to speak to sales, the lead can communicate with this person until he or she is transitioned to a sales-qualified lead (SQL).

As with every department, sales development should strive for a seamless incorporation of both inbound and outbound techniques. 

When done correctly, inbound marketing is hugely effective at generating leads and then nurturing those leads toward the bottom of the sales funnel. However, inbound techniques alone are usually not enough to close a sale.

That’s why all-bound marketing (a combination of inbound and outbound techniques) is so desirable. Inbound marketing can get you those invaluable leads, and integrating outbound strategy can facilitate converting them into paying customers


Learn how to increase marketing and sales productivity by developing a predictable, gowning sales pipeline through inbound marketing and sales enablement.

Implement a Content-Driven System for Marketing and Sales Alignment

Implement a Content-Driven System for Marketing and Sales Alignment

If your goal is improved alignment between marketing and sales, it is crucial that your inbound marketing campaign incorporates a content-driven system. However, it can’t just be any content-driven system. Throwing out content without the proper strategy or forethought might get you a few incidental leads, but this will always be more time consuming, less effective, and ultimately more costly. You want to create one system through a marketing and sales collaboration. This will help ensure that the one system serves both team and their goals.

It’s imperative you go into your content creation with a good content strategy—one that benefits both sales and marketing. Not only does this drive positive, healthy, productive communication between the two groups, but it improves sales’ productivity and close rates, and that leads to increased revenue.

If you’re experiencing difficulty aligning your sales and marketing and you’re seeing your inbound marketing efforts flounder because of it, a content-driven system is an essential place to start.

Aligning Sales and Marketing through Content to Increase Productivity and Profits

1. Sales Has the Information to Inform Fantastic Content. Use Them!

Salespeople are always talking to your customers and potential customers. It’s a necessary part of the job. This means salespeople have unique insight into what your customer base needs and wants. They know your customers’ challenges, barriers to success, goals, and so on.

When you’re thinking about the content to create, use that vast breadth of knowledge within your sales team to inform what kind of content you need to create. 

If your content answers questions or addresses issues that your customers (or potential customers) are having, that’s going to be highly valuable, and it’s going to establish your company—in the minds of potential customers—as trustworthy, experienced, and knowledgeable.

If you don’t utilize the incredible resources and knowledge of your sales team, you might be putting out content that doesn’t speak as directly or profoundly to your prospects, and the information you’re providing in that content might simply not be aligned with your buyers’ needs.

Remember, the goal of this content should always be to provide value to your potential buyers, and your sales team knows exactly what those potential buyers consider valuable.

2. The Buyer’s Journey, Buyer Personas, and Sales Content

Content should always be directed at your specific buyer personas. (Just like content, every buyer persona should be created in a collaborative process between marketing and sales.) Beyond that, content should also be created for every stage of the buyer’s journey—awareness, consideration, and decision. Some people find it helpful to think of this as top, middle, and bottom of the sales funnel.

Whatever terminology you prefer, you need a mechanism in place for your sales team to access and provide content tailored to each person at each stage of the buyer’s journey. In that way, whether your salesperson is talking to a prospect who’s just found your company or a sales-qualified lead who’s almost ready to buy, you will have content that addresses that person’s needs, questions, challenges, and core problems.

3. When Creating Content, Don’t Forget about the Competition 

More than ever, the buyer’s journey is directed and controlled by the consumer. With the advent of the Internet, people are able to do their own research before even talking to salespeople.

Because of that, you should always remember that potential customers are probably interacting with your competitors’ content as well while going through this research phase.

You don’t have to address your competition overtly, but you can identify ways in which you outstrip your competition and then highlight those through your content. Good strategy will always take into account your competition so that you can successfully differentiate yourself to a customer who’s likely researching both you and your competition.

4. Implement a Framework: Create a Content Catalogue 

A content catalogue is an organized system that’s accessible to both sales and marketing. It segments content into the different stages of the buyer’s journey and the different personas. In this way, anyone who needs a specific piece of content to pass on to a specific person can easily and intuitively find that content.

With today’s CRM systems, this content catalogue is easier than ever to create and organize.

As with every other step, sales and marketing should work together to decide how to put together this framework. Because both sales and marketing will be regularly accessing, updating, and using this catalogue, it should work equally well for both teams—and should, therefore, incorporate the feedback of everyone who will be using the system. 

When a catalogue is intuitive, helpful, and easy to use—for everyone—it can truly save time and money.

5. The Importance of Lead Intelligence 

Lead intelligence deals with personal information about that lead and tracking how a lead has already interacted with your site. That includes:

  • Site pages visited.
  • Links clicked.
  • Information downloaded.
  • Premium content downloaded or requested.

All this information about how a lead has consumed your content is gold! It can indicate some or all of the following:

  • What persona you’re dealing with.
  • What stage of the sales cycle that persona is in.
  • What that person’s professional role is within his or her company (determined via social media accounts, such as LinkedIn).

With your organized and segmented content catalogue, your salesperson then knows exactly how and where to access the pieces of content that are most relevant to that particular lead. 

When the salesperson contacts the lead, he or she is then armed with all that valuable information and is primed to confidently, accurately, and knowledgeably speak to that lead’s core challenges, issues, and problems. The salesperson can reference the information that lead has explored and send follow-up information to supplement it or directly ask if that lead has any questions about the content (which can be addressed by quickly and easily accessing the content catalogue for supplemental information).

All of this leads to more productive—and ultimately more profitable—sales calls.

6. The Value of Sales Training and Content Coaching in an Inbound Marketing Campaign

This content-driven system only works as well as the people utilizing the system. That is, if your marketing and/or sales team doesn’t know how to effectively utilize the power of content, your system will not work for you.

Salespeople must use all their skills and sales-related knowledge but direct that to this relatively novel approach. That is, they must learn how to take an even more educational approach to selling and know how to interact with a lead based on that lead’s readiness to buy (or, said another way, his or her current stage within the buyer’s journey).

Content coaching explains:

  • Key terminology within inbound marketing (buyer persona, buyer’s journey, content catalogue, premium content, and so on).
  • The importance of salespeople reading and understanding the content themselves so they can provide the right information and speak about it intelligently when leads have follow-up questions.
  • How to find, access, and use the content catalogue.
  • How to have initial conversations with leads in the very early stages of site interaction.
  • The power of content as the greatest potential selling tool.
  • How content can positively influence any conversation with the customer.
  • How content can provide real value, establish your company’s credibility, create trust, and differentiate you from your competitors.

7. Without Alignment, Your Inbound Marketing Campaign Is Dead in the Water

It doesn’t matter what sector you’re in or what product or service you’re offering. The importance of the alignment between marketing and sales to foster an effective inbound marketing campaign still applies—and collaboratively created content is an easy, effective way to start to bridge that gap in a meaningful, productive way.  

Sometimes all it takes is a reason to start the conversation between marketing and sales, and implementing a content strategy that puts equal emphasis on marketing and sales is one way to do that. 

Using independently created content without the joint knowledge of sales and marketing is going to make success difficult. If you want to effectively communicate with leads and drive them through the sales funnel, this alignment is key at every step.

People today can do their own consumer research. They don’t need to rely on salespeople to get them base-level information because that kind of information is all just a click away. Therefore, when salespeople interact with leads, they need a strategically created, organized, deliberate content system that gives them the ammunition to answer questions, provide education and value, close deals, and generate revenue.

Learn how to increase marketing and sales productivity by developing a predictable, gowning sales pipeline through inbound marketing and sales enablement.

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