The short answer? Because your prospects expect you to.
Ok, maybe they don’t expect you to blog, per se. They expect to be able to find information about your products and services on-line. They want information detailed enough to help them determine if you can help solve their problem. And they want it when they want it.
A study from the CEB shows that 57% of a typical purchase decision is made before a buyer even talks to a supplier (sales). Fifty seven percent. That means several companies where out of the running before they even knew they where in it!
More and more people are starting their research on-line. If they can’t find you when they search, they may never know you exist. If they know you exist, but can’t get the information from you when they want it, they will move on and get it somewhere else.
This is why sales should blog. Buyers want helpful information and they want to be able to find it on-line. Creating that information and making it available on-line is what good business blogging is all about.
Blogging is such a weird word. Let’s drop that and just call it what it is – creating content or information.
In the early days, blogging was all about creating written articles or posts. Today we know that helpful information comes in a variety of formats, including:
- blog posts
- Webinar recordings
Blogging is about creating content, so think of your blog as your content management platform. It is your tool for creating, managing, and distributing content.
A quick note. I often use “blog” and “website” to mean the same thing. I believe there is little difference between a modern website and a blog. I talk more about that here
Right about now you’re saying to yourself “Bill, I don’t have time for all this. I need to spend more time making sales calls, not less.“
My answer would be – “Then you need a content management system!”
I’m not saying that because “content marketing” is the latest buzzword or marketing fad. I say it because I’m guessing that like many successful sales pros, you already create a ton of valuable content. Exactly the kind of content your prospects are searching for.
But if you are like many other salespeople then you also have two problems related to all this content:
1. You’re keeping it buried inside of your organization where no one can find it without your help.
2. You’re not getting enough return on your content creation efforts.
A content platform, coupled with a sound Content Management Strategy and Action Plan will, save you time. Time you can spend making more sales. Time you can spend enjoying the fruits of your labor.
Let me give you a few examples.
How many times have you typed an email, answering a question you know you’ve answered 20 times before? Think of the time you would save if you could email a link to a relevant article on your blog rather than retyping your answer. You could save more time by training an assistant to handle these routine inquiries for you.
The emails in your Sent folder contain a wealth of information that your prospects desire. After all, that’s why you wrote them in the first place, right?
Sharing these topics on your blog has other benefits besides saving time. When people visit your blog for their answer, they see all the other related content you have created. This helps solidify your reputation as an expert. You also increase your chances prospects finding you via search – the ones who don’t have your email address yet.
To get the most out of your content creation efforts, you will want to look for ways leverage what you have created. One way to do this is to create bundles or packages of information for a specific purpose or audience. This is a relatively easy task if you use tools like categories and tags to classify your content. Here are some examples of bundling content for specific audiences and purposes:
Prospecting – No matter how good we get at “inbound marketing”, prospecting is still an important part of the sales process. Creating a “special report” using the content in your library is great way to approach one of your “Top 100” or “Dream 10” prospects.
Preparing for a Sales Call – You go on sales calls every day. Chances are, your prospect doesn’t. Help your prospects ask better questions and get more out of your meeting by sharing the FAQ section(s) of your blog before you meet.
Lead Capture – “Subscribe to Our Newsletter” is no longer a compelling offer. Everyone receives more email than they need. You can create extra value by bundling the posts from your most popular categories into an eBook or “special guide”. Prospects will be happy to trade their contact information for this type of value.
Lead Nurturing – Just because someone gave you their contact information doesn’t mean they are ready to buy. Stay in touch by sending educational material that guides them to the next step in their decision making process.
Responding to Inquiries – a large part of every salesperson’s day is answering questions. As mentioned above, responding by forwarding links to relevant information on your blog can save you a lot of time. People also see your other content, further helping to establish you as an expert. reinforcing you expertise via all the other information that is available on your site.
Need to Give a presentation? – select some post from the relevant categories on blog and turn them into slides. Save even more time by using images from your blog posts on your slides.
Sales & Marketing Automation – Companies often turn to automation software as a way to scale their sales and marketing efforts. Sales and marketing automation software without content is like having a Ferrari without any gas. If you have been creating content on your blog on a consistent basis, you’ll have a big head start in your automation efforts.
Those are just a few examples, I’m sure you can think of others.
By the way, the tips above work in reverse too. For example, let’s pretend you created a presentation from scratch. You created it from scratch because you didn’t have existing content to use. Make sure to leverage your work by turning your presentation into one or more blog posts.
But Isn’t This Marketing’s Job?
Maybe – let’s talk about that.
First, if you have a someone creating the type of content we have been discussing, congratulations!
As a salesperson, you should at least be collaborating with them. After all, you are on the front lines, talking to the customers. You have the best grasp on the type of questions you should be addressing in your content.
You may still want to have your own blog even if your company has one. Buyers don’t just consider the brand and reputation of the company they are buying from. They also consider the reputation of the person they are buying from. What will prospects find when they search for you on the internet? Creating and sharing your own content is a great way to build and control your on-line reputation.
How each salesperson gets involved in their companies content creation process will vary – the important thing is for you to get involved.
Why Salespeople Should Blog
I hope by now you agree on the importance of educational content in the modern sales and marketing process. Chances are, you are already creating great content, you just need some tools and systems for leveraging your work. A blog is a great tool for creating, organizing, and distributing your content.
Get you content to work harder for you, so you will have more time to enjoy the fruits of your hard work.