I just tweeted about a blog post that listed the benefits of thought leadership. One that really caught my eye was “Shortens the sales cycle because buyers have invested psychologically into your service/product before they buy”. Coming from a sales background before moving to marketing, that benefit really resonated with me. And of course if you want your VP of sales and the sales team onboard with your thought leadership investment, with this benefit you need to look no further.
Speaking of sales teams and sales leaders, it’s critical that they buy into your thought leadership initiative. If sales isn’t pushing your thought leadership content, you will only partially succeed. With complex products and sophisticated buyers, sales people will always be the number one weapon.
Finally, some of have blogged about content marketing as fundamentally changing the sales process. I for one believe that getting sales involved with the customer early in the sales cycle is still a major goal of a B2B marketing organization. The concept of content marketing is a good one but many have followed its best practices before it had a name.