Hopefully your content is breeding trust with prospects and customers and moving them more quickly toward a purchase. But your content could have the opposite effect and actually do harm to your sales cycle and your brand. Here are four unfortunately common ways your content can slow down the sales cycle.
- Your content is not compelling. With everyone doing content these days, your content needs to be exceptional to engage your audience, particularly the SMB audience. When your content is not compelling, it can create uncertainty and doubt about the value of your products or overall brand, sending customers and prospects elsewhere.
- Customer-facing teams are unaware of your content. Assuming that your content is compelling and has a connection with your products, it will be consumed and utilized by customers and prospective customers. What happens when this audience speaks with your sales or customer services teams? If your team isn’t aware of the content, it will be an incongruent (and potentially embarrassing) conversation, once again create uncertainty about the value or quality of your brand.
- Your content and sales team are speaking different languages. Another benefit of content is that it creates a common language for your company to use (ideally in the voice of the customer) when communicating with your audience. When your content and salespeople are speaking different languages, you have inconsistencies and dissonance.
- Your content doesn’t have a logical path consistent with common buyer journeys. This happens when a company doesn’t take a strategic approach to its content. Your content should have a logical flow. Think of this in terms of “related articles” or “recommended for you” where you are guiding your audience to content with similar information, but in this instance you are anticipating questions or needs the buyer will have in the next step of the journey (See Chapter 3 of our ebook).
The fixes for these four flaws are simple, but not easy. It comes down to a few things:
- Have a strategic approach to content creation and presentation, rather than a short-term plan for all your content initiatives. Taking a proactive approach to creating content will make it more compelling.
- Ensure your experts are really experts and are being pushed for their best insight. (See Without the Best Sources, Your Content Can Cost You Sales-and More
- Train your sales team to use your content as a sales enablement tool. Even better, get them involved in the content process.
- Produce content that speaks to the audience at each step along the entire buyer’s journey and show the reader the way forward.
By applying these fixes to your content programs, you will maximize their efficiency in speeding up the buyer’s journey.
Get in touch to learn more about maximizing your content efforts.