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Content Effectiveness

Why Sales Content Needs to Be Effective in 2021, Not Just Efficient

June 16, 2021

Would you work out for 60 minutes if you could burn the same amount of calories in just 30 minutes? Probably not. 

*cue the 80s workout video*

It might sound like a cheesy infomercial, but the same thought process applies to your sales content. 

We’ve talked before about how sales is obsessed with automation, but usually they’re just trying to make things faster and nothing else. More often than not, those automations now hinder the quality of the content output, or make your team sound and look like everyone else.

Instead of burning the same amount of calories in half the time, they’re now just burning half the calories in half the time — which misses the point entirely.

Why Does Sales Content Need to be Effective?

1. Automation isn’t Special Anymore

Probably the most obvious reason sales content must be effective: everyone automates and almost everything is automated — reminders, emails, triggers, follow-ups, stage changes, the list goes on. And, generally, everyone uses the same software. We all have CRMs, Sales Engagement, Sales Enablement, Marketing Automation, and that list also goes on. 

You see our point. 

So, just being efficient doesn’t cut it. The days of being the first one to implement a new Salesforce or HubSpot best practice are behind us and we need to really speak to our prospects, not just at them. 

In fact, SuperOffice did a study on cold sales emails and found that in 2019, the global average open rate dropped to 22.1%, a decrease of 8% when compared to 2018. And that’s before the pandemic turned everything on its head in 2020.

So, if:

  1. Everyone is automating
  2. Everyone is using the same tools and tricks
  3. Inboxes are flooded with unopened emails

You must find a way to stand out from the crowd and be compelling to your prospects. 

2. Buyers are Getting Smarter

We’ve all gotten LinkedIn requests from salespeople that we can sniff out immediately:

So for every perfectly crafted message, interaction, and piece of content you provide, there are dozens of those. The problem with everything being automated is that when that automation fails, buyers get wise. 

They can sniff out the “As the {job title} for {company}” lead-ins and the “Hi {name}!” openers.

But this isn’t just present in cold outreach (it’s just the easiest to pick on). This also happens farther down the funnel. How many times have you done a final review of an SOW or POC and find a {company} filler not filled in, or worse, it has another company’s name in it. 

As sellers, we must make that content not just littered with personalization tokens, but content personal to our buyers and their companies. Truly illustrating you understand a buyer’s point of view and you’re listening is how you’ll stand apart. 

3. Buyers are Getting More Independent

According to Gartner, buyers only spend 5-6% of their time in the buying cycle with a salesperson. What happens in over 94% of the cycle? Independent research, review sites, back-channel references, internal conversations...all things a sales rep is not privy to. 

But, let’s go further. In the same report, Gartner also found that 77% said buying cycles are getting far more complex. And, buyers who perceived the information they received from sellers to be helpful in advancing their buying process were 2.8 times more likely to experience a high degree of purchase ease, and 3 times more likely to buy a bigger deal with less regret. 

That information? Often comes in the form of content. Your content must aid in their unique buying process — meaning, it must speak to their individual problems, differentiate from your competitors, and show an intimate understanding of their business. When you have that? You’ll be sure to see an uptick in the number of Closed-Won deals.

4. Increased Competition & Market Saturation

There are a lot of companies competing for the same customers as you out there. Let’s take CRM software as an example. In a recent study, MarTech Alliance found a grand total of 1,078 solutions, with a whopping 461 of them being CRM solutions - all of which are carefully curated across 45 unique categories.

45 unique categories...for CRM Software. And they have Salesforce, which captures almost 20% of the market. 

Your market may not be that intense, but it’s likely you can name 3 top competitors right off the bat that you see in almost every sales cycle. So, you not only have to convince your buyer you understand and can solve their problems, but you also have to differentiate and show you’re uniquely suited to help them. 

Quality > Quantity

The “spray and pray” version of selling is a thing of the past. Today’s buyers want an ally and partner to aid them in making the correct decision for their business.  

Be a personal trainer to your buyers 💪, instead of the guy at the gym giving unsolicited advice.

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