In a perfect world, every piece of content in marketing’s massive library would be on-brand, up to date, and relevant for all of sales’ customer conversations.
In reality, a sales rep is spending 30 hours per month creating or updating marketing content, or ends up sending collateral that is completely irrelevant to the customer. The ideal solution to this would involve a concerted effort from marketing to ensure all content is updated and relevant, while still constantly creating new content for sales reps to share. But we don’t live in a perfect world, so sales must be critical and strategic when deciding what to send to prospective customers. Here are five types of content sales should avoid sharing, or limit to a specific selling situation.
Company awards: To today’s buyer, sharing awards that your company or product has won can come off as egocentric and irrelevant. Sales reps should avoid sending emails announcing awards to customers, especially early in the sales cycle. Company awards should be shared on the company’s website, social media, and late in the buying process when it may help differentiate from a competitor.
Outdated collateral: It’s likely that if your company has been around for a while, there is still collateral in use from years ago. This shows your prospects how successful your organization has been—in decades past. The buying process has changed drastically, so if your collateral isn’t answering the questions today’s buyers have, you won’t keep their attention for very long.
Product features/FAQs: If you’re in early conversations with prospective customers, they just want to know if your product can solve their problems. They aren’t looking for a list of features or capabilities; they want to see how easy it is to address the pain points you (hopefully) discussed in discovery calls. Save product guides for the end stages of negotiation and/or implementation once you’ve won the deal.
“Just Checking In”: There is nothing that will cool a prospect off faster than an email subject line of “Just Checking In.” Thanks to the Internet, customers expect a much more personal conversation and experience in their buying process. This requires much more than a generic, detached email. Sending a “quick note” with something the prospect might find useful (anything from your own sales collateral to a news article) will go a long way compared to an impersonal “checking in” email.
Irrelevant collateral: Possibly just as damaging as sending the “Checking in” generic email is sending irrelevant, unhelpful content to a prospect. Both situations indicate disregard for a potential customer’s needs, pain points, and interests, and gives a valid reason for this prospect to ignore your calls and emails. Before clicking “send,” make sure that the content you’re sharing will be helpful and of interest to your prospect. Consider a prospect’s industry, possible pain points, and notable news that could accompany an email, keeping you top-of-mind and making you a valuable resource for a prospective customer.
Focusing on sending relevant, helpful collateral and avoiding company-centric, impersonal content will help you build more positive relationships with prospects and customers alike. Taking the extra time to think about what could be helpful or important to prospects may actually end up saving you time, because you’re more likely to see a response from a prospect with one quality email than a high quantity of generic ones. Stop wishful sending and start thinking critically about what you're sharing with prospects.