How to Use Content to Gain Credibility in Sales

Here are a few ways you can leverage content to increase sales conversations.

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By Leah Bell

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This story originally appeared on Salesforce

The sales development community is growing at an exponential rate. That growth demands shareable marketing content. With an ever changing sales game, front line sales development reps are in desperate need of ammunition -- credibility to back up their pitches to prospects.

Companies like Salesforce and Hubspot recognize this need for community-driven content machines (not just self-promotion generators) and they strive every day to provide sales professionals with the tips and tools to stay competitive in the industry.

But how exactly can you, the sales development rep, use all of this marketing content to increase sales? Here are a few ways you can leverage content as your silver bullet in sales conversations:

Related: 5 Subtle But Effective Digital Marketing Strategies

Become an expert in your field

How do expect someone else to buy something if you aren't sold on the concept, yourself? Educate yourself on the best practices in your field. Learn your product inside and out. Research competitors' content. Your prospects know how to Google just as well as you do, so you need to know what information is out there and how to confidently present your product amongst the rest. Once you learn to live and breathe what you sell, you'll be better prepared to bring your A-game on every single call.

Be transparent to earn trust

Use the content that built you into an expert and educate your prospects. Earn their trust by showing them the "why" behind your product, and get them to believe in it as much as you do. If they're looking to buy, odds are they've done their research, too. Be transparent and compare your research with theirs. Work to understand their perspective and confidently share yours. Drew Hendricks reminds us that "having a community literally built around loving your ideas and your content leads to very easy sales; they're barely being sold, as they already trust you."

Related: Use These 8 Lesser-Known Marketing Tools to Help Spread the Word

Provide proof

Case studies are the content marketing equivalent to good restaurant reviews on Yelp. Have a product success story? Leverage that proof in your pitch. SalesLoft SDR Ryan Harris uses case studies on a regular basis, utilizing their "great representation of how a company in a similar industry has been successful using the product." Show prospects specific examples of when your product helped a client, and use that content to prove why your solution will work for them, too.

Make it easy to find, use and share

Have you ever been in a conversation and said "there's a blog post about that," and then you can't find it? Don't let that happen -- have a tool that helps you find content easily. At SalesLoft we created Content Finder, a chrome extension specifically made to help reps identify and share relevant content quickly. Having an efficient method to grabbing and sharing content is crucial -- what use is great content if you can't access it in the moment?

These tips will help arm you with quality content for sales conversations. But don't save content for just pitches. Tweet an article about your product's newest feature. Share a best practice strategy on LinkedIn. Put it out there for prospects to see, before you even call them. Put yourself in the prospect's shoes -- who are you more likely to buy from? A rep who saves their pitch for the phone, or an SDR who lives, breathes and believes in their product, day in and day out? You need to show prospects that you care more than anyone else.

In the SaaS industry, selling your product is important. But what's more important is making a difference in people's everyday lives. Prospects come and go and products change, but if you want to leave a stamp on the sales timeline, you need to provide lasting value to your community.

Related: 5 Things Business Leaders Can Learn From Bloggers

Leah Bell

Content Marketing Specialist at SalesLoft.

Leah Bell is a content marketing specialist at SalesLoft.

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