By Adam Little

If you’re working in sales, you need content and collateral to generate and convert leads, it’s a simple fact. But if you aren’t getting hold of the right type of content or interacting consistently, you could be leaving opportunities on the table.

To increase engagement, generate leads, improve brand awareness and sales conversations, you should be armed with content that will resonate with your audience.

We’ve pulled together five key types of content you should have in your arsenal to target prospective clients.

1. Customer-Centric Content

Being able to understand and offer solutions to your target’s pain points will shape the content you provide for them. This will in turn help sales teams start conversations with prospective leads and help close more deals.

The content mix for the buyer’s journey should include everything from educational articles, eBooks, guides, case studies, product datasheets, and whitepapers (more on those later).

All of these are used in various stages of the buying cycle and respond to various levels of involvement from your prospects. But they should also provide the necessary value you need to nurture your prospects. The difference between a done deal and a lost lead is often identifying what is classed as a ‘need’ and a ‘want’ for your client. Respond to the client’s needs and your prospects will be more receptive.

2. Automated Email Scripts and Messages

Manually following up on prospects can become an overwhelming and time-consuming task for sales teams. So, one of the best ways to overcome this is by automating some of your content marketing processes.

The key for small businesses is finding software that can automate many components of content marketing at once, reducing the amount of hands on tasks for your team, making lives easier. Using a sales enablement tool will not only allow you to track all the steps in your client’s sales journey, but will also allow you to trigger automated actions as they progress through the funnel.

3. Whitepapers

Now to tackle whitepapers, while ‘how-to’ content is a reliable and time-tested formula, agile businesses need proven statistics that support effectiveness of their product or services.

For almost every sector, there is some form of industry research; it enriches the content you create by backing everything with hard facts and not just sales jargon. Similarly, social content featuring data or research, involving pertinent industry or business challenges your clients face, will be more engaging and lead to them reading and sharing to their wider circle of contacts.

If your company sells a solution, it’s incredibly important to start gathering data and insights of your own. This will help your company quantify and qualify its product value. This data can then be used for blog posts, included in marketing materials and for backing up your worth to leads.

4. Case Studies and Testimonials

Calling on clients you already have to provide sound bites that show your business in a favourable light, arms your salespeople with strong proof to the claims they’re sharing with potential clients.

Adding a real face and name to your sales material, humanizes the content and softens the edge to facts and figures, which can come across as intimidating to some. Case studies and testimonials often fall into the ‘consideration’ stage of the buyer’s journey – your prospect is already familiar with your brand’s offering, but they need reassurance to choose you over a competitor.

Having the five-star review, glowing testimonial or a case study showing an exemplary ROI for a client is exactly the nudge many will need to make the leap into the buying stage.

Keeping a full file of case studies and testimonials that blanket the various verticals and buying demographics you target can help you  prepare for speaking with specific customer types as soon as they come in.

5. Explainer Videos

With the rise of the YouTube generation, in-video advertising, auto start social network videos, affiliation advertising and vlogger influencers, video is now an integral part of almost any marketing strategy.

There is almost nothing you can’t now watch online and learn about. YouTube alone boasts 1.9 billion active monthly users and 5 billion video views per day. So, you need to be creating explainer videos and filling this space for your sales collateral and your prospective clients.

If your company already has a robust video marketing strategy (or simply a podcast for that matter), make sure you are up to date with the newest or most helpful episodes/videos that will assist with your efforts. To get bottom line data for your videos, a sales enablement platform can show you which videos are getting the most engagement and helping you gain the most traction.

As a salesperson, it falls on you to bring in and warm leads into prospective clients. To do this you need to ensure that you have the right and most effective collateral available. Not all the suggestions above will work for every business, however this is where auditing your sales processes and using the analytics from your sales enablement software can help ensure you are armed with content that is more likely to convert your audience.

Featured photo credit: Depositphotos