In the past, people became aware of your product or service through a sales person or through corporate marketing materials sent their way.
Now, a referral sends them searching online.
Your Website is the Hub
In the old days, a salesperson might cold call a prospect and leave behind a sales brochure. Then, they’d follow up and maybe schedule a demo leading to a sale. It was a natural progression.
The internet has changed all that.
Between 57%-70% of B2B buyers have done their research (via search and social media) before they ever talk with a salesperson. They expect information to come from a variety of channels.
You can help your salespeople succeed when you show up in the way today’s world expects.
Today’s (and Tomorrow’s) Prospects Expect a Strong Online Presence
Your well-optimized site with useful, relevant and interesting material tailored to each stage of the buying cycle can help you get found easier and make more sales. Why? Because you’re showing up as a trusted resource.
In some industries, you can rise to the top within 12-24 months if you dedicate a portion of your marketing budget to developing your website with today’s SEO in mind. A large part of today’s successful SEO requires useful, interesting material that matches the buying cycle.
How do you do this?
You need to generate the right type of content and make it available so your prospects will find it.
Let’s consider the three main paths to a sale.
1—Prospect doesn’t know you exist, you have to catch their attention
2—You’re showing them solutions to their existing problems or to problems they didn’t even know they had but now they do and they want you to help them solve it.
3—You make the sale
You can support your offline activities with online content that support these functions. When you develop content for different stages of the sales cycle, you have a strong platform. When you’re able to laser-target your prospects and get the material into their hands, you make more sales easier.
It all starts with content.
How to Use the 5 x 5 Method to Generate Content
What’s the 5 x 5 method?
1) You make a list of the five most frequently asked questions your prospects ask when they first find out about you.
2) Then, you make a list of the five questions you wish they asked.
3) Next, you answer them in your blog posts, videos, downloadable PDF’s, etc.
That’s starter content for your awareness and generating interest content.
Let’s build on that.
People who are familiar with what you do have different questions. Questions like, how does your product/service compare with the competition? Do you have case studies that show it in action? Answer these questions, offer case studies.
It’s all part of building your reputation online and meeting your prospects where they are in the customer journey.
Next, Map it to Your Sales Cycle
Once you’ve written the questions and bullet pointed some answers, think of your prospects and your resources. Do you want to develop a series of videos, blogs and an infographic to address the questions your prospects have? Do you have content that’s already created? What do you need to develop?
Determine what will be outsourced and what you’ll handle inhouse. Determine a timeframe for developing and publishing.
Start posting your new content as soon as you have it ready. Hopefully, you’ve developed your LinkedIn company page and a Twitter account where you can post the content or a teaser about the content to attract your prospects and bring them back to your website.
Now, when your prospects go online searching for your brand they find useful content to introduce them to you. If they’re looking for a solution and compiling recommendations for their next sales meeting, they find your case studies and comparison charts.
It’s all part of helping your sales team make more sales.