The sales performance improvement industry is flooded with content from providers such as you trying to build a presence in the market. I routinely audit the content of major players in this space, and I see a huge disconnect. From my observations, it is not unusual to find companies 90% of its content focused on front-line salespeople or first-line sales managers, and not the sales and business leaders who make the buying decisions.
This year, I’ve had discussions with over 40 companies that provide some type of sales performance improvement solution. These companies are investing time and money into creating content, but only 1 in 10 have a defined content and editorial strategy. Most delegate content marketing down to junior-level marketing staff who don’t understand your buyers and how your solution is bought and sold. Unfortunately, they aren’t qualified to create that content, and they don’t get enough support from subject matter experts in the business to do their job properly.
Focusing too much of your content investment on tactical user-focused tips, like closing and negotiating techniques hurts you in two ways.
- First, C-level buyers tune you out because they are inundated with content and your message isn’t relevant to them. You come across as someone who doesn’t really “get” their world and their problems. Sure, it’s possible that they’ll find something that you wrote interesting and forward some free advice to their team, but don’t bet on it.
- Second, you are expending valuable resources on targets who cannot buy from you. Maybe at some point in their career, front-line salespeople and sales managers will be in a position to buy from you, but you don’t have that much time.
Benchmark Yourself against the Best
Sales Benchmark Index is one company in our space that has done a masterful job of truly understanding the needs of their buyers and creating content that addresses those needs. They get it and they execute brilliantly. Take a look at the titles of the articles on their blog, and then take a look at the titles on yours. Then, ask yourself if you’re really hitting the mark with buyers.
You Need an Editorial Strategy
To build credibility and awareness with buyers through content, you need to focus your content on the challenges that your buyers face. This requires you to first know the challenges your buyers face and then to know how you address these challenges.
This is the foundation of an editorial strategy.
- Define your Personas: Who are you really writing for and why?
- Identify the Problem: What problems do buyers face that you can solve?
- Connect your Expertise: How do you solve these problems, and why is this approach effective?
- Summarize the Value: What benefit will they realize from your approach?
- Determine your Calls-to-Action: What do you want the reader to do next?
Developing an editorial strategy will help you get your content team aligned with the goals and objectives of your business, and ensure that your content investments lead to the outcomes you expect.
If you need help creating a buyer-focused editorial strategy, then I would be thrilled to provide that help. Please email (Dario.firstname.lastname@example.org) or call 267.265.7150.