B2B is notorious for having a complex sales process. There’s big money on the table and usually more than one person involved in the buying decision. Even with great sales assets, it can take months, or even years, for a sale to finally go through.
Unfortunately, the assets used by sales teams are usually considered separate from content marketing assets. But having marketing involved in creating your sales assets keeps everyone aligned, and focused on the same audiences with targeted messaging.
Here are three sales assets that content marketers should start by building:
Asset #1: First Meeting Presentation (Slide Deck)
Half the battle in B2B is getting a first meeting. Assuming your sales team can get in front of qualified prospects, they’ll need material to present. Your prospect is moving out of the Awareness stage of the funnel and has completed minimal research on your organization. They’re semi-interested in your offering.
It’s important for your sales team to gauge the interest level of prospects in the first meeting because of the time commitment involved. You do not want to chase unqualified companies.
Sections to include in a First Meeting Presentation:
- Compelling introduction:
Start with a hook. We want to create a sense of urgency to act on our offering. This can be done by researching our prospect before the meeting. How is their business changing? Are their competitors getting ahead? What are the risks associated with not getting your offering?
- Meeting Objectives:
State what your company is looking to understand from them and the agenda for the meeting. You also have an opportunity to ask the prospect about their own objectives.
- Company Overview:
Establish credibility. Have information available regarding your company and the individual delivering the presentation. Case studies and testimonials will shine in this section.
Demonstrate your expertise in the field. It’s important to introduce prospects to trends that point to developing issues and the business value of adopting change.
- Demonstration (if applicable):
Show what you can do. The presenter should be tailoring their demonstration to the feedback they’ve received so far. Why is each feature important to them? What’s the benefit?
After the presentation is delivered, a discussion will ensue. If the prospect isn’t interested, they should be nurtured and re-engaged when appropriate. But, if they’re keen to have a deeper conversation, your next step will be helping them define requirements.
Asset #2: Business Requirements Workbook
Your sales team will want to understand the needs of their prospect intimately. This can be facilitated through a fill-in-the-blank Business Requirements Workbook. The workbook is meant to a filled in together with prospective customers.
Your sales team can go beyond surface needs and deeply understand the best ways to help. The most personalized solution will often win. Your customers will be happier that you spent the extra time understanding where they’re coming from.
Sections to include in a Business Requirements Workbook:
- Company Information:
Capture the prospect’s relevant company information. It’s a basic section that includes the name of their company, subsidiaries, divisions, key individuals etc.
- Business Objectives:
List all priorities that your offering can help with and have your prospect rank them. We want to understand what’s most important to them.
- Customer Segments:
Learn about the segments your prospect is serving. How many different groups of customers are there? What are the unique attributes of each group?
Identify who your prospect sees as their competition. What are their strengths and weaknesses? What does their positioning look like? How is your prospect different from them?
- Current Processes:
Understand the current processes your prospect has in place that would be affected by your offering. How are they currently solving this problem? Which systems would need to change if they were to implement your offering?
Recognize what the prospect is missing out on by not having your offering in place.
- Requested Features:
Rate the features of your product in relation to what has been gathered. Understand what is most important, least important, and unimportant.
It’s imperative that every key decision maker is aligned with the workbook in order to move things forward. The next step is to help them build a business case for their requirements.
Asset #3: Value Case Workbook
You are getting closer to the end of the buying cycle. Your prospective customers will need a way to evaluate the benefits of your offering. The fill-in-the-blank Value Case Workbook helps you match dollars towards the requirements defined in the Business Requirements Workbook.
This is how you help them assess the ROI of your offering.
Sections to include in a Value Case Workbook:
- Business Priorities:
Include the business objectives gathered from the Business Requirements Workbook. These priorities provide qualitative justification for your offering.
- Projected Increase in Revenue:
Use simple formulas to calculate revenue increases based on your offering. How many more customers could they win? How much more could they charge existing customers?
- Projected Decrease in Costs:
Use simple formulas to calculate cost decreases based on your offering. What’s their reduced cost of serving each customer? What are their reduced staffing costs?
- Financial Summary:
Put everything together. How much in total will they make and save based on your offering?
The First Meeting Slide Deck is what gets your prospect committed to working with your company. The Business Requirements Workbook and Value Case Workbook form the basis of a tailored Sales Proposal.
If you’re part of a small company or startup, these three assets are a great way to start your sales-specific content marketing inventory. You can learn a lot from your customers. In addition to helping your sales team, the information they collect will help you refine your personas and develop more effective marketing content.
Which content assets does your sales team use? Let me know in the comments!
John is the Founder & CEO of Wriber. He’s passionate about entrepreneurship, high-tech startups, thought leadership, content marketing, and artificial intelligence. John frequently volunteers his time at the University of Waterloo to help young entrepreneurs get their businesses off the ground. He’s also a faithful Toronto Maple Leafs fan, frequent Redditor, and lifelong learner.