shutterstock_93218332As sales reps, we’re constantly leaning on marketing’s resources to create sales enablement tools. But today’s marketers are talking about content marketing. The typical purpose of a content marketing approach is to generate leads, so how can you use it to overcome sales objections? It’s our job to guide prospects through the decision making process, so how can thought leadership content help us do that?

Thought Leadership? What is it? How do you become a leader?

A thought leader is someone who is trusted in his or her industry. This means people read their blogs, retweet them and religiously hang onto their every word on social networks. On top of that, they are tapped for their expert knowledge on a regular basis.

Becoming a thought leader is not inherently difficult, but it does take some dedication and time. It involves regularly producing and distributing high-level content to readers. Getting readers to trust you as you a thought leader means regularly proving that you can be trusted. You give readers the latest scoop on trends and sea changes in your industry. You are the go-to person.

How Can Thought Leadership Help You Overcome Sales Objections? 

Some of the most common sales objections include hesitance over price, misunderstanding of benefits in comparison to competitors, and constant deadline delays. A traditional marketing department will arm sales reps with polished competitive comparison tear sheets and irresistible price promotions. A content marketing team will work with more subtlety. While your prospects deliberate, a content marketing team will push thought leadership pieces to your prospects through retargeting ads and email nurture campaigns. If your content marketing team has built sufficient thought leadership, your prospects will encounter information from your company when they research your competitors. Your prospects will encounter your brand on their own turf, as opposed to through pointless marketing emails intended to get to the top of their inbox.

Common Thought Leadership Platforms 

Blogs – The more posts on your corporate blog, the more resources your prospect has to turn to. If you prospect faces a specific issue that your products are perfect primed to solve, your blog should cover that topic. When you need a reason to reach out to a prospect, you can send them a blog post that recommends a solution to their problem. This type of email positions you as someone who wants to help; not just someone who wants to sell.

Social Media – This is where you take your knowledge to the streets and open up a dialog with other businesses. For all intents and purposes, social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+ are where the rubber of your product meets the road of the market. You should absolutely engage prospects on social media as often as possible, and simultaneously promote content so your prospects can find useful resources while interacting with you online.

Conclusion 

So why is thought leadership better than sales enablement to overcome objections? People trust you, so when they see your product they can refer to your extensive industry knowledge to ensure that you will not promote and deliver a product that is less than stellar. Thought leadership is the new currency of the sales process. Embrace it. Respect it. Own it.