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How to Make Content a Sales Closer

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Being able to measure and improve online content can dramatically improve sales conversions. Unfortunately, 70% of marketing content isn't used by sales to progress and close the sale. Therefore, marketers are missing the opportunity to use content to help close the sale.

So, how do we go about taking advantage of marketing content for selling? It starts with marketing and sales agreement on priorities and a strong sales enablement linkage. Next, data mine key insights about customers on the web. Each customer Web interaction builds a story about the total customer experience. This intelligence can be used to refine marketing and sales content.

An online text chat, a request for support or a registration for a webcast tell us a lot about a customer's preferences. They help sustain interest, build prospect lists and collect valuable customer intelligence.

Once a visitor registers for an offer, they express interest that can be helpful in tracing their buyer's journey. For existing customers, traceable actions include the customer's purchase history, needs and preferences. For new prospects, key words and referral URLs help us adjust marketing content to target more effectively.

With help from Web analytics we can move beyond click streams to understand task and goal completion, registrations and engagement rankings. Over the past year innovations in business intelligence like self-service tools, interactive visualization, predictive analytics, Big Data analysis and cloud-based delivery models have opened access to a fortress of valuable insights that can help identify trends, shifting demand and even new market opportunities.

Although applications vary in complexity, it's important to track and analyze the online interactions. What are the most popular topics, videos, sales demos, reports and online tools? Where should we place these on the page? Testing and measuring results can help improve results. By using what we learn, we improve the response conversion to leads and relevancy of the content to our visitors.

Through these customer insights, we can adjust our product development and sales efforts to meet the shifting needs of customers. Many tools exist to help us understand customer behavior, from Google Analytics to SPSS, Radiant6, IBM Business Analytics and SAP Business Intelligence solutions.

Steve Diorio, founder of Profitable Channels. has developed a content assessment to assist in determining effective sales content. Having a personalized Web experience across the web and mobile channels, targeted content by visitor persona and responsive processes within your organization will build relationships and strengthen loyalty to the company overall. Online and mobile Interactions lead to increased revenue, higher customer satisfaction and sales.

Are you doing everything needed to make your content compelling and respond to the online intelligence from your visitors? Compelling content and Web analytics can help close the sale.

Pam A. Evans is a global marketing practitioner and former IBM executive who advises clients on how to leverage websites, content, tools and resources to positively impact the bottom line. She may be reached at pam@pamevans.net.

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