It’s pretty safe to say that, as a business owner, you’re probably looking to generate as many sales leads as you can in a timely manner. After all, time means money and the longer it takes to acquire new customers, the more it will cost you.
Your content plays an important role in speeding up your sales cycle. Why? Well, it doesn’t matter how many leads you manage to attract or the quality of the said leads if your content is simply not convincing enough, especially if you’re operating in the B2B industry.
So, how can you speed up your sales cycle with strategic content? That’s what we are going to talk about today. But first, let’s get a better idea of what a sales cycle actually is.
What Is a Sales Cycle?
By definition, a sales cycle is the series of predictable phases required to sell a product or a service. Although the length of a sales cycle varies from organization to organization, it usually encompasses five stages.
You first start in the prospecting stage, also known as lead generation. Here, you’ll identify your target audience. Do your best to engage your audience and capture their interest. If your audience is interested in your products or services, they will likely exchange their contact information.
The second stage is connecting with your audience, where you’ll want to get your leads to sign up for your offer.
Keep in mind that, during this stage, you’ll want to offer valuable information rather than presenting a generic sales pitch. This way, you’ll have a higher chance of getting your prospects interested in what you are selling.
Moving forward, you’ll need to figure out whether your leads have an actual interest in buying your products/services or not and if they could be your perfect customers. This is also known as the qualifying stage.
In the fourth stage, you will present your offer. Make sure to emphasize that your offer is the solution to your customer’s pain point. And finally, if everything goes well, it’s time to close the deal.
Now that we saw the typical stages of a sales cycle, where does your content fit? Well, in pretty much all of them: from attracting the right prospects to converting them into sales-ready leads and influencing their decision.
With that said, let’s take a look at how you can use your content to speed up the sales cycle.
1. Post Content Where It Matters
This may seem obvious, but many businesses still post their content on every possible platform or website just for the sake of attracting as many leads as possible, which is ultimately a waste of time and money.
Keep in mind that, when it comes to prospecting, the content you create must be shared where your target audience is most likely going to be.
You need to attract high-quality leads, people that actually share an interest in what you are selling. That’s why this step is so important.
For example, if you’re running a web design agency, you should aim for blogs that focus on this niche since that’s where a considerable amount of your target audience will be.
Speaking of which, you should also create a blog on your website, as that will drive traffic to your website and help in your lead generation strategy.
Furthermore, make sure to target businesses within your region. For example, people from New York are more likely to type “new york web design” in Google’s search box.
2. Educate Your Audience
The next thing you should do is to create content that offers valuable information to the audience. This will not only teach the readers the ins and outs of your company’s activity, but it will also help in creating a healthy relationship with them.
Remember that you shouldn’t appear as that pushy salesman who constantly tries to convince people to buy his products or services. It would be best if you were more like a friend.
This is also a great way to figure out whether the prospects you attract are qualified to be your customers or not, which will ultimately save you a lot of time.
Here’s the thing: if they are genuinely interested in what you are selling, they will probably come back to you with questions or comments regarding your product or service.
3. Be Convincing
Keep in mind that many other businesses are trying to win over the same audience as you do, so you’ll need to find a way to stand out from the competition.
With that said, your content not only needs to well written, but it needs to be convincing as well.
82% of buyers will typically see at least five pieces of content before choosing the winning vendor. In other words, you will have to convince the user that you are the right choice.
As we’ve previously mentioned, avoid acting as that pushy salesman, as your competitors are most likely already doing that. When creating content, focus more on your audience rather than on yourself.
The key thing here is to show your prospects that you actually care about them. The content you create needs to be built around their pain points and aspirations first, and only then explain why you might be a good fit for them.
This way, you’ll be able to give your prospects the confidence they need when deciding which company to collaborate with.
4. Create Content for Each Stage of the Sales Cycle
And finally, you will need to create content for each specific stage of the sales cycle. For example, in the earlier stages of the sales process, the content you create needs to be more basic.
Your primary goal here is to educate your audience about the problem, what causes it and potential solutions to fix it. You’ll need to make yourself easy to understand.
Use simple language, provide infographics and more importantly, make sure that your content is short and sweet.
Going further down the road, when you’ve already generated some leads, you can start creating content that is more detailed and technical. Here, you can have a more detailed presentation of how your solution works and how it can achieve results.
And lastly, after you’ve managed to get the audience interested in your products/services, it’s time to influence their decision.
All in all, you shouldn’t treat content as just an afterthought. As we’ve seen, the quality of the content you post has a major influence on every stage of the sales cycle.
With that said, make sure that the blogs or videos you create attract the right type of audience while also offering valuable information. While you’re at it, you should also optimize content for SEO so that you could rank higher in the search engine results.