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The Sales Review

Learn about emerging best practices, strategies and insights on B2B sales today dedicated for the modern sales organization.

Why Sales Needs to Use Content Marketing

Posted by Amar Sheth on Mar 17, 2014 7:03:01 AM

Content-Marketing"Working hard pays off" or "Work smart, not hard." Which side of the coin are you on?

It’s plain to see that sales professionals use content marketing every day to drive lead generation efforts.

However, the majority of us believe in working hard. And I mean really, really hard. Let’s call it the way it is, sales (and marketing) are the economic drivers of our economy. Without these critical components, nothing would happen.

Working Hard

Most B2B sales people are pounding the phones on a daily basis. Day in and day out, they’re calling people, trying to capture their attention, and captivate them with the right words in a narrow 30 second (or less) window.

Think about what these brave folks face every day. Verbal abuse is just par for the course it seems.

What surprises me is that no one from sales and marketing has really questioned if there is a better way. We assume that the things we’re doing have been right all along. So why should prospecting be any different, right? Cold calling is the accepted norm and we should all continue with it.

Using Smart Content

While your content/pitch on a cold call may live for a few seconds (or even minutes) your written word can live forever. Absorb that for a moment and let it sink in.

If you’re sharing your thoughts online, you start entering the digital world where buyers are now actually heading to start their buying research process.

Content Marketing

An Example

Every time I write a blog post I start checking how it’s performed.

I can quickly see if the blog post is actively being discussed, what people are saying about it, whether it's getting bashed, and more.

It starts to bring a completely different dimension to your prospecting efforts. You never know who will pick up your content and push it out there. Check out this one example below.

Here is the official LinkedIn Sales Twitter account sharing one of my blog posts:

LinkedIn for Sales Twitter Example

While I realize that most people view content sharing as a competition, that’s not what my intention is. And it shouldn’t be yours either. If you put out great content, readers will end up finding you. It takes time.

Here is the “LinkedIn for Sales” Twitter account – check out how many followers they have:

Why Sales Needs to Use Content Marketing

Now, compare your approaches.

Cold calling: targeting one person at one time.

Sharing content: reaching 16,000+ potential people in one shot.

I want to be careful and fair in how I position this, because this can be misconstrued very easily. I’m not advocating that you abandon cold calling. It does still work; what I am pushing for is that you supplement with a little bit of social into your day.

Back to my example from above.

So LinkedIn has shared my content. What’s the result of that? Let’s see that here.

Content Marketing

Sanchit runs one of the Top 50 IT blogs on the planet.

Here is Mike Kunkle sharing my content. Mike is one of the most respected people in our industry.

Content Marketing

I think you get the point.

Content marketing has the power to pierce through all the fog that surrounds sales professionals on a daily basis.

The Bottom Line

I share these examples with you to give you an idea of what’s possible if you start sharing content. No need to get overwhelmed; start small and take baby steps until you’re comfortable.

Like most people, you’re not afraid of content marketing…you’re afraid of exposing yourself to the world.

What if I told you that I’m still battling fears, doubts and insecurities about sharing content myself? Would you believe me? It’s true! Like you, there are days I fear being ridiculed by exposing my thoughts. It’s natural. But the key is to start.

Now you can plainly see why sales people should use content marketing.

Ready to get started? Book some time in my calendar or download one of our social selling eBooks.

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Amar Sheth

About the Author

Amar Sheth has trained thousands of people worldwide on the topic of Social Selling, through a style that’s part storytelling and part motivational.