It offers a basic 4 step process to benchmark your demand generation content.  Demand generation content refers to web pages, blogs, eBooks, white papers, webinars, newsletters, and many others.  Its role is to generate leads.

 

Your prospects decide if they are going to buy from you, or your competitors, before they meet you.  Their opinion is formed through self-education.  This fact is supported by the brightest minds, such as:

 

  • The Sales Executive Council- here.
  • Customer Think- here.
  • Inc. Magazine- here.

 

Some of you, especially CEOs of growth companies, have yet to recognize the magnitude of this fact.

 

If your competitor’s content is better than yours, you will get outsold. Prospect buy differently today. Content marketing has gone from a nice-to-have to a must-have in 2012.

 

Here is a story for you to explain what I mean.

 

I got a call from a CEO of an $80 million IT services company.  He tells me “sales results are down and I don’t know why.”   He was contemplated replacing his VP of Sales and wanted my opinion.

 

 I asked Ryan to mystery shop this company, and its competitors. Ryan, posing as a prospect, engaged with the sales teams to see if there were differences in the sales approaches. There were. The competitors’ sites were visited by prospects 6x more. The competitors’ prospects were of 3x higher quality. The competitors’ had 7x the amount of content attracting prospects.

 

I told the CEO to keep his sales leader. The drop in results was not his fault. The competitors were winning deals before his sales force knew these deals were in play. Prospects make it into your funnel if they stumble into your content. This CEO was missing the number because his content was not attracting enough prospects.

 

Marketing now owns the beginning of the sales process.  Your blog, white papers, webinars, and eBooks must be your best sales people.

 

Is your demand generation content better than your competition?

 

Here’s how to find out:

 

Step #1

Perform a content audit.  An example:

 

demand generation content audit buying process 2

 

  • Note- Without an understanding of how your prospects buy, you cannot develop demand generation content well. Contact Tony Zambito at tony.zambito@salesbenchmarkindex.com if you need help determining how your prospects buy.

 

Step #2

Perform an audit of your competitors.  An example:

 

website content demand gen

 

Step #3

Mystery shop your competition.  Pose as a prospect.  Learn how the competition uses their demand generation content to sell. Here is an example comparing two competitors from the above, ScriptPro vs. Kirby Lester:

 

demand generation competition

 

Step #4

Interpret the differences.  Here are some findings from the above case study:

 

1-      We filled out a form on each site. Both vendors responded inside of 90 minutes.  This indicates the presence of a lead development team.  A LDT sits between marketing and sales.  Their job is to turn leads into opportunities. This suggests a marketing department skilled at capturing interest and following up.

 

2-      We called into each 888 line.  ScriptPro performed better than Kirby Lester. The ScriptPro rep qualified us and asked for a sales appointment.  The Kirby Lester rep did not qualify us and did not secure the next sales call. Advantage ScriptPro.

 

3-      We asked each for pricing information. ScriptPro beat Kirby Lester. The rep from ScriptPro sold the way we wanted to buy. He met our request.  Kirby Lester refused to give us a price.  He put his needs ahead of ours.  We got off the phone with no intention of engaging with Kirby Lester further. They were difficult to do business with.

 

  • Note: Mystery shopping takes skill.  The above is an oversimplified example.  A true mystery shop goes much deeper.

 

The purpose of this article is to help you to get more demand in 4 quick steps.  A summary of the key points is as follows:

 

  • Prospects decide if they are going to buy from you before they meet you.
  • Your demand generation content needs to outsell your competitor’s content.
  • Mystery shopping allows you to benchmark your content vs. your competition.

 

What do you do now?

 

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Greg Alexander

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Greg Alexander

Leads the firm's focus on the CEO’s role in accelerating revenue growth by getting the product team, the marketing department, and the sales organization into strategic alignment.

Greg is the host of The SBI Podcast, the most listened to sales and marketing podcast on the internet.

 

He is the host of SBI TV, a monthly television program broadcast on the internet featuring top B2B sales and marketing leader sharing their strategies to grow revenues.

 

Greg is the Editor-in-Chief of The SBI Magazine, the leading B2B publication focused on sales and marketing effectiveness.

 

He is the author of two critically acclaimed books Topgrading for Sales and Making the Number.

 

Greg has authored over 100 articles on SBI’s award winning blog, The SBI Blog.

 

He graduated from The University of Massachusetts Amherst with a BA in English and received his MBA from Georgia Tech.

 

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