The more expensive your product or service, the more complex and lengthy your sales process is likely to be. When you ask a copywriter to draft a marketing piece to support sales, you should be ready to provide a detailed description of that sales process, because each marketing piece supports a particular step.
The purpose is the same for each marketing piece: to provide the information necessary at this juncture to move the prospect on to the next step.
The challenge is to know exactly what information is needed for this particular reader and how this reader is best directed to the next step.
The well-documented sales process meets this challenge.
Here’s a simplified example that can serve to illustrate this step-by-step process. The example assumes a high-value B2B product.
Step 1. Direct mail package sent to carefully-selected prospects. Call to Action (CTA) is to request more information.
Step 2. Telephone call from sales person to responding prospect answers questions, qualifies the prospect, and offers appropriate white paper.
Step 3. Email follow-up confirms receipt of white paper, answers more questions, and sets appointment for face-to-face meeting.
Step 4. In-person meeting includes more involved parties: an executive, concerned staff member, etc.
Step 5. Email follow-ups and/or information pieces address specific executives’ or staff members’ questions, and set an appointment for conducting a demonstration or preparing a proposal.
Step 6. Formal demonstration or presentation of capabilities is made to combined audience of decision makers and influencers.
Step 7. Contract/purchase order is executed.
This is a simplified example. In reality, most B2B sales processes have many more steps. As the process moves forward, additional people are brought into the equation and each may have different questions and require different information in order to move the process along.
For example, the actual user of the product wants to know certain of its capabilities. The finance executive, called in to approve the purchase, wants to know costs and terms.
The well-documented sales process helps the marketing copywriter present the right information to each different person, in the right order and best format and with the right “tone and manner.”
As a bonus, the well-documented sales process gives your sales team a way to focus on improving their performance, too.
Looking for marketing writing? Be ready to take a close look at both your ideal sales process and the variables typically injected by the customers’ buying processes.