Content is king and a large part of sales enablement, whether you are operating in the B2C or B2B planet. But what we have seen lately with some clients, is that they have adopted content marketing, but it’s not really working for them. Customers expect to find great content at their fingertips and they do not want lots of branding or promotions around them. Let’s all be honest here. You are not a Microsoft/Amazon/Google/Salesforce/SAP/Oracle.
You are a SaaS provider who focuses on B2B clients with a top line revenue of 3-10 million dollars per year. So there’s not a lot of budget that you can afford to burn for advertising. You also do not want to play the war game of ads bidding because you will be just burning your marketing budget before you even close your Q1.
The good news is that if the old saying about content being king applies, then creating good content holds the keys to the kingdom. This is why we believe that the new sales rainmaker is the content creator. In this new world the winner is not the traditional scrappy sales guy who is always closing (only to see the customer churn after the commission check has been cashed). This has been a big challenge for a lot of SaaS Organizations that we have been invited to consult for.
The other new rainmakers are inbound sales professionals who are knowledgeable on their topic and share their valuable insights online to attract those in need. They personally generate quality leads by providing references to fantastic content.
I remember the old saying “No one will get fired if you decided to buy from (XYZ) vender.” This does not stand true. Why? First it’s 2016, and buyers are more educated. They do not follow the rest of the market. And by the way, the (XYZ) brand – who was booming in year 2000 – is laying off 1000’s of people because they have already been displaced by a new SaaS Company (your company). So please do not do what they did.
Modern sales sequence based on insights: (Anno 2015).
- Clients gains awareness by reading articles online.
- Clients looks for insights online in the form of blog posts, whitepapers, eBooks.
- Client develops trust based on the online insights.
- Client contacts a vender by signing up for more insights and attend some webinars. Then a speaking event, or pre-book a meeting in a tradeshow event.
As you can see, content is the fuel for the sales process. Why? Because it relays insights on the timeframe and pace most relevant to the Customer. Over the past several years we have noted many changes in the area of content that are of Incredible importance to any SaaS company.
- The need for content across the entire five stages of your SaaS sales process. Let’s all be honest here, beyond the Awareness Stage, the biggest gaps in this content development for most companies are currently in the education stage and the use stage. Buyers are often overwhelmed with high quality awareness content and then: “Please contact us to get a quote,” or “Contact us for a demo,” or “Have a Sales representative call you back.” See how your content took them from awareness to decision stage, which will have a reverse effect on their decision making.
- The need for more visual content. Sincere video that stands out from the crowd are no longer difficult or expensive to produce.
- User-generated content. We live in a world where everyone armed with a phone is a content contributor. The world leading SaaS companies embrace this by facilitating systems in which their customers contribute their own content to the process. More content means better coverage.
- The role of distribution. Great content needs great distribution, and they both need to be married together. Basic ideas can be Google/LinkedIn. You need to make sure that you are leveraging those tools and make sure your content is easily found by your clients.
- Educational content acts as an outbound sales call. Prospects will be asking questions, examining your process and comparing different insights.
If you want your company to adopt a content strategy, and if you want your company to be positioned as a modern SaaS organization, you should put that responsibility in the hands of the online sales professional as well as your field marketing. Also, give your content marketing manager the responsibility to follow up with them to ensure they are curating the proper content from their day-to-day sales activities, feedback from their existing clients, and so on.
Let’s phrase that another way. Sales experts who are willing to learn new tricks (teaching old dogs, new tricks) should be able to share their Stories (blog spots) at events (groups) and with the network they build over the years (LinkedIn). They should do this day-in and day-out and should not shy away from creating visual explanations using whiteboard and videos. This is the starting step for social selling and social marketing. The fact of the matter is that actual content marketing is a culture change and shift for organizations that they will need to adopt sooner or later.
If you like what you have just read and would like to have Flawless Inbound run a workshop, or engage in a consulting session with your team, we will be more than happy to do so.