The usual pattern between sales and marketing goes like this. Marketing draws new people to a business and keeps up awareness of the brand. Sales greets the new people, establishes a relationship, and convinces them to make ongoing purchases.
So where does content marketing fit into this cycle? The usual wisdom for content marketing overlaps a lot with traditional sales. Things like building buyer personas or trying to make conversions happen through content, for instance. There’s nothing wrong with this, of course, but if your marketing is crossing over into sales then you may want to speak with your sales team.
In fact, your sales team can be one of your biggest assets for creating content.
Generating content ideas with sales
One of the challenges of content marketing is coming up with new material. People love reading informative and educational content about a product or service before making a purchasing decision. Where can you find the people who are most invested in this? Just look to the people calling sales.
Try this exercise. Have someone on your marketing team listen in on sales calls for a week and take notes. Anytime a customer asks a question about the product that’s a topic to write on. Every complaint can have a piece of content. Every compliment could have a piece of content.
If you take those marketing leads and turn them into content pieces, you’ll support your business in several ways:
- More content pieces
- Pre-emptive answering of questions receive by sales
- Give your sales team a resource they can use to answer questions
That same article generating power can be taken from sales emails and interviews with sales staff as well. Even doing a roundup of trouble topics once a month can prime the pump for content pieces.
Helping out sales
At the same time, marketing can help sales out by giving them insight about the responses to different pieces of content. Let’s say you have several service offerings and marketing writes a piece that relates to a feature of one of them. The content gets a lot of hits. Wouldn’t a salesperson like to know that interest in that topic is high so they can craft their sales pitches better?
Sales and marketing have to be cooperative if companies want to remain competitive, but too often marketing shuts themselves up in their own silo trying to carry the whole burden through content. Content pieces shouldn’t serve as sales letters. They should market, not sell. If your content strategy leans toward creating a lot of conversion pieces, then sales must be solicited for their input so that the handoff between marketing and sales is a smooth one.
If you think your marketing team is carrying too much of the sales burden or is struggling to make content, or if your sales team feels like it’s being neglected in favour of content marketing, try some of these tips. Get both sides talking to one another to work toward common goals so your business can soar.
The Clever Content Club
Keep up to date with our Content Marketing and Artificial Intelligence news