“Hi marketer, this is someone you’ve never spoken to, calling to interrupt your busy day by spewing a generic sales pitch about a product you’ve never heard of. Did I catch you at a good time?”
Who in their right mind would actually answer, “Yes, let’s chat!” to such an unwelcome intrusion? Yet such is the day-to-day life for many uninformed, underprepared, and unproductive Sales Development Representatives (or Lead Development Representatives or Business Development Representatives or whatever nonthreatening term your organization has decided on).
However, cold-calling is necessary for any sales team. How can a modern SDR convince you, someone they’ve never met, that they have something valuable for you?
The answer, at least for me as a SDR here at Kapost, is obvious: with help from my marketing team—with content.
4 Ways to Use Content to Power Mid-Funnel Leads
Humble brag alert: We have some serious marketing talent here at Kapost. Many companies do. However, according to SiriusDecisions, at least 60% of content created by B2B marketing teams goes unused by sales. While this content (when leveraged properly) serves as a powerful resource for prospects, it’s also helpful internally. There are several ways the SDR team at Kapost uses content. Here are a few:
1. Identifying Targets
Kapost is going to be most useful to marketing organizations that produce large quantities of content. This means that the first thing I typically do when prospecting is check out what kind of content a company produces. If I see blog posts, white papers, eBooks, case studies, etc., I know we’re going to be solving a real problem with our software—and be of real value for the prospect.
We use marketing automation to score leads and to read a prospect’s “digital body language.” This gives us insight into what interests them, what keeps them up at night, and where Kapost can provide value that will help them achieve their goals.
2. Arming Ourselves Against Objections
Our marketing team creates lots of content that helps us overcome common objections we hear on our calls. In fact, in Kapost’s Gallery our marketing team has created a repository that allows me to easily access competitive battle cards and talk tracks. In other words, everything that I’m sharing with a prospect (whether verbally or via email) is marketing-approved.
For example, someone tells me that the timing for a platform like Kapost is off, or that they just don’t have the budget right now, not only can I address those concerns, but I can do so in a way that builds our relationship. Which brings me to…
3. Establishing Credibility and Building Trust
We have a motto here at Kapost: Give before you get. (Also, “There’s no such thing as a bad call.” But that’s a different topic.) For the SDRs, giving before we get means freely sharing high-quality content that is accessible, relevant, and trackable (or ART for short).
For example, if you’re a VP of Marketing and I see that you just read our blog post The 10 Most Important B2B Customer Experience Stats of 2016, I’ll follow-up with our eBook The B2B Marketer’s Guide to Managing Customer Experience. We’ve gone as far as to create a content tree for our most popular pieces of content based on persona and buying stage. This way, it’s almost automatic; if a prospect downloads asset X, I will follow up with asset Y accordingly.
4. Moving a Conversation Forward
Ultimately, my goal of sharing the right content at the right time is twofold: I want to help solve the marketing problems my prospect is facing, and I want to establish myself as a trusted resource to my prospect.
I don’t worry about the outcome of my interaction with my prospect because I know my marketing team is equipping me with the right content that, if delivered properly, will help the prospect move down the funnel. Eventually, making the decision to purchase the Kapost’s B2B Marketing Operating System.
Oh, and P.S. about the title: don’t really forget about content marketing, but make sure you’re augmenting it with content-driven sales.