Tsunami of Prospecting Content
A recent article by Medium.com put together in sobering terms the extent to which content marketing is overwhelming potential buyers:
- 91% of B2B companies are using content marketing
- 56% of B2B marketers have increased content creation and spending over the last 12 months
- However, fewer than 30% of B2B companies have a defined buyer journey to focus their content marketing strategy
The outcome is a “content tsunami” that is leading many prospects to disengage. The higher volume of emails and content is often perceived as spam. And, those that do engaged and show up for a 1st call are more often tire kickers not matching a target buyer persona (Hubspot: Tire-kickers)
Pivot to a Prospecting Conversation
We suggest shifting from a focus on prospecting content to a focus on value-added prospecting conversations. The best sale opportunities start as an invitation into a conversation focused on exploring fit between a buyer’s challenges and a sellers capabilities.
Prospecting content has an important role in motivating these conversations, but our experience at Winalytics is that when it comes to content marketing less really is more. It really takes one or maybe two content elements to clearly define the buyer’s challenge.
We have three main principles for inviting prospects into a value-added conversation:
- Tell a buyer story: Use content to tell a story about why they might want to speak with you. The story starts with the problem you solve, continues with proof that you solve that problem, and then outlines what a short intro call might look like and the benefits on both sides
- Keep it brief and engaging: Hubspot has shown 75-125 word emails that include 1-3 questions do much better than a pitch at drawing prospects into a conversation. Call connects and voicemails should also lead with qualifying around the prospect challenges.
- Say hello and goodbye: You will get the most meetings by committing to 8-9 email, vmail, and call touches across 3 to 4 weeks. However, you build trust by starting with a “hello email” telling the buyer why you want to speak to them and ending with a “goodbye email” acknowledging that if now is not a good time to talk, you will reach back later.
The Impact of Value-Added Conversations
A focus on value-add conversations builds productivity by making it easier to accomplish three key prospecting goals:
- Set a Meeting: Our main prospecting goal is to set a qualified 1st call or meeting with a prospect that has responded to a known and well-defined challenge and we get our maximum 1st meeting yield with 6+ touches.
- Educate the Market: A second goal is to educate prospects about your company’s unique value. Even in a really successful campaign, 90% of target prospects do not end up taking a meeting, but a well structured invitation increases the chances of a setting a meeting at a later date.
- Build Trust: A third important goal is to build trust by offering valuable content, following up on your outreach when you say you will follow up and opening and closing the conversation. If you build trust, the prospect is more likely to take a meeting when you come back in 3 to 6 months
Our experience at Winalytics is that focusing on an invitation into a value-added conversation and committing to an 8- to 10-touch prospecting cadence can raise the number of 1st meetings from the same set of contacts by 45%. It can also increase 1st to 2nd call progression by 40% or more by helping qualifying into 1st calls prospects that are best aligned to your company’s capabilities.