I have a bold confession to make: as a salesperson, I want to spend my time on things that will help my prospects become customers.
To achieve this goal, I work to understand prospects’ vertical and their business overall. I look to see whether they’re disrupting entrenched giants in their market or being disrupted themselves. I want to know how I can help as they evaluate content marketing platforms with the goal of reducing or eliminating wasted content expenses. According to SiriusDecisions, up to two-thirds of content goes unused because it’s either unfindable or off-brand. What does two-thirds of your annual budget look like, once you include things like agency time, cost of duplicative content, etc.?
Eventually, my ultimate goal is to transform a prospect’s content operation into a razor-sharp revenue generator.
What’s Missing from an Effective Sales Closing Technique
Keen observers will note that there is one thing conspicuously absent from the above: I’m not spending loads of time sifting through content to find something that’s a value-add to send to my prospect. If you’re in sales, product marketing, customer success, or really any client-facing team, the following scenario will probably (unfortunately) feel all too familiar:
- Search your desktop and hard drive for that case study/data sheet you just know exists but can’t find.
- Email (or Slack or GChat) a coworker about said data sheet, not get a response within the next 15 minutes, and then promptly move on to bother a different coworker.
- Reach out to the marketing team to see where that piece of collateral might live.
- Hear from marketing that it’s actually 18 months out of date and not meant to be shared anymore.
- Complain to a colleague on your team about how useless marketing is.
- Finally, decide to send something else.
- And then wash, rinse, repeat!
If this could be a snapshot of a typical afternoon within your company, know that you’re not alone—know too, however, there’s a better way!
Stop Searching, Start Closing
These days, whether I’m writing a cold email to send to a prospect of mine who’s never heard of Kapost before or drafting a follow-up response following an in-depth conversation about our content marketing platform, my marketing team has set up a content repository for me that acts as a single source of truth for all the content I could ever need. Even things like competitive battle cards are teed up for me in this repository, so I no longer need to (nor do I have any excuse to) fumble around in my inbox or my hard drive while halfway listening to the person on the other end of the line during a call.
This single source of truth benefits me as a salesperson (as well as Kapost as a company) in other ways, too. My marketing team provides me with content that actually works in terms of having driven engagement further up the funnel. And the content is already segmented out based on market dimensions that matter to me, whether it’s by persona, buying stage, content type, vertical, size of the company, etc.
Further, this single repository prevents the exact scenario outlined above: sales “going rogue” and sharing content that’s no longer accurate or up to date. Imagine sharing a case study about someone who’s no longer a customer! Since marketing ultimately controls (with healthy feedback from the sales organization, of course) what content exists in this repository, everything in there has been branded with the marketing stamp of approval.
At the end of the day, content is key for me as a salesperson to close more deals—but not just any content. I need content that is:
- Aligned to a broader marketing strategy
- Approved by the marketing organization
- Searchable and tagged with information like persona and buying stage
- Up-to-date—this means assets that are no longer relevant are archived
With this kind of content, I can spend the majority of my day focusing on my prospects rather than trying to find content or figuring out how to use it. And when I focus on my prospects, good things happen!