Sex sells.  We all know that in our society.  But, you know what?  Content sells too!

sales cartoon

In my career, in many of the companies that I worked at, the marketing folks always felt they had all the answers.  Focus group this, focus group that, they knew what marketing messages were most important. Well, most of the time they were not connected enough with the sales team to understand what is happening in the “trenches” and incorporating some of the intellect in the messages.  No offense to marketing!  But, marketing should partner with sales to ensure the sales cycle, which in the inbound sales model, begins with content and eventually delivers the sales team quality leads.

So, what are the right questions to ask your sales team in order to make your content more effective??

When the Salesperson is doing discovery, what are the first questions prospects ask?

Typically, when a sales person is going through the initial stages of discovery, prospects will ask many of the same questions.  Knowing what these are can help to create your websites content.  Up to 70% of the buying decision is made prior to a prospect talking to a salesperson.  Having the right content on the page will help the buyer in the initial buying process.

Sales people are trained to sell.  So, many times they will give you their selling messages as opposed to remembering what questions the prospect actually asked.  Sometimes you have to dig a little deeper. Maybe ask them to record a sales call, or accompany them on a sales call to learn what questions are being asked.

The first few questions asked by the prospect before sales begins going into their pitch will give you an idea of the common problems among your audience. Use this information to create blogs, tailor your messaging, and also take the guesswork out of planning your offers.

Can Sales convert on the leads marketing delivers?

Marketing is jumping for joy when sales converts those leads that they help to generate.  Early stages of inbound marketing efforts generating a 2-3% conversion is great.  It lays the foundation for future efforts. You should be using a marketing software, like HubSpot, to monitor the lead process, but there is no better information that talking with sales about the Sales Accepted Leads you are generating.  Work with them and you conversion rate will increase.

For example, you have an offer for a quote that has been converting a lot of leads but not many customers. The sales person giving the quote can give you valuable information on any “red flags” with the leads coming in.  Maybe those leads are confused about what services you actually offer or maybe they aren’t far enough along in the cycle to be receiving a quote yet?  

This leads me to the next question you can be asking sales.

From the leads that are generated, do prospects really know what you do/provide?

In businesses where clear messaging is lacking, lead quality can suffer significantly through inbound channels. Often times, this results in the sales team being handed leads that think you sell “those things” when really you sell “these things.” This creates a bad user experience but also costs the business by wasting the salesperson’s time. By asking your sales teams about common misconceptions held by leads, you can create better messaging that won’t bring in the wrong leads or confuse visitors about what you do.  This will also bridge the gap between sales and marketing help you work as a team.

Are you looking for content topic ideas?

For the most part, the salesperson knows the customer best.  Not only can you get content ideas from the sales team, but I am a big proponent of having them participate in the process.  Tap into their knowledge base and have them contribute not only ideas, but also content in the form of a blog.  Even if they don’t really know how to effectively put pen to paper, get them to write the jist of what they want to write and have a professional writer put it all together.  Their value can be very beneficial in helping to get prospects into the top of the sales funnel, as well as helping to delight the customers.  Remember the process??  Everyone now! attract…convert….close….delight!

Receiving feedback from sales ultimately benefits them and you.  As marketers, we are often a bit hesitant to get help from our fellow teammates in sales. However, sales people are often very collaborative because they want better leads.  By working with sales and asking them the right questions, you can deliver better content and lead quality.

Seriously, take action!  Contact us with any questions you may have!