Why great content is a must for SaaS sales teams
First thing’s first, allow me to make one thing very clear: Content is not just some fluffy marketing tactic for chasing page views and Facebook likes.
Not even close.
Will a well-executed content strategy lead to page views and Facebook likes? Absolutely. But those aren’t going to be the numbers you should be paying attention to. Even still, there’s a common question I hear time and time again from SaaS sales pros...
How is a blog post going to help me close a 5- or 6-figure deal?
I get it. It’s a valid question. For years, “content marketing” was seen as nothing more than writing blog posts with no real connection to business or revenue growth.
Every SaaS blog you turned to was looking like this…
These are the last 5 blog posts on a SaaS blog:— Ross Simmonds (@TheCoolestCool) March 5, 2020
> Startup raises $$$$$$
> Startup launches new feature
> Startup hires rock star CFO
> Startup brings big name exec to the BOD
> Startup shares a testimonial
And the CMO can't figure out why they get ~1,500 organics a month...
Now, content has become a valuable tool in the toolkit as savvy and successful sales professionals. Real quick—any of these sound like something you’ve heard (or said yourself) before?
- “Every prospect I talk to has no clue who we are or what we do.”
- “The pipeline is dry right now—how can we fill it up without just upping our ad spend?”
- “I feel like I’m always answering the same questions over and over again on my calls.”
I have some good news for you…
Great content can help.
Whether you’re planning to create in-house or work with a content marketing agency, the value of having a growing library of content at your fingertips is massive.
And in this post, I’m going to break down three specific roles content can play in the world of SaaS sales so you can talk to prospects who already know and like you, keep your pipeline full, and skip the repetitive Q&A on your sales calls.
1. Content creates stronger relationships
Let me lead with obvious:
The more positive experiences a lead has with your brand, the better.
Throughout a user’s entire customer journey from a stranger who knows nothing about you, all the way through to a happy customer who’ll gladly throw positive review after positive review around about your software—you want to create positive experiences.
And content is a perfect avenue to create those experiences.
- Great content can be the first interaction a contact has with your brand
- Great content can answer commonly asked questions your sales team has to answer
- Great content can help existing customers solve complex problems and get even more out of your tools (which leads to better retention, price tier upgrades and yes, those positive review)
For example, let’s take a look at Stripe.
They understand what their ideal customers are interested in, and they’ve developed in-depth guides and walkthroughs to help them solve their problems:
Another way Stripe serves their community is through in-depth guide on topics relevant to payments, technology companies and entrepreneurship.— Ross Simmonds (@TheCoolestCool) June 8, 2020
Some of the guides are 3,500+ words.
These aren't for wantrepreneurs looking for a snack.
It's for entrepreneurs who want a meal. pic.twitter.com/RZiMTiei50
By offering up content to help entrepreneurs get their own business up and running, they’re creating a positive experience for that entrepreneur with the Stripe brand. So when it comes time for that entrepreneur to decide on a payment software tool, Stripe’s already miles ahead.
Beyond building a positive connection with your brand as a whole, content is also a great way for salespeople to re-engage with prospects starting to go cold.
If you know the pains a certain prospect is facing, sharing a recently published piece of content that talks about those exact pains is an easy excuse to jump back into their inbox.
2. Content drives top of funnel traffic
Coming in hot with two more obvious statements:
Not every contact is ready to sign up for your SaaS today, and not every contact even knows what SaaS solution they need.
Before your sales team can start running full speed ahead working on closing the prospects entering your pipeline or signing up for free trials, you first need to actually fill that pipeline and grow those trial signups.
That’s where content comes into play.
By developing content in the form of in-depth guides (a la Stripe above), how-to videos, interactive checklists, or plug-and-play templates, you can start to win more and more traffic at the top of the funnel. In other words, the folks who aren’t ready to buy today.
Let’s use Close as an example.
Looking at which pages are driving the most organic traffic to the website, 16 of the top 17 pages live on the blog:
The blog is a tool for attracting new visitors to the site, then the focus shifts to converting visitors into leads, and leads into customers from there.
3. Content is key to building a sales enablement portfolio
Sales enablement involves providing your sales team with the content, processes, templates, documents and resource they need to make the selling process as effective as possible. In short—enabling your sales team to work more productively.
Where does content fit into that mix?
Chances are your sales reps and account executives hear some questions more than others. Without content they can direct prospects to for an answer, they’ll have to answer those questions in full every single time. And that takes time.
For example, when a prospect is interested in what separates Close from the other CRM tools on the market, Close’s sales team can share their comparison page:
This page breaks down the specifics, where Close excels compared to the other players in the industry, who it’s best for and who it may not be best for.
And if a prospect wants to dive even deeper into a specific comparison like Close vs Salesforce, there’s sales enablement content for that as well:
Is your sales enablement content going to answer the question every time for every prospect?
Not necessarily, but it will make the conversations a lot more efficient for your sales team. Instead of your sales team having to answer the questions from scratch, they can focus on filling in any gaps the prospect still has, and fielding the follow up questions.
The easier you can make the selling process for your sales team, the faster they’ll be able to close deals. The faster they can close deals, the more time they’ll have to talk to even more prospects. And the more prospects they’re able to talk with, the more deals they’ll be able to close.
Before we wrap up, I want to leave you with a (quick) challenge:
I challenge you to…
- Write down 3 questions everyone on your sales team gets asked daily, and
- Next to each, think of a content asset you could create that answers that question for them
- Pick one and run with it.
Whether that means turning on your camera and recording a 10 minute video where you answer that question out loud, or opening up a Google Doc to answer it in writing—your choice.
My goal for you is to end up with a piece of content you can use as a starting point.
(PS: If you’re finding it tough to come up with content ideas, my team created a content inspiration guide for B2B (and SaaS) marketers that’s worth checking out.)
And if you want to dive even deeper into sales enablement in particular, the Close team has created an excellent resource called The Sales Enablement Toolkit. Highly, highly recommend grabbing it. You won’t regret it.