Smart sales teams are always looking to shorten the sales cycle, expediting the path from curious prospect to repeat customer. Building trust is crucial to reducing objections, and one of the best ways to build that trust is by sharing honest, strategic content. Download our ebook, “Turning Content Into Sales” for detailed information on strategies that move the needle for your organization.
As Erin Hayes mentioned in her post, What Smart Sales and Marketing Leaders are Focused on for 2019, no longer can sales and marketing teams work in silos. Now more than ever, lead generation and conversion are shared responsibilities. Marketers cannot create campaigns, put them into the hands of sales leaders and watch from afar. Strategic content should convert to sales every step along the way.
How Content Factors into the Sales Process
Content takes many forms: blogs, emails, offers, form fills, etc. Each content type plays a role in initiating contact, identifying needs and managing objections, which ultimately ushers prospects farther down the sales funnel.
Publish and Promote a Blog
A blog is an opportunity to speak straight to market segments in a candid and compelling way. If done correctly, a blog can convert awareness into consideration and consideration into decision. Start with a headline that demands attention and adequately informs your audience about what they’re going to read. Never sacrifice trustworthiness for wit.
The body of your blog post needs to contain content that’s useful to your audience. Content should solve your readers’ problems, saying what they want to know rather than what you want them to know. Prospects can tell if you’re truthful about your intentions and are likely to leave your site if they feel defrauded. It’s fine to mention your company, your services and your differentiators, but it shouldn’t be the primary point of the blog. While a blog needs to be outward facing, it’s always smart to include a clear call to action (CTA), whether embedded in the copy or tagged at the end. The combination of useful content and clear next steps creates a solid blog strategy for retaining readers and reducing leakage.
Good content is crucial but it’s worthless if no one can find it. Promote your blog by including it in every email and through sharing important posts on social media. To capture potential customers, focus on search engine optimisation (SEO). Track your keywords and the “aboutness” of each piece, and use CRM data to guide your writing.
Email Prospects and Potential Clients
A Marketing Automation Platform (MAP) is a scalable method of establishing a constant touchpoint with prospects and customers. To curate effective email content, start with a savvy subject line. Keep it between 35 and 55 characters for readability and compatibility with most email clients. To capture customers’ attention, use urgency (“now”), segmentation (“seniors”), localization (“Southeast”), numeration (“$500”) and/or interrogatives (“Retiring?”). Certain keywords, such as “video” and “free,” can also boost your open rate.
As important as the subject line is the preheader text. This preview should encourage your readers to open the email by building upon the subject line in a clear, concise and captivating way. What are you offering? Who is it for? Why do I need to know more?
Use Offers to Gather Actionable Insights
Much like webinars and free trials, offers are lead magnets that solve real problems in exchange for a form fill. While an offer can deliver a quick win in the form of revenue, it should be more than be a one-off touchpoint. Offers must present a solution to a problem—one you can solve again and again—and demonstrate the perception of high value. In order to do so, be sure your offer isn’t a temporary fix. A service or product is never simply a service or product; it’s an experience, one that builds brand loyalty. Your content must express this in an easy-to-understand manner that exudes expertise so customers keep coming back.
Create Forms to Turn Traffic Into Customers
In order to initiate contact, you need to meet the person behind the IP address. Form fills de-anonymize your leads, converting them from a visitor to an actionable prospect. You can use a MAP to host the form, capture data and pass the pertinent info along to the sales team in real time.
The platform may be easy to use, but encouraging leads to complete the form is often easier said than done. Web users are cautious. When you haven’t already built trust with a prospect, you have to rely on your content to tell your story and establish a relationship. Ensure that the form is clear about how you plan to engage and gives a complete picture of your intentions.
Measuring Campaigns and Sustaining Success
Once you’ve implemented content, use your MAP to aggregate form, offer, blog and email metrics, and then use the data to reevaluate your strategy. Which offer converted the most leads? Where do you see an increase in web traffic? Which emails have the highest CTR? Use your answers to inform future efforts, and don’t be afraid to reconfigure your content strategy.
In fact, it’s crucial that you reevaluate your content constantly. Once a lead is accepted, sales teams often fall into an automated cadence for contact and delivery, but the customer’s journey doesn’t end there. Workflows triggered and altered by data points from CRM are often passed back to the MAP.
It’s time to use marketing automation integrated with your CRM to drive census, improve performance and increase productivity. Download our ebook to launch your own content strategy that will fill your funnel and accelerate your sales cycle. It’s packed with insights and actionable tactics including:
- Six major trends affecting Senior Housing and how to overcome them with content and marketing automation
- Leveraging different types of content mediums and creating strategies that offer value to your audience
- Personalizing content by using Google responsive search ads and other technology
- Methods for distributing content via digital and traditional marketing tactics
- Getting started with marketing automation and common types of campaigns for the industry
- Strategies on how your sales team can leverage marketing automation and integrated notifications as well as utilize tools like lead scoring to be more effective
- And, an introduction into predictive email send to deliver content at the most effective times