Prove yourself early because it won’t happen by itself

Prove yourself early because it won’t happen by itself

Believe it or not, leads don’t flow through your pipeline unaided. I say “believe it or not” because you’d be surprised at the amount of sales leaders we encounter that are doing very little to aid the prospect’s journey from awareness to the close.

Because that’s just it: prospects, leads, potential deals – whatever you want to name them – need help getting from one stage of the funnel to the next. After all, why would they know what problems you solve in depth? Why should they care? Especially if you’re not putting in the effort.

So that’s where content comes in. Marrying up sales and marketing through the power of content enables you to guide prospects through the pipeline, moving them from awareness all the way through to the close.

A genuinely useful and relevant piece of content can serve multiple purposes: it can raise awareness, educate, solve problems, and even persuade. But its ultimate success lies in its ability to seamlessly lead into and support sales conversations.

When content speaks directly to the needs and challenges of your audience, it lays down a pathway that leads straight to your sales team, equipped with insights and warmed-up leads ready for engagement.

Content strategy is the foundation of proving yourself

A robust and well thought out content strategy is the key to unlocking the potential lying dormant in your pipeline – you need to be able to accurately map out the ‘why us’ of your content. Above all, you’re trying to educate and provide value – meaning you need to understand your audience and show why it should be you they pick. 

From the top of the funnel, where awareness is key, to the bottom, where decision-making content reigns supreme, each piece of content should be designed with the sales process in mind. It’s all well and good having an article littered with hilarious one-liners, but what’s the point if it doesn’t serve a purpose?

This requires a deep understanding of your audience, their journey, and the sales process itself. By aligning content with each stage of this journey, you can ensure that their marketing efforts are not just seen but are impactful, guiding potential customers closer to a sale with each interaction.

Aligning content with sales (you’ll notice that ‘alignment’ is the buzzword for the day) is critical. They can’t operate in silos, otherwise it's a wasted resource.

Whether you knew all that or not – you should be asking yourself whether your content strategy is fit for purpose regularly. Is it platform specific? Do you know where your audience is? When was the last time you revisited it?

Achieving buyability

The initial engagement stage is critical in the content marketing and sales integration process. Here, content needs to do more than just inform; it needs to demonstrate that you deeply understand the problem and are presenting a solution.

Ultimately, you’re trying to achieve buyability with your content. That means making it clear that you’re the obvious solution to a problem. You have to be able to sell the thinking behind your product, and content is your vehicle to do so.

This early stage content sets the tone for the relationship between your brand and the potential customer. It's not just about grabbing attention; it's about providing value and establishing your brand as a go-to resource.

By addressing the audience's needs and challenges early on, you're not only gaining their interest but also building the foundations of trust and credibility that are essential for successful sales conversations down the line.

Drilling deeper with your content

Once interest is sparked, the focus shifts to nurturing those leads with more insightful content that gets into the detail of their specific challenges and presents your solutions.

This content should continue to educate and provide value, but with a more focused approach that aligns with the lead's growing interest in your solutions.

It's about maintaining engagement and moving leads further down the funnel underlining the problem that you solve and the solution you present.

This stage is where content personalisation can play a significant role. By tailoring content to the specific needs and interests of leads, businesses can ensure that each piece of content resonates on a personal level, making the lead feel understood and valued.

A targeted approach not only keeps leads engaged but also positions you as the one that truly understands and can address their unique challenges. Using content in sales conversations is key here.

Using different types of content to get deals over the line

As leads move closer to the decision stage, content needs to be sharply focused on helping them evaluate your offerings and make an informed decision. This is where more targeted, persuasive content comes into play, such as detailed case studies, product demos, and testimonials.

Be careful though – going too hard on case studies, demos, and testimonials can be overly salesy and put leads off, so approach with caution.

However, this content should clearly articulate the benefits of your solutions, showcasing how they address the specific pain points and challenges your leads are facing.

By providing clear, compelling evidence of your product or service's effectiveness, you're not only aiding the decision-making process but also building a compelling case for why your solution is the right choice.

Strategy to underpin it all

A comprehensive content strategy acts as the backbone of effective sales efforts, ensuring that every piece of content serves a purpose in guiding leads towards a sale.

This strategy requires a thorough understanding of your audience, their journey, and how each piece of content can meet their needs at various stages of the funnel. It's about creating a cohesive narrative that flows from one stage to the next, building momentum and guiding leads towards making a purchase.

You wouldn’t dive into any piece of work without strategy sitting behind it (we hope), and content is exactly the same. You can’t spray and pray with content, it has to serve a purpose.

Having a robust and comprehensive content strategy is what props up the pipeline – after all, sales teams can’t do it all by themselves. So spend time on your strategy, make it relevant, and solve some real problems with it.

Making conversations more meaningful

Incorporating content into sales conversations is a game-changer, allowing sales teams to add depth and value to their interactions with leads.

In theory, you should have a bank of content that is relevant to each stage of the funnel as well as specific problems. Your nurturers can then draw on this bank of content to provide additional value in real life conversations.

It also helps with the tailoring and personalisation of sales conversations. By reaching out to a prospect and saying “I wrote this recently and thought of you”, you’re actively demonstrating that you care, are offering value, and are maintaining relevance.

Using content in sales conversations helps to bridge the gap between marketing and sales, ensuring that the messaging is consistent and aligned throughout the customer's journey. This consistency reinforces the brand's authority and credibility, making each sales conversation more impactful and increasing the likelihood of conversion.

Let’s wrap this up

By aligning content with sales objectives and ensuring that each piece of content supports and enriches the sales process, businesses can create a more engaging, effective sales journey that resonates with customers and drives conversions.

It’s about connecting sales and marketing, offering genuine value, and proving that you can solve the challenges that your audience are facing.

Because that’s just it – when you boil it down, content is just a method of proving yourself to the people you want to work with. It gets you in the room, and from there you can take it and run with it.

That all starts with a robust content strategy, though – so what are you waiting for?

Back to blog