Rebuilding the Content Marketing Funnel with Challenger Methodology
What does your marketing funnel look like when integrating Challenger Sales methodology & content marketing?
As sales organizations work to train their employees in Challenger Sales best practices and improve the performance of their sales professionals it is all too common for marketing to be left behind and for the organization’s message to get out of sync. Therefore when changing your sales best practices, you need to make sure that your marketing is moving in the same direction otherwise it’s all too easy to undermine the improvements you’re striving to make. As I outlined in my previous post on applying Challenger Sales methodology in your marketing, constructive tension and redefinition of traditional problems aligns well with a content marketing driven strategy. By establishing your organization as an industry guide and influence leader you lay the ground work for Challenger Sales conversations.
With that in mind I’ve taken Challenger Sales concepts and applied them to a content marketing strategy when mapped into a traditional marketing funnel:
So what is this chart missing? Simple – feedback from sales. In any sort of larger organization, the integration of marketing and sales often becomes challenging. I’ve personally worked for organizations that had little in the way of interactions between their HQ based marketing team and their sellers in the field. The VP of sales would pass out his directives and work with the marketing team to develop content that they thought would help the field – meanwhile the sellers ignored most of the content coming from HQ. It wasn’t meeting their needs, and it wasn’t effective in the field. Instead they built and deployed their own resources or simply adapted.
This isn’t effective. It is especially crucial in today’s content driven marketing that sales professionals have input on every part of the process. In a world where customers are typically more than 57% of the way through their purchase process before their first meaningful contact with a seller it becomes especially important that the message of your marketing materials lines up with the field sellers; otherwise your organization runs the real risk of being out of the running before you’ve even had a chance to speak with your prospect. If you fail to involve the field in your content creation and marketing process don’t be surprised if the content you develop ends up being outdated or inaccurately targeted. As the on the ground experts who interact with your customers and prospects, your sellers understand better than just about anybody what your target market is looking for.
This can be the end of your relationship with a customer as with the rise of content marketing and other innovations your targets are seeing your brand and your company on a daily basis – whether or not they interact with you in a way that you can easily track and identify. This is also one of the reasons why it is essential that companies work to track every customer interaction with their brand and integrate that data with their sales organizations. Companies such as Amperity are leading innovation in this space – using machine learning algorithms to integrate disparate identities and solving customer identity resolution.
The opportunity for better sales and increased brand loyalty is there for you to take advantage of. Training your field sellers in Challenger Sales methodology can lead to increased results and when paired with a strong content marketing strategy that integrates Challenger effectively and gets feedback from the field, your organization can see major gains. Content prepared in this manner can elicit an emotional response – which Nielsen found generated a 23% increase in sales. By pairing this improved targeting and framing with improved data gathering and use, the sky is the limit for your organization.