How to Empower Your Reps With Powerful Sales Strategy and Content

Modern buyers have greater access to information than ever before. They are both highly informed and wary of products in unprecedented ways, and because of this, sales teams are forced to adapt.

Today’s consumers, particularly in B2B, spend a considerable amount of time weighing their options — comparing vendors, researching what their competitors are doing, and listening closely to their teams and colleagues (and this is just scratching the surface of factors that can affect a buying decision).

For this reason, it’s important that reps have the information they and their prospects need throughout the sales process in order to achieve a sale. Marketing assets, case studies, vendor comparisons, market research, and other forms of such collateral have become essential components of the inbound sales toolkit.

However, even among these assets, there are specific times or milestones involved in sharing information. For instance, some sales content should be shared at specific stages in the sales cycle, or shared as support pieces after a discovery call, and so on. Sometimes, it can seem as though knowing what and when to share with prospects is a science in itself.

 

Inbound Sales and the Importance of Helping

In both B2B and B2C sales, trust in a product or service is paramount in a buying decision. With greater access to information comes greater trust — and happier customers. In most cases, trust and emotional connection to a product eclipses cost.

This trust must be a natural progression. Buyers need authentic trust to make confident buying decisions, and it’s your team’s job to build that trust through communication and proof.

This is why it is so important for reps to have access to the case studies and market research previously mentioned. It makes their belief in a product and its benefits (such as its ability to help them grow their company or save money) much more tangible. Authentic sales content provides proof and trust, and raises esteem in a product throughout the buyer’s journey.

Once a certain degree of trust has been built, reps can drive a buying decision with custom communications, such as a product demo or review, and attention to individual needs. All of this ties in with the idea of helping instead of selling, a foundation of inbound sales.

 

Sales Content Throughout the Sales Cycle

In inbound sales, different types of content can empower reps at different points in the sales cycle. Prospects that are new to your company and its offerings require information that aligns with their current thinking; the same applies to individuals who are ready to buy, and actively comparing your product to others on the market.

Think of the sales cycle as three unique stages:

  • Awareness Stage: the stage in which prospects are aware of their problem, need, or opportunity.

    Prospects in this stage are seeking to resolve a pain point or otherwise improve their current situation. They are learning more about their problem and why it is occurring.

    • Example: Jim’s automobile has been performing poorly, and he is researching various engine troubleshooting steps and solutions. He is aware he has a problem, but does not know what it will take, or who to turn to in order to resolve the problem.

  • Consideration: the stage in which prospects have defined their problem and are comparing, or considering, various solutions.

    Prospects in this stage are discovering how effective a given solution is versus others.

    • Example: Jim has discovered that his entire engine needs repair, and is now determining whether he needs to replace the motor or trade-in for a new car. He has identified the problem, and is weighing his options to deal with the issue.

  • Decision: the stage in which prospects know their plan of action and are actively comparing products and vendors.

    • Example: Jim has decided to trade-in his vehicle, and is now comparing dealerships, pricing, and buying terms. He is comparing the “features” of different vendors to make the right fit for his needs.

 

1. Content for the Awareness stage:

This should be high-level, and focused on explaining or addressing a problem head-on. Why is a problem occurring, or why is there an opportunity present? Reps that are communicating with Awareness stage prospects should consider sharing:

  • Insightful blog articles related to a problem
  • Research studies
  • Infographics that explain a problem and improve understanding
  • Visual content, such as video walkthroughs, that deal with the underlying root of a problem, or even the solution (such as home improvement tip, which can highlight how easy it is to fix a common problem with a specific tool or technique)

2. Content for the Consideration stage:

Is content that helps prospects compare solutions and determine the best fit for their needs. They know their problem, but not which solution is best. For prospects in this stage, your sales reps should consider providing:

  • Whitepapers that explore solutions and broad product categories
  • Calculators or comparison charts of solutions
  • Related podcasts
  • Webinars
  • Some case studies
  • Media/video content of solutions at work, or other best practices for resolving the main pain point

3. Content for the Decision stage:

This typically reinforces a prospect’s belief in a solution or product. It’s this content that you can use to introduce your brand and specific products/services more in-depth. When prospects are in the decision stage and comparing vendors, reps can drive sales by sharing:

  • Product demos
  • Vendor comparison charts or documents
  • Customer testimonials
  • Reviews
  • ROI calculators
  • Trial offers or deals
  • Some case studies

All sales content should serve to create and support a sense of trust among prospects. With the right content, shared at the right time, it’s possible to automate the entire buyer’s journey and present your reps with decision-ready opportunities at the very beginning of those one-on-one  conversations.

 

Demystifying Inbound Sales Strategy

The practice of sales enablement (taking action to empower your reps with content and information) doesn’t end with a complete content catalog; sales teams should also understand how and why this practice works. 

In today’s B2B and B2C sales environments, HELPING prospects is the underlying goal. It should be your sales team’s mission to create long-lasting trust and belief in your company — something that, until recently, was not a fundamental priority in sales.

The following are concepts and impactful sales strategies that inbound sales teams use every day to turn troubled prospects into lifelong brand evangelists:

  • Sales Enablement: the practice of supporting sales teams with assets and technology to drive sales. Content and other marketing materials serve to keep leads engaged with your brand throughout their buying process, and ultimately result in more effective sales teams.
  • Content Marketing: marketing that utilizes content throughout the buyer’s journey to inform and help readers. This content can take virtually any form and should drive positive action from the audience.
  • Growth Marketing: marketing that champions agility and iterative development to more efficiently and effectively resonate with buyers. A/B testing homepage designs, periodic offering updates, and content creation for new device types are forms of growth marketing.
  • Marketing Automation: the practice of using various tools and techniques, such as CRM software, to streamline the sales cycle and better equip reps with accurate contact information.
  • Email Automation: the practice of sending valuable information to leads in the form of structured email campaigns, executed and completed through marketing software. Automated campaigns can be focused by specific needs, products, or any other information from audience contact records. Prospects enroll in automated email campaigns typically through an action on a website.
  • Lead Scoring: a sales methodology that allows reps to qualitatively rank leads by their potential compatibility. Scores can be raised or lowered by a prospect’s activity and interactions with your company. For instance, lead scoring in HubSpot usually incorporates demographic information, company information (size, type), social media activity, and email engagement.

Each of these elements plays a significant role in the inbound sales methodology, which ultimately leads to stronger sales teams and happy customers. Information and trust are at the core of modern buying, and if your team isn’t addressing those as a top priority, now is the time to do so.

Want to give your sales reps the support they need to truly excel? Reach out to Tobe Agency today. Our experts understand the hurdles and implementation of inbound sales, and would love to help you empower your sales team today!

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