The greatest challenge in content development isn’t creativity or persuasiveness. It isn’t personalization for the recipient, customization to the salesperson, sequence in the sales cycle, or alignment with a selling opportunity either.
The greatest challenge is the final step after you’ve conscientiously done everything else necessary to create compelling content. In critical moments, you’ve got to know your customer’s problems, potential problems, and goals. You must align the content you’ve created with these and once you’ve done so, you’ve completed the final and most difficult step. You’ve created real value by understanding and working within the customer’s context.
Most salespeople would likely say that working within a customer’s buying context is something that happens naturally. They might suggest that a salesperson who frequently fails to create the right buying context does so for lack of sales acumen or even innate sales talent. The organic by-product of relationship building is understanding context, or is it?
Creating context can be intuitive, but several challenges make it difficult nonetheless:
Content is Created in Advance. Marketing prepares a variety of customizable templates or content modules for use in various scenarios. This content can be altered to suit the conditions of a certain market, industry, or buyer role as well as a variety of business challenges. Even though this content is highly adaptable, much of it requires collaboration in content development, and then training in how to use it to create context. Be sure your marketers understand the level of difficulty involved in customizing content, and use examples to show how it should be done.
Context Requires Research. Knowing the customer’s buying context often provides only half of the selling context. In complex or unique selling scenarios, matching the customer’s buying context with persuasive facts and data may be beyond the skill level of many of your sales people. Each salesperson should have training in all of the resources from which he or she can pull facts and data to support a variety of buying contexts.
Context Requires Training. Because creating context is an intellectual challenge, the organizational solution is to assess each representative’s ability to handle these scenarios, and have top-producers or frontline sales managers coach your less experienced reps when these challenges arise. The other part of this solution is in anticipating as many unique buying scenarios your team in advance, and creating content that supports each context.
Creating context may be the highest hurdle for marketers to clear, but your buyers will respond when your sales people “get it”. If you’d like to learn more creating context call a Bridge Metrics executive at 877.801.7158.