I love the autumn, and not just for all the vibrant leaf colours and bright blue skies, but because it’s planning time for many of our clients. There’s something exceedingly uplifting about talking about the future and developing the concepts for new programmes that are going to do even more than the ones we’ve been working on this year. Yup. Love it.
As I’ve been doing the rounds, it’s clear that content marketing is really taking hold as an approach. I’ve seen a recurring challenge emerge, however and — if you’re feeling it too — an add-on we’ve been delivering for some of our clients could well have mass appeal. It’s a simple little gizmo but really gears up the value of your content: conversation starters for the sales team.
Conversation starters: tried and tested
This is a well-proven technique for campaigns and account-based marketing where, from the outset, sales is considered an integral part of the process. For thought leadership and content marketing, on the other hand, sales are not often a primary channel for the materials you are creating and, consequently, not much thought goes into how they might use it to support direct conversations with customers.
Conversation starters: ready to use
It’s simple to fix this with a short piece of communication speaking directly to sales and pointing to the lovely new content that is now available.
- Tell them the point of view the content puts across and how this supports a conversation about your company’s skills and capabilities.
- Suggest the opening gambit for a phone conversation or provide the text for a covering email that the salesman can personally send.
- If your content is a case study or a paper that includes the opinion of analysts, specialists or industry commentators, pull out a sound bite onto a slide so that it can easily be incorporated into the next sales presentation.
Making it easy for your busy sales teams to draw content into conversations can make a big difference to the calibre of conversations they’re having and also to your customer’s perception of you as a joined-up organisation.