How to Use Inbound Content In Your Sales Process
by Olivia Marcy, on Aug 26, 2022 5:00:00 PM
Inbound Makes Sense For All Your Teams (Including Sales)
More than ever, today’s market is customer-driven. A buyer’s market means your sales content has to be generated, designed, and published with your customer at the center. Inbound is an effective approach to attract, engage, and delight your customers and to align all your teams through a consistent customer message. At the heart of inbound is an understanding of your buyer with the goal of providing consistent, personalized interactions.
For sales, the inbound approach begins with mapping how your leads became customers. This is called the buyer’s journey, and it outlines helpful behavioral insights for more than just your sales team. It’s an approach for all your teams to better understand, care for, and build relationships with your buyers. It’s about aligning your offerings and content with your customer’s needs in a human, helpful way.
Understanding The Buyer's Journey
The buyer's journey outlines a buyer's path to make a purchase. In other words, buyers don't wake up and decide to buy on a whim. They go through a process of becoming aware, considering, evaluating, and deciding to purchase a new product or service.
By understanding the buyer's journey, the pains and problems they experience along that journey, and the influencing factors that shape their thinking, sales reps can better empathize with the buyer and position their product or service along that path. So let's dig in a little further to better understand your customers.
During the awareness stage, the buyer becomes aware of a need, goal, or problem. This can take the form of a challenge they are facing, a need that has to be met, or a goal they aspire to achieve. During this stage, the buyer is determining how to prioritize their problem.
To understand your buyer’s thoughts, feelings, and actions during the awareness stage, consider how your customers learn more about the challenge they’re facing or goal they want to reach. What factors do they examine to make this problem a priority?
During the consideration stage, the buyer has defined their problem and is considering many ways to solve it. The buyer has clearly defined and prioritized their problem and they’re resolved to research the different avenues that lead to the solution.
Your sales team can best understand your buyer’s consideration stage by examining the types of solutions buyers research. When your buyers explore these paths, ask yourself “how is my business’s solution to this problem unique?”
During the decision stage, the buyer has decided on their solution strategy, method, and approach. Their goal now is to compile a list of available vendors, make a short list, and ultimately make a final purchase decision.
Understand your customer in their decision stage by asking what your buyers are evaluating when they compare vendors on their shortlist? What types of offerings stand out?
Pro Tip: A Buyer Persona is a smart way to understand who your customers are and their unique buyer’s journeys. Download your free buyer persona template here.
When you understand your buyer’s journey, you understand what type of content meets their needs. You can put the right information in front of the right person in the right way at the right time. Once you know what buyers need, you can evaluate whether you have the right content or if you need to generate new content. Of course, you can’t evaluate your content if you don’t know what you have. In order to do that, you need to get organized.
Your content probably lives in a few different spots. That’s okay as long as you’re organized. But if your files and sharing processes are a mess, it’s time to clean up and streamline team accessibility. Your team must have consistent, shared access to the content they need to sell, sell, sell! Work with your team to determine a simple, replicable system of organization so that everyone can access it fast. An extra benefit to being organized is that if a new member joins the team, they’ll have a much easier time ramping up.
Create A Content Map
Now that you have everything you’ve created in one, shared place, it’s time to map it out. A content map is a tool that you can use to organize types of content with the customer’s stage in the buyer’s journey. Connecting categories of content with a purpose and goal helps your team maintain effectiveness, consistency, and alignment. Admittedly, we’ve crossed into the marketing wheelhouse, but that doesn’t mean a sales team can’t learn and apply what works.
Track Content Usage
You can sell all you want, but if you don’t track and measure your content performance, you won’t know what’s working and how effective your efforts are. Track what content is used, whether it leads to a sale, and why it doesn’t. With that information, you can further hone your sales process by improving the content that works and removing the content that doesn’t.
Your sales team is the first line of communication for most customers. Whether they realize it or not, salespeople hear a metric ton of feedback from good and bad fit customers. It’s the responsibility of sales managers to gather that feedback and share it with decision-makers and the marketing team. Otherwise, problems stay problems and what’s already good doesn’t get better.
Create A Compelling Inbound Content Plan With Sauce Marketing!
Your prospects have more tools and knowledge than ever before. They’re doing the research to solve problems before making a single call to a customer service rep or typing up a single email. That’s why your business must be inbound to be successful. What does an inbound approach look like?
- Have a system in place that helps salespeople use the right content at the right time
- Be customer-driven and be organized around customer delight
- Build a content plan that serves your customers, not your salespeople
Buying behavior is constantly evolving and your tactics need to evolve with them. With Sauce, you can create a nimble inbound strategy that keeps you in step with your customers. Don’t risk the guesswork. Trust the experts at Sauce to create a strategy that works. Reach out to a Certified Growth Guide for a free consultation today!