In the past, you would have been challenged to get your content seen. In many ways, it is still difficult to get attention for your content. Both of these statements represent part of the same truth, the first a result of gatekeepers controlling what was published, the second caused by the glut of content posted. When it was difficult and expensive to get attention, gatekeepers discriminated against what they considered weak material. Now, with no gatekeepers, content proliferates unabated by any external force.
Because the internet runs on content, the public-facing content your company creates can help to drive awareness, shape how your dream clients think about their business, educate your market, and even generate leads. Let’s call this “external content,” content designed for the public, and while we do so, let’s acknowledge its immense value to the sales process.
But let us not overstate its value. It isn’t a replacement for something we might describe as “internal content,” or the business acumen and situational knowledge that resides inside the four walls of your company and between the two ears of each salesperson (or that should live there). Once a prospective client (or what I refer to as “dream clients,” those for whom you create massive value) engages with a salesperson, the internal content is more important than the external content.
We used to chide salespeople for being a walking, talking brochure, spouting off all the features, benefits, and advantages on their “sell sheets” to any client within the sound of their voice without qualification. The criticism was that reciting the brochure was not value for the prospect.
However, now, the best marketing departments know they need to create content that answers the question, “Why should I do anything different from what I am doing now?” They also create content that explains “What is going on in my world and how should I be thinking about these things?” Although this content is created as “external content,” there would be no disapproval of a salesperson who could speak with confidence in their answers to the two questions above.
If one were to add to that content the person and collected business acumen and situational knowledge of the sales force, you would have internal content that would convert more dream clients into paying clients in short order.