If your B2B business is struggling to convert window shoppers into paying clients, then you’ve clearly got a sustainability issue on your hands. But the real question here is why? Shouldn’t a strong business model and a vast network be enough? Not quite…
Business conversions don’t just start happening because you have a solid business model and talented staff. If you want to get serious about moving those leads through your sales cycle, there are three stages you have to know about: acquisition, nurturing, and pitching. A quality writing service can help seamlessly move your prospective clients through these three stages.
1. Acquisition: Educating & Demonstrating Thought Leadership
During the acquisition phase, you aren’t focused on scoring clients. Think of this as a first date, as CEM writer Renee DeCoskey puts it. This stage of the sales cycle is the getting-to-know-you phase; you’re not asking any prospective client to commit to a long-term relationship.
At this stage, any business owner or company exec reading your blog is there because they have a problem. They don’t know if you have the solution to their problem, but through search traffic, word of mouth, or some other avenue, they’ve arrived at your website with the hope that you might hold the answer.
Here’s where thought leadership comes in. Thought leadership, as B2B marketing guru Michael Brenner points out, is critical for gaining leads. I love this quote from Brenner: “Thought Leadership allows us to define the category of our solution.” Like branding, “it’s all about being associated with the questions our buyers are asking.” Right on!
Where Your Writing Service Comes In
Unfortunately, your company’s thought leaders might not have the time to blog – to “associate themselves with the questions.” For most B2B companies, having the top “thought leader” sitting at the keyboard just doesn’t offer the same ROI as when they’re managing accounts and closing scales. Writing services like ours will implement quick interviews and take brief mp3 recordings of your company’s thought leader to produce effective and compelling content.
If you choose to use a writing service in the ‘acquisition’ phase, please don’t settle for anything less than excellent. Your company’s thought leadership can make or break you. As valuable as strong writing can be for generating business conversions, weak writing can harm you just as much by repelling leads.
One final note: Thought leadership isn’t just possible through blogging. You and your writing service can hold live Twitter chats, run social media profiles, design email newsletters, and much more.
2. Nurturing: Offering Real World Solutions
Once you have developed yourself as a thought leader in the eye of your window-shopper, it’s time to start offering real world solutions. You’ve elucidated the problem for your blog-readers and other content consumers. Now you need to start offering real world solutions. Again, this stage is not about you and what you can do – it’s still 100% about your prospective clients.
Pardot, a B2B marketing automation company, runs a terrific B2B blog that targets prospective customers, providing real world solutions to real problems. Check out Pardot’s most recent post, Puppies: The Marketer’s Achilles Heel, to see an example. It’s cute, but professional, and packs information into readable, bite-sized pieces.
I also like Pardot because they do all this with style. Who says a B2B blog has to be impersonal and boring? Whether or not you use a writing service for your company blog, you should be familiar with strategies that can make a B2B blog more interesting. I love these 11 tips from TechValidate – great suggestions!
3. Pitching: Displaying Credentials, Offering Support
Okay… So, you’ve shown your reader that they have a problem (which they already knew). You elucidated that problem, and shared valuable information about how they can fix it. Now what?
This final, third stage is your chance to tell the reader why they should choose YOU. Effectively written content can help convert a window-shopper (who’s now heavily engaged with your brand) into a client.
When your prospective becomes buy-ready, you already have a leg up on the competition because of your established position as a thought leader. Now it’s time for you and your writing service to go for the hard sell, leveraging case studies, detailed information about your company, your pricing model, etc.
This is the point where you really get to talk about yourself. Your writing style shouldn’t change at all at this point – you already have a defined brand that’s garnered respect. What will change is your content. The hard sell stuff your writing service comes up with should generate business conversions through strong CTA’s and persuasive sales copy.
Of course, the real trick is running all three of these stages simultaneously in order to catch leads at all points in the sales cycle. And, that’s where a quality writing service really comes in handy!
Still looking for more help with the sales cycle? Check out our guide (From Hello to Sale and Back Again) on moving through the sales funnel with content marketing.
Will you use a writing service to turn window-shoppers into clients?