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Boost Content Marketing by Asking Sales These 3 Questions

December 26, 2013

By Amber Kemmis

We all know that one of the most used marketing strategies in the business is the notion that sex sells, but have you ever thought that content sells? While many marketers are out there “bringing sexy back,” others are utilizing the digital era we live in with content marketing. And yes, content really does sell if done right. It is important to remember that getting your content to sell is not possible by the marketing team alone. You also have to partner with sales to ensure the sales cycle, which begins with content, delivers your sales team quality leads.

Partner with your sales team to create content that sells by asking them these questions:

What are the first few questions asked by prospects?

You can ask your sales people what some of the first questions asked by the prospects are to help answer these question through your website's content.  This helps your buyer decide if they are right for you prior to wasting your sales person's time.  

However, when asking sales about these questions, you have to keep in mind that sales people are, well, trained to sell.  Many times the sales person will go straight to telling you their pitch and not be able to recall the questions the prospect was asking.  If your sales people seem to give you the typical sales answer, ask them if you can listen in on a call or listen to a recording.

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.

Are there any red flags with the leads delivered?

Increasing lead conversions is awesome.  It can be extremely exciting for a marketer, especially those just beginning an inbound marketing strategy, to see lead conversions reach 2 or 3% site wide . Unfortunately, high lead conversions are only awesome if those leads delivered are converting to customers. Yes, most of you have a marketing software that tells you customer conversions by channel, but only sales can give you detailed information on the leads you are delivering.

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.

What are some common misconceptions leads have about our business?

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 sales person'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.  

What topic ideas do you have for content?

Your sales team knows the customer best, which is why they often have the best ideas for content.  It is great to gather ideas from them for content marketing, but it is even better if you can get them to help contribute. Even if your sales people aren’t the best writers, they have you to help edit so get them to contribute to blogs, eBooks, webinars, and much more. The ideas from sales can be beneficial to TOFU content but the real value will probably be in developing offers that delight your customers.

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.

Do you have questions you often ask your sales team to boost inbound marketing? Please share them in the comments section below.

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Topics: Content Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Blogging, Lead Conversion