When you receive a phone call out of the blue, do you take the time to listen to a pitch from a business you’ve never heard of? Many people would say no. This is hands-down the biggest problem with cold calling. How can your outbound sales team connect with someone who doesn’t even know who they are?
Content is the answer. If a prospective customer reads your company’s blog or downloads an eBook, he learns a little something about you. You can then call and start a personalized conversation by saying, “I see you’ve downloaded our eBook” and go from there. Content helps you get your foot in the door and has truly revolutionized outbound prospecting and calling.
Educate the Customer
On a cold call, it’s difficult for a sales rep to quickly convey your company’s value proposition and catch the prospect’s interest before she hangs up the phone. But if the person on the other end of the line already knows a little about your company – such as what you do, what value your product offers and what pain it solves – she will listen longer. Instead of being an anonymous voice on the other end of the line, your sales reps are now a person from a company with a recognizable name.
Content can do that for you. By aligning closely with marketing to create content that is truly educational, people will want to read and come back for more. If you’re helping your customer overcome a problem or guiding them through an unknown process, she’ll look at you as a helpful asset, rather than a pushy seller. If your content is interesting and relevant to that person’s business, you’ve got a much greater chance of turning a prospect into a deal.
Craft your Content
Content isn’t just about writing a case study focused on one of your customers and throwing it on a website. Content should be created to appeal directly to your ideal, targeted customer. If you’re aiming to sell to sales managers or VPs or CEOs, your marketing team can write to that audience specifically. By tracking content downloads, sales reps can see that someone downloaded an eBook on the “12 Must-Ask Questions for Data-Driven Sales Managers” and target that title exactly. Your team immediately knows that the lead fits your customer profile and can pinpoint what to talk about on the first call to grab their attention.
By starting out a call on this footing, your outbound reps are already light years ahead of a traditional cold call. Content helps pave the way for the call, by ensuring the potential customer is qualified and interested in products like yours. For example, if an InsightSquared lead downloads the e-book “The Definitive Guide to Pipeline Management”, our sales team can reasonably deduce that he needs help managing his own sales pipeline. It helps reps to focus the conversation and it filters out the many people who wouldn’t be interested in the product at all. The customer also learns about the company, which means he’ll be much more receptive to a pitch.
Perfect for B2B
Competition is especially tough out there for B2B sales, as customers have become more and more savvy. The sales process has changed drastically in recent years, and sales reps are no longer the first point of contact for the majority of buyers. Now, customers do large amounts of research online, and usually know a lot about a product before you ever get them on the phone. And what are they seeing first? Your company’s website and content.
That’s where high-quality content can help you stand out from the competition. By having interesting and informative materials on your website, customers can learn what differentiates you from the competition right away, before your sales reps even get a chance to talk to anyone. If a prospect does a Google search for “Business Analytics” and finds a great blog post from your company on that topic, she’s likely to consider your team experts on the topic and take a closer look at your solution.
The best content turns cold calls into warm leads, by turning hostile strangers into interested people. By helping prospects learn, targeting your content to specific needs, and focusing on nurturing leads before they reach sales, you can make calls easier and more productive for your outbound sales team. Content becomes your new cold calls, saving your sales reps time and energy every day.