Every sales organization could probably use more quality leads for their salespeople to set appointments with. This is one issue we deal with day in and day out with our inbound marketing clients. We help them generate new traffic to their website and convert that traffic into qualified, sales-ready leads.
What it (inbound marketing) boils down to is creating unique, compelling content pieces that solve a problem, entertains, teaches, or answers a question that your best prospects are searching for online, asking their colleagues/network, or simply wondering, and oftentimes not telling you, in the sales process. These blog articles are published to your website via a blog (typically) and then guide readers to access even more in-depth content (like eBooks, whitepapers, infographics, etc.) in exchange for a little bit of information about themselves via a form. This is the simplest way that you generate a website visitor into a lead.
However, we know it’s not always that simple. Today I’ve got a quick exercise you can do with your sales team to generate a long list of those types of content ideas that will effectively attract new leads and act as a selling resource.
Here are a few simple steps you can take today to generate more leads online:
1. Ask your entire sales team to participate and provide 3-5 answers each for the following question:
- “What questions do you most commonly hear from prospects during the sales process?” You know, the ones they're constantly answering on calls, in email, or during a presentation… the ones they can answer without even thinking twice about it.
- "What are the top objections you hear at ___ stage of the sales process?"
This would include the stages like when you're initially connecting for that first appointment, or when you've just presented a proposal.
2. Organize this list to determine the most common responses from your salespeople so you can prioritize what to tackle first.
3. Now turn those questions into blog titles. For instance, the question "Why do you cost more than X competitor?" for a radio station could be turned into a variety of blog posts like:
- How to Determine What You Should Be Spending on Your Advertising Budget
- 5 Tips to Help You Decide How to Allocate Your Marketing Dollars
- How are Radio Spot Costs Determined? The Ins and Outs of Rate Cards
- You Get What You Pay For, and Other Important Things to Remember When Choosing a Media Partner
You can see how there are likely many more articles you could write that help salespeople address this common question in different ways.
4. Get to writing! This is the most difficult part if you don't already have a team of writers (via a 3rd party partner like LeadG2 or internally). But having this content at your salespeople's fingertips and readily available for any prospect to find on your website is critical to attracting new, qualified buyers to your business.
5. Lastly, make sure you're not just publishing content and forgetting about it, hoping someone will find you online (even though some will). You want to promote this well thought-out content far and wide, and this starts with your salespeople using it as a resource during the sales process. The next time they find themselves answering one or more of these questions, they can follow up with a link to a blog post that further establishes your company, and themselves, as a thought leader and expert in this area.
Plus, we’ve found this to be a fantastic sales coaching exercise as well because it reminds salespeople of the common objections and questions they hear from prospects, and gives sales managers an opportunity to discuss how they should be addressed. Once the response is in a blog post, it can easily be referred to for years to come, ensuring your sales team is consistent in their communication on these important topics.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published on February 6, 2014 and has been updated.