This year, I have systematically started to support my sales efforts by creating content of my own. For me, as a strong advocate for social selling, creating content myself (to be used side-by-side with those produced by the marketing department), makes perfect sense. Writing blogs helps me to connect with prospects and customers in scale.
With this blog, my idea is to share why I started blogging and how it has helped me to improve my sales performance.
Why I started blogging
During the latter half of 2016, I noticed that my discussions with prospects and customers started to repeat a pattern: we were discussing same issues using same arguments with the same outcome, slowly moving deals forward. So eventually I started thinking: If I create a piece of content around this repeating discussion, I can share it with meeting participants before and/or after a meeting to speed things up. Plus, I can post the content online to find new prospects with similar challenges.
It turned out that my estimate was correct. Sharing my blog before a sales visit broke the pattern and allowed the discussion progress further during the reserved time. Also, the blog helped my contacts to discuss the matter further internally.
As a result, I started to have more relevant conversations, deals began to move faster, and sales cycle become a bit shorter. Blogging had proven its worth!
The first blog did not generate any new leads. Nor did the second or third. New prospects did require a few more blogs, but eventually, they did find me and my content. Still, I feel that for me, as a sales guy, the biggest value blogging has is moving deals forward faster.
“You are in sales! You should be on the phone calling people. Can’t someone else write for you?”
Yes, for sure they could. However, I do not want anyone to write on my behalf.
Doing the actual writing has a significant role in my approach to becoming better in sales.
- Writing blogs of a given topic increases my understanding of it. It forces me to think differently. Blogging also improves my ability to argument and elaborate about same topics during sales calls.
- When I create my content and share it with prospects and customers, it is me who communicates to them. The story continues by the same narrator before, during, and after the sales meeting. (Of course, I can support this narrative with content from others.)
How do I select what to write?
I choose my blog topics using three methods. The first one is the one mentioned above. When I notice I’m repeating same stuff, again and again, I write a blog about it. For example, a blog about basics of a sales chat was written after I noticed I had used same examples multiple time within a week or so.
The second approach is to create content that I need to progress deals. I select topics I need content about to keep the conversation going. For example, my blogs about use cases for customer service chat and sales chat were created out of necessity. They have since become probably my most used resources.
The third one is to write whatever I want. This blog is one of those. Here is another one. I do this to keep things fresh. I have challenged my self to write once a month throughout 2017, so I need some variation to my blogs. After this one, I probably get back to writing my third blog about the quality of live chat service.
Do I recommend blogging to everyone in sales?
No, I do not.
If you think it might help you, try it. Then try it again. Give it some time and effort, and you probably see some results. Feel free to copy my approach if it helps you.
On the other hand, if you do not want write, don’t force it. Maybe you could consider doing a podcast instead?
Have you tried creating content to boost your sales performance? Any tips to share?
This blog has been published September 1, 2017 on Medium. See the original here.