Do less selling, and more helping. Having your sales team bombard your prospects with sales emails isn’t going to help you close a deal any faster. In fact, research shows that B2B buyers don’t do much interacting with sales teams when considering a purchase. Gartner research finds that when B2B buyers are considering a purchase‚ they spend only 17% of that time meeting with potential vendors. When buyers are comparing multiple vendors, the amount of time spent with any one sales rep may be only 5% or 6%.
As buyers rely less on salespeople, they turn towards content that helps them make well informed decisions. That same Gartner study found that customers who perceived the information they received from vendors to be helpful in advancing across their buying jobs were 2.8 times more likely to experience a high degree of purchase ease, and three times more likely to buy a bigger deal with less regret.
To reinforce your buying journey, you’re going to need to start helping people through your marketing efforts. Here’s how:
White Papers and Blog Articles (Obviously)
While this is a pretty worn out method, it still works. The problem most marketers have is that they are shooting in the dark when coming up with topics to blog about. They create lists of topics that they just assume their prospects will resonate with.
To truly maximize your return through blogging and white papers, be sure to focus on content your prospects find helpful. A great way to find out what your prospects find useful is to use SEM tools like SEMRush. With SEMRush, you can identify popular topics and keywords that your prospects are searching for.
If you’re not into investing into tools like SEMRush, you can also just google your niche. A good rule of thumb is to scan the first few pages of Google search results. Google’s algorithm will give you a good idea on what your prospects are searching for.
Thought Leadership Content
Once you’ve scanned SEMRush or Google search results, you’ll have a better understanding of what it is your prospects are having trouble with.
Take those topics and filter them through your brand’s voice. Begin introducing these topics consistently on your blog, podcasts, newsletter and social media content.
Create An Interactive Assessment
You can’t help people if you don’t know what their challenges are.
A great way to scale your help is through an interactive assessment.
In an assessment, a prospect answers 10 to 20 questions divided into 3 to 5 targeted categories and then receives a personalized scorecard highlighting where their organization is performing well and where they can be doing better. These personalized scorecards provide helpful direction your clients can actually use to do their jobs better.
Remember that insight from Gartner? Customers who perceived the information they received from vendors to be helpful in advancing across their buying jobs were 2.8 times more likely to experience a high degree of purchase ease, and three times more likely to buy a bigger deal with less regret. The insights you can provide through assessments hit that mark of being helpful.