If there is one thing I’ve learned in the world of B2B marketing it’s that content must not only convince customers, it should compel sales to take action as well. Pressed for time and inundated with never-ending emails touting the next greatest marketing campaign, sales often stick to what they know. Why spend hours learning the nuanced value proposition of yet another new solution or understanding the specific challenges and drivers of an unfamiliar market segment when the opportunity stands unproven and you’re already successful elsewhere? It’s a fair enough argument, and we in marketing can hardly blame them. We can, however, show them that we’re worth their time.
Many of my clients are constantly vying for their salespeople’s time, knowing that they rely on these front-line ambassadors to deliver or reinforce the message at the core of every campaign. After years of collecting feedback from sales to marketing, I present this short list of tips.
Strive to be stunning/Delight with the different
We’re all guilty of taking to routines and following the status quo. Due to tight schedules and limited resources, we rush to produce marketing assets, often employing existing templates, content-building formulas, and rehashing last quarter’s beloved graphs and widgets. And while the result may be polished and true to brand, it will hardly appear new and exciting to your salespeople. So the next time you’re tasked with creating a brochure, ask yourself (or your trusted vendor) what can you do to make it really stand out? Amaze sales with something they’ve never seen before.
Let the data do the talking
Given all the information that marketing sends to sales, it can be difficult to prioritize. But these days, there are tons of ways to illustrate the importance of not only your market offering, but also the way in which it’s packaged. Integrate analytics into all your campaign assets, so you have hard evidence of what’s working and what’s not.
Use CTAs that advance the conversation
How many times do you get to the end of an amusing video, informative white paper, or insightful infographic only to read the words: “For more information, visit www.companyname.com”? It happens way too often, right? Avoid the expected boilerplate that does little to facilitate sales. Instead, aim for a meaningful call to action that actually propels the customer toward some kind of action, whether it’s downloading useful content, liking your Facebook company page, or getting in touch with an actual salesperson. Think about the buyer’s journey and how the piece of content they’re viewing maps to that. Then create your call to action accordingly. The right CTA can motivate your captive audience closer to the sale.