How to Use Content to Master the Modern Sales Pitch

Jennifer Tomlinson
Written by Jennifer Tomlinson / Aug 10, 2021

As Executive VP of Marketing, I work to identify business needs and help QorusDocs’ clients generate revenue more effectively and efficiently. I spearhead efforts to increase brand awareness through digital marketing and client engagement.

We all need to come to terms with the fact that the traditional sales pitch is dead. Yep, dead as a doornail. The power dynamic has changed significantly and today’s B2B buyers are holding the cards. Sales teams must adapt and modernize their approach to create a buyer experience that values buyers as partners.

It’s all about control. B2B buyers now prefer a self-directed digital approach to the purchase process, spending only 17% of the buying journey meeting with sales vendors. They’ve taken online research to a new level, moving 57% through the buyer’s journey before even engaging with a sales rep. Millennials take it a step further, with 44% preferring no sales rep interaction at all!

When 60% of B2B buyers prefer not to interact with a sales rep as their primary source of information and 62% say they can now develop selection criteria or finalize a vendor list based solely on digital content, your sales pitch has to evolve—or those deals will slip through your fingers.

Make it all about the buyer

Given that you now have less and less opportunity to influence customer decisions, the winning approach is to embrace digital sales models, creating an engaging buyer experience that provides personalized, informational content to help guide and support prospects.

Buyers want to know that you’ve got a solid understanding of their business and industry landscape. They gravitate toward vendors that make a concerted effort to understand their goals throughout the buyer’s journey. One B2B survey found that 86% of respondents would be more likely to place an order if a sales rep could demonstrate that they took the time to research and understand the needs of the company. 

So how do you demonstrate this understanding through a digital interface? The trick is to curate digital sales content that aligns with the buyer’s journey. By providing relevant, high-quality content to potential buyers at key stages of the buying journey, your sales team can help guide the prospect to a confident decision.  

Understanding the buyer’s journey

Customers today have a complicated, fragmented, and non-linear path to purchase which makes it that much more challenging for sellers to connect with buyers—and why the right content at the right time makes all the difference.

Gartner describes the stages of the B2B buyer journey as: 

  1. Identify the problem: The business has an issue and a solution must be found. Your product or solution is not even on their radar at this point.

    Buyers in this initial stage are looking to understand their problem. Content shouldn’t focus on your product or solution. Instead, help them define the problem, the cost of the problem to their organization, and the return on investment of the solution. The goal is to become a trusted expert.

    What kind of content works here? Try industry-specific whitepapers, articles from industry publications, or blog posts that talk about business or industry challenges.
  1. Explore solutions: Now that the customer understands the problem, they embark on research into possible solutions—and you want your solution to become top of mind.

    Search rankings, social media, and advertising come into play at this stage. The goal is for your solution to show up in search results with engaging content that instills confidence, creates an emotional response, and demonstrates the viability of your solution for solving the buyer’s problem. 

    Consider a short product insight video, how-to content, or a product guide.
  1. Evaluate the requirements: The buyer outlines what they expect the solution to do for their company.

    As buyers attempt to determine how the solution will function within their own company’s processes and how it will integrate with other systems, they may create an RFP and then evaluate the RFP responses. 

    A trick for getting a leg up at this stage is to help prospects write their requirements. By participating in this process, you can highlight the strengths of your solution and the additional benefits of working with you—gaining a competitive advantage in the process.

    By doing the difficult work of helping buyers create the checklist, understand the timelines, and quantify the impact of the solution, your offering is likely to get fast-tracked to the top of the potential solutions list.  
  1. Select a supplier: “Does this supplier’s solution do what we need it to?” 

    Buyers need to know that your solution can meet all of their needs. At this stage, make sure you dish up premium digital content that establishes your organization as a credible, top-notch company worthy of doing business with. Think thought leadership, industry recognition, and certifications and partnerships.

    What type of content is important at this point in the buyer’s journey? Consider testimonials, use cases, and product demos—and make sure your website, social media, and search presence shine.
  1. Validate the solution: Buyers need to be sure that they’re making the right decision and that your solution can solve their problem. 

    At this stage of the buyer’s journey, buyers have a solution in mind but want to confirm they’re making the right choice. They’re looking for real-world end user feedback and references that prove your solution can solve their problem. 

    Focus on case studies and third-party reviews to validate your solution.
  1. Gain consensus: “This is the solution we need; now we have to get everyone on board.”

    Given the potential number of stakeholders involved in the decision-making, getting everyone on board can be a challenge for your prospect. They must convince the other stakeholders of the merits of the chosen solution.

    Your goal is to provide the buyer with resources that’ll help them gain consensus. Testimonials from happy customers are a useful tool at this stage of the process.

Making life easier for buyers with QorusDocs + Highspot

Many of the six buying stages or ‘jobs’ will be visited repeatedly throughout the buyer’s journey as the prospect bounces around from one job to another in a non-linear fashion. Due to the complexity of the journey, buyers value suppliers that make it easier for them to navigate the purchase process. 

Your job? Support buyers with relevant and engaging content, resources, and tools at each stage of the buyer’s journey to simplify the decision-making process. Whether they’re seeking an industry-focused whitepaper, product demo, or RFP response, today’s buyers move fast and you want to make sure you can provide the value-added, personalized insights they expect when they need it.  

“Access to up-to-date and approved content is crucial for sales teams to deliver real value to customers. Through the partnership of QorusDocs and Highspot, we support our shared customers’ ability to quickly identify and leverage effective content for developing responses to RFPs and addressing buyer inquiries.”  

Jake Braly, VP of Strategic Alliances, Highspot  

By combining the sales enablement power of Highspot with business-critical document generation from QorusDocs, you can quickly and easily create and manage content for your customer-facing teams AND seamlessly complete the sales cycle—from creation to close—with personalized and data-driven proposals and RFP responses:  

  • Automate the response to RFPs, security questionnaires, DDQs 
  • Create a sales presentation, SOW, proposal, and contract with a single click 
  • Bulk-generate documents against your CRM records 
  • Design templates directly in Microsoft Office 

To learn more about you can use tailored content across the buyer’s journey to master the modern sales pitch (with a little help from QorusDocs and Highspot), download our ebook: The Modern Sales Pitch: How to Use Content to Drive Sales.

Mastering the modern sales pitch