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While you’re reading this, I’ll likely be halfway up a stinking hill in the Peak District, uttering unpublishable expletives as I pedal, wondering why I chose to do this with my week off. I’ll also secretly be loving every minute.

Anyway, such is my dedication to you and quality, insightful content that I’m writing this missive late on a Tuesday evening to make sure you don’t miss out. So, let’s get on with it, eh?

Sales funnels, we’ve all seen them, we’ve all likely got one too. But did you know they’re one of the most fertile hotbed of content ideas going? Oh, you did? Well, I’m going to be talking about for the next few paragraphs soooo…maybe switch off for a sec. Make a cuppa. Do some lunges.

Fun with funnels

Here’s an experiment. Get your sales funnel out. Check out your warmest leads. Then tell the story of how they came to be a lead. Ask yourself:

  • How did that lead arrive in your funnel? Was it a phone call? An inbound lead through the website? A referral from a networking event?
  • Who got in touch? Who was the first person to contact you enquiring about your services? What is their role in the business?
  • What were the questions they initially asked? Any lead will have done some online digging around before they got in touch; that’s a given. So what did they want to know when they finally emailed or called you?
  • What’s been the process so far? How many meetings have you had? Who’s been in those meetings both from your team and the client side?
  • Who else has been involved in the process? It’s rare in B2B town that you only speak to one stakeholder before a decision gets made. Small startups maybe, but the SME market, no way. Name the people involved, and their positions within the company.
  • How long have they been in the pipeline? A pretty simple one this, but how long have you been waiting for a purchase decision from them?
  • What are they waiting for? Or, often, who are they waiting for? What’s position is is this sale in? When’s the last time you spoke and how did the conversation go?

Do this for 5-10 prospects. Write down as much detail as you can; get granular.

With that data, you’ll find commonalities between leads. And within those commonalities will be content opportunities. This could be a gap between an exploratory first meeting and a follow up call. Could that space be filled with a specific piece of non-salesy content to keep that client warm?

Is it commonly finance who become the bottleneck for decisions to be made? Maybe a piece on ROI or creating a business case is just the thing the CTO needs to help get your deal over the line.

Do new prospects want to know that you have enough experience in their industry? Perhaps you need to check your case studies.

Ask yourself: What content would help these leads get over the line?

The permutations and possibilities are endless.

Ask a business where they get their leads and they’ll often talk in generalities: ‘Oh, mostly referrals to be honest’ or ‘we get a few through the website.’ Ask them to tell the story of a lead, however, and you’ll get rich, detailed information about real world cases.

It’s this detail that throws up the most interesting results. And it’s the interesting results that throw up the best content.

Try it.

Recommended reading from the Future Content team

Tom Sandford

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/11/hampton-creek-josh-tetrick-mayo-mogul/540642/

Stuart Roberts

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/rabbit-holes/the-repressive-authoritarian-soul-of-thomas-the-tank-engine-and-friends/amp

Callum Dunbar

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/08/science/gregory-berns-dogs-brains.html

Marc Woodland

https://www.inc.com/with-1-brilliant-email-netflix-showed-how-to-deal-with-a-legal-issue.html

 

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I’m the Head of Content for Future Content and the man in charge of words. As a former journalist for a number of publications, from Chat to MailOnline to that’s Shanghai, I have a wealth of editorial experience and a way of making words do good.