By Ann Smarty published September 19, 2016

4 Ways Your Sales Team Can Help Your Content Marketing

sales-team-help-content-marketing

I have noticed a serious disconnect in businesses today. There is no “us” anymore, no connection between one department and another.

Oh, sure, you may have the best team-management platform, and have task-setting and in-team communication down to an art. But is every member of your team regardless of department working with all you have provided to get the best possible results?

The biggest gap exists between sales and content marketing. The two should go together like peanut butter and jelly, yet they don’t.

The biggest gap exists between sales & #contentmarketing says @seosmarty. Click To Tweet

Nothing will better arm your content marketing department than interaction with people who talk directly to the audience on a daily basis. Here are four ways you can build better content by encouraging collaboration with the sales team.

1. Build a FAQ section

Your sales team (as well as your customer service team) is likely to answer dozens of questions daily by phone and email. Make sure all the questions they receive are recorded properly (through your sales management platform or other tool) and given to your content marketing strategist to become the base of your content plan.

These questions and, more importantly, their answers can be a gold mine for your content marketing when published on your site because they:

  • Receive special treatment in search engine results pages – For example, Google features a site that best answers the searcher’s question in a separate quick-answer box on top of search results.)
  • Turn your site into a resource – As such, they build reader loyalty by increasing the number of return visits, subscribers, etc.
  • Become a solid ground for the extended content marketing strategy – Answers can be given in the form of webinars, podcasts, video interviews, visual assets (think flow charts and infographics), etc.

One of the most efficient ways to curate popular questions on your site is to create a FAQ section. For WordPress-run sites, Ultimate FAQ plugin is one of the easiest options for adding a FAQ section to your site. It integrates with WooCommerce, allowing you to add a “Related Q&A” section to product pages.

faq

2. Create an on-site glossary

It’s easy to single out terms that frequently puzzle your leads and put together a detailed glossary of terms. This way you’ll have a URL to share with your contacts any time they have questions. A glossary means additional opportunities for organic rankings as well (hence new leads coming in naturally).

Create an on-site glossary of terms to increase organic search rankings says @seosmarty. #SEO Click To Tweet

You can expand your list of terms using keyword research tools. This step also improves your chance to rank high for many of these terms because:

  • The more terms you have in your glossary, the more keywords you can rank for.
  • Google evaluates your page vocabulary to determine the quality of your content. Include synonyms and related terms to increase the variety of words.

Use SERPstat to research related terms to create an effective glossary. Its unique feature, “Cluster Research,” enables you to identify high-ranking pages with similar URLs that you can visit to discover related terms from there.

serpstat

Use @serpstat to research related terms to create an effective glossary says @seosmarty. #SEO Click To Tweet

In SERPstat, connection strength is the number that represents how many common URLs these search results have. The higher the connection strength is, the closer the terms and phrases are.

Using online thesauruses and dictionaries also is helpful for finding synonyms and related terms. Synonym.com and Reference.com are two great options.

Don’t limit yourself: Most important terms can be developed into 101-type articles. Or you can offer your glossary as a PDF download. This is called “cornerstone content.”

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT:
A Nutshell Guide to Proper Keyword Research

3. Create lead magnets

Most sales teams have various content assets being developed year after year — case studies, white papers explaining the state of things in the industry, PowerPoint presentations describing the service or listing the benefits of the product, etc.

All of these documents can be powerful lead magnets. At Internet Marketing Ninjas, we have a separate section allowing subscribers to download our case studies.

lead-magnets

This section not only helps us grow our email list, it also generates the most qualified leads: People who download our case studies are more likely to get in touch with us for services. They come well-prepared and almost convinced of the quality of the service.

4. Leverage buyer personas in your content

Your customers already have some idea of what they want. They also have a list of things that they need. These facts make up the buyer persona, and while that used to be a concept taught to all people in sales, it is of similar importance to the content marketer.

If you are a content marketer struggling to understand why you need to know personas, here’s a good guide from Content Marketing Institute.

Without personas, you may only be guessing what content your audience wants, which means you are more likely to revert to creating content around what you know best (your products and company) instead of around the information your audience actively seeks.

Without buyer personas, you may be guessing what #content your audience wants says @seosmarty. Click To Tweet

By knowing the wants, needs, and even demographic information of a customer base, content marketers can better personalize their efforts. And with your sales team being on the frontline of the customer interaction, there’s no better department from which to start your persona development. This persona development guide offers two questions that are critical to answer to create a persona:

  • What makes your existing customers attracted to your sales pitch?
  • What makes existing customers buy your products and services?

No one in your company is better able to answer both the questions than the salespeople because they deal with sales pitches and conversions daily.

Have your content writers regularly sit through the sales calls making notes of what the future customers like, dislike, and hate. This will be a huge source of content inspiration too.

Empower your content marketing team

The sales team is probably your company’s most important department. Why aren’t you leveraging it to empower your content team? Why are you treating content marketing like its own island? The two departments should be working together, improving results on a larger scale than through each individual sale.

Please note: All tools included in our blog posts are suggested by authors, not the CMI editorial team. No one post can provide all relevant tools in the space. Feel free to include additional tools in the comments (from your company or ones that you have used).

Want to help your content marketing team in other ways? Encourage them to subscribe to the free daily CMI newsletter.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

Author: Ann Smarty

Ann Smarty is the brand and community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas, founder of MyBlogU.com and co-founder of Viral Content Buzz . Ann is the regular contributor at Entrepreneur, Small Biz Trends, and other huge publications. Ann blogs about search and social media industry trends and content marketing tools. Please follow Ann on Twitter @seosmarty.

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  • SparkReaction

    Awesome article, Ann! As Digital Marketing Manager at my company, I’m starting to forge a sales partnership with our Sales Director. We’re definitely going to implement an FAQ page after reading your tip.

    We’ve also found that sharing a common definition of qualified leads is helpful for uniting our sales and marketing efforts. It’s a bit tied into your buyer personas point, but understanding what makes a truly sales qualified lead can help marketers (as it’s helped me!) create content that targets the right people.
    Thanks again for the tips!

    • http://myblogguest.com/blog/ Ann Smarty

      Great tip, thanks!

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  • Lkinoshita

    Great article! Agree with all your points.

    • http://myblogguest.com/blog/ Ann Smarty

      Thanks!

  • a4nusers

    The ways that have to increase the sales team as near to work in it in a perfect manner as it to be collapse it

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  • http://www.yorkecommunications.com Deepika Singh

    I have noted down Glossary creation point. As a digital marketing agency , we need to educate our audience about market trends and digital marketing terms.

    Thanks for the nice write-up Ann Smarty.

    • http://myblogguest.com/blog/ Ann Smarty

      You are very welcome! Hope it works well for your site!

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  • Chawaine Reid

    Great article!
    I have also noticed a demise in sales and marketing relationships and I think that you are spot on in the 4 ways you’ve listed that could help to build that bond again. The two questions under your 4th bullet point that examines existing customers to find new customers is genius!

    I examined the sales and marketing industry’s relationship in a blog post recently. Thank you again for these resourceful tips.

    • http://myblogguest.com/blog/ Ann Smarty

      Glad to know it looks useful! Thanks for the comment!

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  • http://www.businessleadsmalaysia.com/ Ameer Ahmad

    Noted! Providing your sales team with great content makes the modern sales process run smoother, and more efficient for your sales team. Thanks and great work!

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  • http://www.callbox.com.sg/ Katrina Chua

    Great tips! Also content marketing team is best to partner with the marketing team.When you close the gap between your sales and marketing teams and open the communication pipeline, your sales team will be able to leveraging the right content, at the right time. Thanks for sharing by the way.

  • Amy

    I totally agree – great article Anne!

    When I work with large organisations, first thing I do is ask if I can speak directly with their sales team; content marketing efforts and sales are made easier when the two teams work together.

  • Ali

    Its very useful Ann…