I talk to about 5-6 business decision makers every week about their marketing efforts and how well they’re meeting their goals – be it lead creation, brand awareness, partnerships, or revenue earned.
This is a great way for me to get a broad overview of what a company’s business objectives are, what types of marketing outreach they’re using to get there, and whether or not they’re working. What I often find out in these meetings is that companies are putting out the wrong kind of content and I know this because I always ask one thing: “What are your customer’s pain points?”
The answer I usually get is a brief silence with a couple of ideas on what their customers or clients are having problems with, but rarely a definitive answer. This is a big problem because you can’t create content that will immediately let a consumer know that you can solve their problem if you don’t know exactly what the problem is.
Asking the Right People
So, the bad news is that you don’t have a clue (or maybe you have an inkling of a clue) about what really frustrates your customers. The good news is that you don’t have to embark on a gigantic clusterfuck of a focus group to find out. Just dial up your sales team, kick your feet up, and settle in for a fifteen minute conversation.
You might be asking why it’s important to talk to your sales people. It’s pretty simple, actually. Your sales team is on the front line with customers and prospects every day. They undoubtedly have a few questions that they receive over and over again, so by figuring out what they are, you can create create content that does a couple of things:
- Addresses a serious customer pain point (which ultimately frees up your sales people to introduce your product or service and close a deal, without taking too much time to educate your prospects).
- Creates indexable content for Google and other search engines (there’s a high likelihood that whatever questions your prospects are asking on sales calls are similar to the queries that they’re searching for on Google.
- Makes your sales process more efficient, and thus, cost effective. Time is money, and if you preempt a prospect’s question by answering it through your content and they’re still interested, guess what? They’re one step further in the sales cycle, which means less time spent educating them, freeing up time to close the deal.
What Questions Do I Need to Ask?
Now that we’ve gotten the benefits of reaching out to your sales team out of the way, let’s talk about what specific questions you’ll need to answer to get a more robust picture of the type of content you need to produce to entice your prospects to act.
- What are the three most commonly asked questions you get on sales calls with prospects? This questions is the most important one, as it will give you a baseline idea of what your content topics should be about.
- What selling points do our prospects gravitate to? Understanding which selling points resonate with the majority of your prospects will help you make your content more conversion-friendly.
- What aspects of our products or services take up the most time to explain? If you can find parts of the sales process that can be automated through content, it will cut time off of the lead qualification process.
Your sales team is almost always an untapped gold mine of information and direction for your content strategy. Also, keep in regular contact with your sales team to make sure that the needs of your prospects aren’t changing and that your content stays fresh and relevant.
Once you master this and get some content ideas, read about these additional 7 ways to find content for your company blog.