A PEO sales team should be focused on identifying new prospects, qualifying new sales opportunities, helping their prospects maneuver through their buying journey, and closing deals. Unfortunately, many salespeople get sidetracked into unproductive activity. One of the biggest productivity drains is salespeople investing time into marketing content and sales collateral.
Salespeople spend an average of 30 hours a month searching for and creating their own content.
Too often salespeople are creating their own custom content for each sales scenario they face. They do this because they understand that the process of selling complex PEO solutions to executive-level decision-makers and business owners requires more tools than just a website, an email address, and a phone. They know that they need additional ammunition to be effective. In fact, sometimes prospects “go dark” or deals are lost because the salesperson simply didn’t have the content required to meet the prospect’s needs.
It may be time to review your marketing content and sales content library to determine if you have gaps and where those gaps may be. To help, we've outlined six ways content can be leveraged throughout the sales process.
How to Use Content to Drive Sales
Ideally at this stage you don’t want to be selling – you want to be helping.
By sharing educational resources (blog articles, eBooks, whitepapers, etc.) that are timely and address the challenges and frustrations your prospects are experiencing, you’re helping them take the first steps toward solving their business problems.
Further, you’re helping them understand what a PEO is and how a PEO’s services can help them.
Sharing information that informs and educates in your introductory email positions the salesperson as a thought leader, your team as subject matter experts, and your business as a trusted solution provider. In doing so, you’re giving them a reason to explore further and take the next step in their buying journey.
2.Secure the First Meeting with a Prospect
Ask any PEO salesperson what their biggest challenge is, and they’ll tell you it’s getting their foot in the door.
PEO salespeople typically do very well when they have an opportunity to tell their story to a qualified decision-maker. The problem is they simply aren’t getting enough “at bats”. Outbound prospecting for new PEO business has always been a numbers game. It used to be that you could make 100 calls to talk to 10 prospects that would schedule 3 first meeting appointments. Today, it’s still a numbers game, but the numbers have just gotten much bigger. You have to make more and more calls to talk to fewer and fewer prospects.
Prospects being more difficult to reach than ever before is one reason traditional outbound prospecting is less effective. Another reason is that salespeople simply give up to soon. They leave a voice mail and send an email and then assume the prospect isn’t interested when they don’t respond. Unfortunately, research tells us that it takes an average of 8 attempts to reach a decision-maker. Salespeople don’t make more attempts because they don’t know what to say on subsequent voice mail and email messages.
A PEOs content strategy should include sales plays that prescribe:
Specific actions (i.e., phone call, email, social media message, “snail mail”, etc.)
Messaging (call guides, voice mail scripts, email templates, etc.)
Sales collateral (blog articles, eBooks, whitepapers, case studies, etc.)
And the recommended cadence to support a “don’t-give-up” approach to prospecting. A sales play provides a roadmap for the salesperson to follow. It tells them what tactic to deploy, when to deploy it, and what to say.
3. Address a Prospect’s Questions, Concerns, and Objectives
PEO prospects have lots of questions.
Let’s face it, understanding how a PEO works, how it can help a business, and the differences between the multiple PEO options in the market can often be an overwhelming experience for a business owner.
A salesperson can establish credibility and earn the prospect’s trust by helping them maneuver through this confusing mine field. Your prospect doesn’t want to be pushed through the process by your sales techniques.
They want to be guided.
They want to be helped and informed by an expert.
A salesperson can become their trusted guide when they become a resource that anticipates their questions and preemptively presents relevant information to address their concerns. And to be a resource a salesperson must have access to a library of relevant content that’s easily accessible and sharable.
4. Nurture a Long-Term “Not-Ready-to-Buy-Yet” Prospect
We all know not every qualified prospect is ready to buy today, or even next month.
But just because they aren’t ready to buy today doesn’t make them a bad prospect. Today’s “not yet” lead can be next quarter’s (or even next year’s) big new client. That’s if you don’t lose site of them. And more importantly if they don’t lose site of you.
One way to ensure that is to continue to be a resource for them. Take note of the topics that originally grabbed their attention and periodically send them content that addresses these areas. Stay relevant and continue to position you and your PEO as thought leaders and subject matter experts. When they’re ready to take the next step, they’ll remember the value you provided.
5. Breathe Life Into “Old Dead Leads”
Every CRM is littered with them – the leads that were generated last month, last quarter, or even last year.
Either you were never able to secure the first meeting or you did and then they went dark. Maybe they didn’t understand your solution, or they got sidetracked with other business issues, or the timing just wasn’t right for one reason or another. Just because the opportunity didn’t result in a signed contract doesn’t mean that they still aren’t a good prospect.
Instead of sending them one more “just checking in” email, send them something of value. It’s amazing how a new relevant piece of educational content can breathe life into a lead left for dead long ago. The key to success is similar to what we’ve already covered.
Don’t give up and continue to educate, inform, and help by actively sharing your expertise.
6. Close The Deal
Before you close the deal, you first have to present the proposal.
The proposal content is no less important than the content that generated the lead, help secure the first appointment, and nurtured the deal. Most salespeople understand this so they invest hours building a professional customized proposal document.
Typically, they’re cutting and pasting from proposals they presented to other prospects in the past. Don’t make them “recreate the wheel” every time. A PEO’s content library should include a proposal template that allows the salesperson to easily customize the offer while saving time and keeping your messaging and brand consistent.
Does your team use the content they need for each of these scenarios?
The two biggest obstacles that PEOs face when evangelizing their services are the lack of understanding of what a PEO is and establishing trust so the prospect feels comfortable sharing confidential details about their business.
A PEO’s content library should address the prospect’s need to be educated and informed and establish credibility and trust through their entire buying journey. With the right content assets, you will improve the efficiency of your sales team, remove friction from the sales process, increase the velocity of deals through the funnel, and close more deals.