The Internet is drowning in volumes of Web content, but it can be hard to figure out how to use your own to complement your consultative selling process. This strategy is essential to your inbound marketing. Align the roles of content in your sales funnel to phases of your solution selling, and watch your bottom line bloom.
Lets reiterate the steps of the process:
- Needs Analysis
- Propose & Close
So where does content marketing come into this picture? Remember the stages of the basic sales funnel:
- Need Recognition
- Information Research
- Competitor Analysis
- Purchase Decision
Now, figure out what types of content align with which consultative selling step and with which sales funnel stage.
Rapport + Needs Analysis = Need Recognition + Information Research
With sufficient research within your consultative selling process, you have the ability to create a rapport with your leads in order to target points of interest. This will allow you to send the appropriate marketing message to your targeted audience, assisting them in recognizing their need for what you can deliver. At the same time, if you present open-ended questions in your effort to provide the data they require when they are in the information researching stage of the sales funnel, you stand a better chance of showing your concern in their purchasing decision. When done correctly, this will be viewed as a caring relationship rather than a blatant means of sales force tactics.
Solutions + Propose & Close = Information Research and Competitor Analysis
By qualifying your leads and delivering content to your potential clients who are in the competitor analysis stage of the active sales funnel, you ensure that your brand is the one that becomes branded in their mind. On the other hand, you may simply not be what the potential is looking for, and if you go too far in your Propose & Close phase, you run the risk of negative publicity in the form of word of mouth.
Service = Purchase Decision
When you are able to implement the perfect fitting glass slipper of content within your consultative selling process, you will be amazed at the ease with which you are able to effectively show your potential clients the relevant benefits, advantages, and value pertinent to their requisite needs that your organization can provide. This ultimately can lead to purchase decisions in your favor.
As you implement this procedure, it may take some trial and error considering types of content as you implement it across your outlets. As your sales force begins to understand and anticipate the company movements, wrinkles will be ironed out.
Brian Farrell is the Managing Consultant @ FIND the CLIENT - a sales consulting organization providing interim sales leadership as well as training, recruitment & sales coaching for B2B sales organizations.