CAREER ADVANCEMENT / SEP. 12, 2014
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Will Content Marketing Replace Your Sales Team?

Your sales team has one main job: to help the buyer make a decision as to what they’re going to spend their money on. Here’s the catch, though, the modern buyer isn’t interested in receiving help from you. They’re independent and they want to be the ones in control. It’s why you see so many people using self-service checkouts these days.

So can content marketing replace a human sales team in the decision making process?

 B2B Buyers Don’t Want Help

We can already see how B2B buyers have taken the human aspect out of the sales process. Let’s take a look at a few crucial statistics gained from multiple studies:

  • 67% of the process happens in a digital capacity.
  • 57% of the buying process happens before the customer speaks to your sales department.
  • Analysts predict that by the year 2020, 85% of human interaction will leave the buying process.

In short, all B2B buyers want to find out about a product and come to a conclusion by themselves. They aren’t interested in a slick-haired salesperson talking to them about why this is the product for them.

Content marketing fills this gap because it presents the information and encourages the buyer to assess it themselves. So what is responsible for the demise of the human sales team?

  1. The Stigma

The modern salesperson is an irritating insect that lies to your face about anything and everything just to make a sale. This is a common stereotype many people have when it comes to marketing. The reason for this stereotype? Blame the people who take advantage of you online and offline by signing you up to things you didn’t want or need.

  1. The Buyer Wants Anonymity

Your average B2B customer doesn’t want to tell anyone about what they’re buying. It’s like someone who buys donuts doesn’t want everyone to know because we’re supposed to be healthier these days.

It’s often difficult for people to understand why this is the case. People like to keep the tricks of their trade secret. One reason is because they don’t want to give their competitors an insight into how they work their magic. Another reason is that some programs have a stigma attached to it. A super serious web developer wouldn’t want to admit they’re still using a free WordPress template.

 

  1. The Confident Buyer

Buyers are more confident than ever about their ability to make the right purchasing decisions. The Internet, and its entry into the mainstream, has empowered customers.

Of course, people know they don’t know absolutely everything. This is why content marketing has a big role to play. Your customers will research your products using the content available online, and this applies to both the B2B and B2C levels.

Businesses do still need to have humans available when the content available isn’t enough for customers, but they need to take a step back. They have to make themselves available without forcing themselves upon them.

Make Content Production Your Priority

With content as your main priority, you have to identify the various pain points a buyer could face and what sort of content can address those points. Let’s take a look at some of the most common pain points and how you can address them.

  1. Customers want to know about your competitors. Solve this by adding a comprehensive checklist comparing you with your competitors.
  2. Buyer wants to know how to solve a problem using your product. Write a blog post answering the question.
  3. They don’t know how the product can help them. Create an infographic listing all the ways your product can help them.

Potential customers need to make informed decisions when buying a product. Content marketing plays a key role in presenting the right information to your target audience and encourages them to assess it in their own way.

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