A successful content strategy helps sales leaders start conversations, eliminate organizational bottlenecks, and build authority. The challenge, however, is that it’s tough to know where and how to get started. From blog posts to sales infographics, sales enablement videos, blog posts, and SlideShare presentations, it’s tough to figure out what you should be creating.
In an ideal world, sales and marketing teams would have infinite bandwidth to create assets for every customer conversation. But you can’t. You need to make the most out of the time and resources that you have—which often requires us to focus on a few impactful initiatives.
Rely on the following process to create awesome sales content:
Step 1: Figure out what your customers’ values
With this step, you’ll figure out the tone, style, and voice for every piece of content that you generate. You might even consider creating a styleguide for your company’s sales and marketing teams to use as a blueprint.
Success with content is often in the subtleties—the words you choose, the length of your sentences, and the jokes that you crack between the lines (or not). By identifying what your audiences care about, you’ll be better positioned to choose the ‘right’ language and stories to tell.
Step 2: Determine what’s interesting to your customers
The goal of this step is to figure out what themes to touch on and questions to answer with your content. Rather than throwing darts in the dark, demand generation and sales enablement teams can determine a focused set of customer questions that need answering, in addition to topic areas that will likely be impactful.
Most sales teams, without even realizing it, complete this step as part of their everyday operations. More so than selling, account executives and customer-facing teams spend much of their time learning—reading what prospects are reading, engaging in conversations, and conducting market research. Formalize this process by creating an Evernote or Google Drive repository with examples of content that your target customers find interesting. Maintain a list of topics that your company is well-positioned to address.
Step 3: Identify communication bottlenecks within your organization
With this step, you’ll identify the communication bottlenecks that are slowing sales and support teams down. Based on this information, you’ll generate a list of content types that can relieve these pressure points.
Between whitepapers, infographics, customer stories, blog posts, and whitepapers, companies face option-overload when deciding what types of content to create. Even more challenging is the fact that success paths vary between companies.
Rather than throwing spaghetti at the wall by copying your competitors, take a step back to figure out where content can best support your organization. If your sales reps are struggling to engage prospects through presentations, for instance, invest your efforts in creating sets of slide decks. If account reps are sharing the same customer stories, over and over, invest in a set of case studies. Don’t let ‘best practices’ detail you from the needs of your organization—focus on solving the problems in front of you.
Step 4: Identify your biggest growth opportunities
These are the things that you wish that your company was doing but aren’t. Examples include branding, explainer videos, and infographics for PR purposes.
If your company is generating month-over-month growth, with strong performance at the mid-to-lower funnel stages, it may be time to invest in initiatives that generate visibility—by generating more blog content, launching sponsored posts campaigns, or doubling-down on your PR efforts.
By educating audiences at earlier funnel stages, you’ll build brand equity—and create more qualified leads. Your efforts will translate into steady and systematic growth in your customer base.
The process that drives your content strategy is simple. Know your organization, and know your customers. Instead of throwing spaghetti at the wall, create a content strategy that generates systematic and predictable growth.