Hana Abaza is the VP Marketing at Uberflip, a platform that helps marketers create, manage and optimize content experiences at every stage of the funnel to boost engagement and generate leads. A blend of modern chic, tech geek and entrepreneurial hustle, she combines a data-driven approach with her knack for communicating inspired tech solutions to mainstream audiences to get results.
Say hello on Twitter, but not before getting her take on deal-closing sales content and marketing’s role in the sales enablement process. You'll uncover more than few gems to bring back to your sales or marketing organization in this Q&A (I know I did); so let’s get social with Hana Abaza…
Favorite Sales/Marketing Blog to Follow: Too many good ones to choose from! I love the content our team creates on the Uberflip Hub. Here's one that's out of the box: one of my faves is Tomas Tunguz's blog. While he's not exclusively sales or marketing focused (he's a VC), he writes insightfully about both functions, particularly in B2B SaaS.
Favorite Sales/Marketing Influencer to Follow on Twitter: Again, too many good ones! While I don't have one favourite, @garyvee comes to mind. While most people associate him with "marketing" he's actually got a ton of great insight from a sales perspective. His feed is also quite entertaining :)
Your Philosophy (Life or Professional) in 140 Characters or less: Forget work-life balance. Think work-life integration. Love what you do. :)_____________________________________________________________________________________
In your article, Content is for Closers: How to Leverage Content for Sales Enablement, you write “I’m not talking about bottom-of-the-funnel content versus top-of-the-funnel content. I’m talking about content your sales team can use to help close a deal.” What are some key characteristics of this type of content?
At the end of the day, this means creating content that is addressing that particular buyer’s challenges on an individual level, their pain points and any organizational obstacles.
While in many cases, the “bottom of the funnel” content will address pain points and talk about how your company’s solution can help, in some cases a sales rep may need something else to close the deal.
For example, let’s take Mary, a content marketing manager at Targetly. Mary is evaluating your content marketing platform for her team. Your sales rep has given her a demo, provided all the additional info she’ll need (i.e. bottom of the funnel content) and she loves it!
But the obstacle between the sales rep and closing the deal might be completely unrelated to your product. Perhaps she’s having a hard time getting buy-in from her boss because he doesn’t think content marketing in general is important. In this case, a blog post like this, which would be considered more “top of the funnel”, would be appropriate.
Why is it so important for sales and marketing to communicate and “expose relevant content during the sales cycle”?
Lack of alignment between sales and marketing is an ongoing problem, and has been for years. Communicating with your sales team as they’re taking a prospect through the sales cycle is one of the best ways to uncover some of the challenges your prospect (and sales reps) are facing.
Marketing is a great way to get people to your front door. But the more complex the product or service is the more questions people will have - and as marketers, you need to know what those questions are so you can consistently create valuable content.
If the marketing team only has insight into what buyers are thinking before they engage with a sales rep and after they become a customer, you’re missing a huge step in between! That’s where all the good stuff is. The insight that will uncover why people ultimately decide to say yes and what content needs to exist in order to support this.
What kind of input can reps provide to ensure the content that marketers create is actually used by sales?
I love talking to our sales team about the type of content that’s resonating with their prospects. If communication between the two departments is flowing well, sales reps can have a great impact on the marketing team’s ability to generate high-converting content.
Some of the questions our marketing team loves to ask our sales reps include:
What are the top non-product related questions you hear? (while this may lead to more top of the funnel content, it matters to the buyer, so it should matter to you)
What are the top product-related questions you hear?
What are the biggest individual challenges buyers face?
Are there any organizational challenges the buyer faces? (i.e. legacy systems, resistance to change, company politics)
What are the biggest pain points that prompted them to connect with you?
What are some of the most common hesitations or objections you hear from buyers?
Not only will the above give you more insight into the type of content that will resonate with buyers, but getting their input is also a great way to sell your sales team on content.