November 28, 2017
As buyers move down the sales funnel their discovery process changes.
It’s often thought that midway through, and especially at the bottom-of-the-funnel, salespeople take over, leaving marketers to worry only about top-of-the-funnel contacts. While buyers may have more interaction with a salesperson at this stage (whether by phone or email), marketers play a prominent role in the bottom-of-the-funnel.
Content is crucial for moving prospects down the B2B sales funnel, which means marketers should work alongside the sales team to create content that converts, especially at this critical stage when buyers are deciding with whom to make the final purchase. According to The TAS Group, marketing and sales teams that are aligned see 38% higher sales win rates. If marketing and sales teams work together, they can help guide bottom-of-the-funnel prospects to clients.
No matter what your company’s sales funnel looks like, the bottom is where the prospect makes the purchase decision. Sometimes called the “Purchase” phase, this is the time when the buyer is ready to make a choice on a product or service (or abandon the process altogether). At the bottom-of-the-funnel, the only question left is will they move forward with you?
Some buyers at this stage just need a little push, which could be in the form of a special offer, discount, or specifically tailored offering. Many others, however, are seriously weighing the pros and cons of your solution versus the competition. Simply “pushing” these prospects to buy won’t cut it. These buyers need more information, education, consulting, and trust before they become your client.
Let’s remember that at this point, the buyer has done all of the research, compared your company to the competition, and they want to purchase a solution to their problem, but they have some lingering gaps in their understanding. Coupled with strategic sales consulting, well-written and targeted content at this stage can help put your company in the winning position.
The overarching goal is to give the buyer a friendly nudge towards becoming your client. Other goals at this stage are to showcase how your company is a better option than the competition and to foster confidence in the purchase decision. You want the buyer to walk away feeling like the made the right decision.
At this point, content should clearly show how your product or service stacks up against the competition’s, and what value the buyer gets by choosing your company over the rest. This trust-building content makes the buyer feel secure in the decision-making process. So what types of content work at this time?
According to Statistica, the most valuable content marketing types for moving prospects down the sales funnel include blogs and articles, white papers, videos, research reporters, and webinars.
The tactics of inbound and content marketing can be directly applied to the sales process to improve win rates.
Salespeople and marketers can together create robust and persuasive bottom-of-the-funnel that serves the specific purpose of pushing buyers to make that final decision in the company’s favor. Here are some of the best content types for the bottom-of-the-funnel:
Highly Personalized Blogs / Articles: Remember a buyer won’t want a general blog post that discusses the problem the platform solves; instead, a valuable piece of content at this stage is a piece that reinforces the buyer value specific to that person’s role. Depending on who you need to convince, this could mean a blog dedicated to the Head of IT, the CEO, the CMO, etc. Personalizing the content will make it more meaningful to that person, explaining the unique value of the product and how it will improve his or her everyday life.
Videos: Videos are an engaging way to explain your point, and some compelling bottom-of-the-funnel videos could be customer testimonials, customer reviews, calculation of the lifetime value for the client or for a past client, etc. Plus, adding in introductions from the founder/CEO makes the piece more impactful.
Personalized Demos: Instead of the regular demo video or webinar, create a personalized demo that targets the decision-maker. If the buyer does not have time to talk with you using a shared screen, record the demo with tips and facts that are related to the buyer and send it for them to watch on their own time. Remember to make it personalized to highlight your company’s unique value and edge above the competition.
Case Studies: At the bottom-of-the-funnel, you don’t want to send just any case study about your product or service. Instead, send case studies that are related to the buyer or to their industry. For example, if they are in healthcare, then send another healthcare-related case study so that the buyer can see the potential benefits. Always include impactful numbers that show a high return-on-investment (ROI) and plenty of product value.
Company Philosophy or Solution Methodology: This can be done in text, image, or video format, and its main purpose is to show the buyer your company’s approach to network infrastructure. A company methodology shows the decision-maker how they’ll be treated and what to expect if they sign on and purchase your product or service. It can also be that last push that makes them feel confident in their decision.
Prospects will each react differently to the various types of content found at the bottom-of-the-funnel, which is why it’s important to remember to tailor content to them. If B2B sales and marketing teams work together, they can create useful, engaging content that helps the buyer make the right decision. Both teams should strive to stay connected as prospects move down the funnel, tracking which pieces of content convert and revising the content that does not. These teams will then have an easier time drafting content that drives buyers from the Purchase phase to becoming a client.
This article follows a previous version: How to Nurture Leads from the Awareness to Consideration Stage
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