There are three unique B2B (business-to-business) content ideas you can include on your website that will help you cut through the clutter and sell deals faster.
The Goal: challenge the way your prospect makes the buying decision.
The easiest way to do that is with authoritative content pieces.
The three pieces of content your website should have will tell your prospects: 1) Why accepting proposals is a bad idea; 2) The danger of letting finance/procurement make the decision; and 3) How to select the best solution for their business.
If you include this information up front, you have cut through wasted time, and promoted a dialog between yourself and the prospect. You have given them the information they need to choose the best solution. You are their valued guide.
The Primary Goal of B2B Content
I want you to be more confrontational with the content you create and more confrontational about the status quo that your client will accept.
Why is this so important?
Your client has existing momentum in the way that things have always been. They are big, they are bad, and they've got the budget and they'll do whatever makes sense to them. If they're allowed to solve this new problem the way they've always solved it, they will end up with just another color of the same status quo.
You cannot allow them to do this. Your job is to stop them from doing what they normally do, and get a brand new result. That's why they're asking for help. So they need your particular expertise, but you need a way of establishing and articulating your expertise so that both sides can hear each other well, so that both sides can have the best project possible.
Content Type #1: Explain Why Accepting Proposals is a Bad Idea
There should be a piece of content on your website that articulates why accepting proposals is a bad idea. In our gut we know this is true, but let's see it as a process so we can better articulate where it breaks down.
In your client's world, they're experiencing some symptoms that are uncomfortable. Sooner or later, they realize that there is a problem that they have to resolve. But then, they have a series of additional meetings discovering what they think the problem is and gathering some requests for proposals.
When they finally put out a request for proposals, all kinds of unfamiliar people send information. Your client has to vet all that data. All those people, all their thought processes, and all those different options.
Then they have additional conversations, figuring out who they liked the best. This probably requires additional meetings to discuss which proposals make the most sense, which ones they should choose, which ones need to be interviewed, who should get a chance to pitch, just so there can be an additional back and forth, to finally make a decision about what they might do or might not do.
How long is this process? Weeks, months, or even years? Is it actually in your client's best interest to go through all of those steps like that?
They need a better way of moving through, finding the actual problem, getting the right proposals inbound, discerning which proposals make the most sense, having the appropriate follow up and making that decision. They need help moving through this process. Why can't your company be the company that helps them navigate this better? It's just simply more effective. It leads to a clearer, sharper decision, which is more profitable for all involved.
Draft out what this looks like for your particular company in your particular niche. Show them that you understand, show them where you can help them be more efficient at all of these essential steps. Why wouldn't they accept that help, once they trust that you understand it? That becomes your core content piece number one.
Content Type #2: Explain the Danger of Letting Procurement Make the Decision
Content piece number two should be the danger of letting procurement select your next “X.”
Let's play this out. Your client is typically used to getting RFPs. They've got a whole process for it. That's where they're comfortable. What normally happens after that? So they get all these RFPs. They vet them, find a top three. Then, those top three get turned over to finance or procurement. Different companies call it different things - but it’s the department that handles the money.
Now procurement decides which vendor they end up working with. But what happens? Procurement makes a cost-based decision. They figure out who costs the least amount of money, and make that choice. That's what makes sense. That's their accountability.
But the problems with this are:
- Procurement is not responsible for the outcome of the project. That's not their problem.
- They don't know what the end result needs to look like. They don't necessarily understand what all the moving parts are to get to the appropriate end goal. They make a decision while lacking important information.
- Procurement doesn't understand the actual scope of work. What's required?
So when procurement looks at these top three proposals, do they have the ability to discern which scope of work is best? Does procurement know that certain things don’t happen, other mistakes may show up and cost additional money later on? Procurement is at the risk of making a decision without having all the appropriate information. Their choice could break the project.
You need to advise how this process unfolds. You need to make sure that all of the appropriate decision makers have the right information so they can make the best and most profitable decision.
Your client will not let you influence this process unless they're clear that you understand it. So content becomes your vehicle of reflecting how you understand your client's decision-making process.
You cannot let your client delegate this important decision to procurement. Now, we're not trying to make enemies in the finance department. What we're saying here is that cost can't be the only metric we use to make the best decision.
Content Type #3: Explain How to Select the Best Solution for Their Business
Content piece number three should help your client choose the best option.
We know that in reality, you live in a world of competitors. Your client has choices. They have to choose between different options so they can make the best singular decision. Help your client understand why they would choose your company over another company.
Now here's a short warning to you. You can't brag your way through this conversation. This is normally where companies start boasting, "We've been in business for so long. We've got team members that do all these different things. We're prepared to do A, B, C on your behalf. Just trust us and we can help you." Bragging is not part of the criteria that your client is considering.
You need to help your client understand the value of a verified problem. So given the options available to your client, which of those choices does the best job of verifying their problem? Because they may have a yellow problem, a red problem, or a blue problem. Which of these choices helps them best verify which color of problem they actually have? You need to help your client verify which goal is most valuable to them because there are red goals, blue goals, yellow goals.
Which of those goals matter most to your particular client? Help your client value a clear path. There are many different services they could buy, things they could do, but which one of these options provides the clearest roadmap to the goal that they actually want? Their choice should be the clearest path to the end result that they prefer.
What's important here is that you offer up a specific third-party, objective point of view. Your client's problem belongs to your client, and your client needs to make the best decision possible. Help them see their choices. And if they have a red issue, they should choose the red option, yellow for yellow and blue for blue. Put that in front of your client in content, right up front.
Make the Decision Making Process Easier
If you happen to offer the red option and your client admits that they have a red problem, now they've decided for themselves that you are the choice they should be going with.
But if your client has a blue problem and you offer the red solution, you should encourage them to go select the blue solution.
What's really important here is that you reflect an understanding of how your client makes decisions and which decision is the healthiest, most appropriate for your particular client. Being seen as the advisor, being seen as the expert will put you in their good graces for future projects to come.
You cannot let your client make these complex choices on their own, because if they knew how to solve their problem, they'd be solving for it already. The reason why they're asking for help is that they don't quite know what to do. Your job is to be the guide that they need, and you can gain their confidence and establish your expertise through B2B content.