Blogging is perfect for your sales team. That’s right. Sales.
People typically think of blogging as a powerful marketing technique, which is true. Most businesses, however, seem to be overlooking blogging as a valuable sales tool.
In a world where companies must compete on all fronts to get ahead, understanding how valuable your blog can be to your sales team will give you yet another advantage over your competitors. It will also help your business reach its full potential.
Here are 5 ways that blogging can improve the performance of your sales team and your bottom line.
1. Provides Sales Material
Every time a new post is added to your blog, you have a new asset. From your sales team’s point of view, it can use blog posts as the material with which to educate customers and close deals. A blog is another resource that your sales team can use to do its job more efficiently.
When a lead is wavering and needs reassurance or more information regarding a product or service, for example, a sales rep can direct them to a comprehensive website blog. Once upon a time, your sales department would have to wait for a brochure to reach a potential customer before attempting to follow up with a phone call. Now your team can direct your potential customers to a webpage where they will find information on the exact topic that interests them, instantly.
Modern consumers like to be independent. They often like to find their own answers to problems. They feel satisfied by performing their own research before making purchasing decisions. Your sales team can avoid over-selling by directing potential customers to blog posts that are appropriate for their stage of the buyer’s journey.
2. Increases Credibility
Quality blog content can help improve the perceived credibility of your sales rep. One of the best ways to express someone’s expert status is to put his or her name in print. Bylines on your blog can position your sales team as experts who are educating the world regarding your industry, products, and/or services.
By discussing the state of the industry, commenting on industry news, and predicting the future via your blog, potential customers – and other businesses – will increasingly acknowledge your sales team as knowledgeable consultants who have their fingers on the pulse of whatever business you are in.
Customers whose first experience of your company is through your website will be pleased to find articles that establish your business’s credibility. When they instant message, email, or talk to one of these consultants, the authority that has already been established will deepen any interaction between your business and your lead.
To make the most of your blog’s potential for supercharging your sales team, make sure that your blog delivers consistent posts with consistent quality. See that it focuses on its customers and the core values of the business.
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3. Separates You From the Competition
Imagine two law firm websites. Website A is an online brochure. It contains information about the firm, such as who works there, what areas they practice, and how to contact them.
Website B has the same pages, wording, fonts, and images. The only difference is that website B also has a blog that is regularly updated by the firm’s consultants and is where they provide insights into the areas that they practice, updates on what’s going on inside the company, and industry news and opinion.
Which business seems more likely to be helpful, current, and have expert knowledge?
4. Provides Long-Term Lead Generation
To keep their heads above water, sales reps all too often turn to short-term strategies to capture leads, such as cold calling or ad campaigns in which the leads dry up once the campaign ends.
While blog posts can also be used as part of short term social media or ad campaigns, they can also provide long-term SEO results and continued value as sales material.
One of the beautiful things about a blog is that every blog post keeps working once it is posted. Some blog posts remain relevant longer than others, and we call this evergreen content. These posts include lists, tips, how-to articles, and product reviews.
By aiming to create evergreen content with a unique angle, you can end up with content that generates leads for your sales team without cease.
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5. Builds a Bridge Between Marketing and Sales
The last place that you want a gap in your business is between the marketing resources (that your leads digested) and the sales message (that your leads hear from the rep). The inconsistency here creates uncertainty, makes you look amateurish, and destroys the trust that you have been trying to build. It kills leads and wastes opportunities.
Just as your branding should be consistent throughout your business material, your messages should also be compatible so that customers are not confused, disappointed, or uncertain when they engage with your sales reps.
A blog is a great platform on which your sales staff and your marketing team can work together to improve their overall performance.
Your marketing team can draw on the experience of your sales team. Your sales team knows what questions your leads ask most frequently and what topics will be of most interest to them. Your marketing team can use that information to create blog content that targets those needs and ‘warms’ leads, readying them for the sale.
Also, your marketing team’s blog content can help the sales team to stay up to date on the business’s products and services. They will also know how to talk about them with leads in a way that keeps the potential customers' experiences consistent.
In short, your marketing department should be working with the requirements of the sales department in mind. And your sales department should be your marketing department’s biggest fan. Encourage both teams to provide constructive feedback that will help them do their jobs more efficiently.
You can use blogging as much more than a marketing strategy. When your marketing and sales teams are in alignment, you have a means of communication between marketing, sales, and the customer.
Blogging is about building relationships. Your sales team will benefit from the credibility, authority, and influence that you build up through your blog. Your bottom line will benefit from your sales team’s ability to do a better job.