What Your B2B Salespeople Are Missing (and How to Fix It)
In the era of the self-directed buyer, it has become increasingly more difficult for salespeople to get meetings with potential customers, and when they do book a meeting, poof! The buyer vanishes into thin air afterwards.
In part, this struggle could be the result of timid salespeople. But, truth be told, the sales team isn’t always to blame. Sometimes, it’s the result of lackluster sales enablement. Sometimes, your sales team doesn’t have access to the insights they need to be successful.
The Content and Insights Buyers Want
What do your buyers want? That’s what every marketer or salesperson is trying to determine. Luckily, some recent research sheds light on the subject.
The firm MarketingSherpa dove into this question a couple years ago, and they found that 82% of prospects wanted content geared towards specific industries. In other words, potential customers don’t want general information. They want information about their industry.
This finding has resurfaced in more recent research, as well. Forrester polled 319 executive-level buyers, asking them about their recent encounters with salespeople. 57% of those executives indicated that the vendors’ salespeople were not knowledgeable about their customers’ industries.
That’s alarming. Why do the majority of salespeople know so little about their buyers’ industries?
The answer lies in our attitudes towards sales enablement.
When we empower our sales teams, we often focus on the product and sharpening our unique value proposition. However, as Forrester’s research illustrates, product knowledge is not the biggest problem facing sales teams today. The majority of salespeople (62%) understand their product, according to executive-level buyers.
What salespeople need help understanding is their buyers’ world. Without that knowledge, keeping buyers’ attention is difficult.
How Do You Supply Sales with Industry-Specific Insight?
If you’re a marketer, your palms are sweating right now. On top of creating general content for your company, you’re wondering how you will have time to create industry-specific content for your sales team. Is it even possible for your team to create more content?
Probably not. Your team is creating at least 320 pieces of content per month – perhaps more if you’re at a midsize or large enterprise.
The solution: Work smarter – not harder. As a marketer, you have options that don’t involve creating more content.
Instead of tirelessly creating more content about industries, you can empower your sales organization with third-party content that discusses specific industries. For example, you might share blog posts about recent research related to the Manufacturing industry or the latest news articles about the Financial Services industries.
Let’s face it. Budgets are limited. Companies cannot do extensive original research on every industry, nor can marketers create content about every industry. In fact, only 32% of marketers are able to produce enough blog posts, research reports, infographics, etc. to fit their needs.
So, forward-thinking sales enablement teams are heading in a different direction. Rather than fretting over creating original content, they are supplying their salespeople with third-party content. Not only does this make life easier for marketers; it makes salespeople more effective. As Maribeth Ross of the Aberdeen Group notes:
So, what are you waiting for?
Sparking Sales with Industry-Specific Content
Empowered with content, not only will your sales team stay abreast of what’s happening in their customers’ industries; they can share those insights with their customers. In turn, your sellers will give your customers exactly what they expect from your team.
Getting Started with Curating Third-Party Content
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