By Hannah Vergara

It is important that sales and marketing work together. Organizations with good alignment between sales and marketing teams achieve on average 20 percent revenue growth annually (companies with poor alignment see revenues decline by an average of 4 percent). The closer these two teams work together, the better quality leads the marketing team produces are and the higher the close rate is for sales.

With inbound marketing, a key component of quality lead generation is content. The most effective content is often developed by simply talking with the sales team. We’ve put together a list of six questions to ask your sales reps in order to help you develop lead-generating inbound content.

1. What is your ideal buyer profile?

Writing content to appeal to someone you don’t know is difficult. In order to effectively build a content calendar for lead generation, you need to understand what the ideal buyer profile means to your team. Talking about what this means to each rep might help you generate different content ideas because various reps might have different opinions. This question is especially great for creating content for the awareness stage of the Buyer's Journey.

2. What are the most common objections that leads have?

In an ideal inbound marketing world, all major objections from a lead would be addressed before they speak with sales. However, this is rarely the case—just ask your sales team! Questions, concerns, and objections are great inbound content ideas. Creating this sort of content also gives your sales team resources to easily send leads when those objections come up.

3. What are the top three things that keep you up at night in terms of your competition?

It’s always best to set yourself apart from the competition. However, if your sales team is often compared to a competitor, it won’t hurt to take a look at what they are doing. For example, if you do a competitive analysis and realize that most of your top competitors are investing in video content, it might be worth the investment. When you see a trend among a handful of competitors, it often means that the content strategy is working.

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4. What qualities make a lead “sales qualified” versus “marketing qualified”?

Understanding what an SQL means to your sales team will often enable you to better nurture and engage leads that aren’t quite ready to buy. For instance, somebody who downloads an e-book should be treated very differently from someone who requests a demo.

You might find that your sales reps can provide insight into the topics or formats that work best based on how ready they think a lead would be if they downloaded or read a piece of content. This feedback can also help you make stronger offers and drive higher quality leads.

5. What industry verticals are we converting most?

Understanding what type of industries are converting the highest can help you generate a plethora of content for specific verticals. This will not only assist with niche SEO terms but can also help you drive more leads in the specific industries that your business already does well serving.

6. What type of questions do prospects have as you work through the sales process?

This is a great topic of conversation to help with inbound content. Create a list of questions that sales reps often get from their leads and create content to answer them. This will not only act as a resource for sales but it will also help drive leads that are a good fit. Ideally, if common questions are answered on the website through inbound content, a lead will be better informed when they get to the buying process.

Though it might be easy for sales and marketing to silo themselves and do what they do best, both teams benefit from breaking down barriers and working together. Enjoy coffee or some water cooler talk as you use some of these questions to develop your next marketing campaign.

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Hannah Vergara

About the author

Hannah Vergara Hannah is a marketing consultant at SmartBug Media and a firm believer in holistic living and marketing. Using her creative passion and love for technology, she recognizes the importance of interactive engagement through a steady flow of relevant, user-oriented content in today's fast-paced digital world. She specializes in digital and inbound marketing methods, to help clients grow their businesses. Read more articles by Hannah Vergara.

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