Can an educated sales team close more deals?

white papers educate

Introduction

If your sales team doesn’t understand all the features and benefits of your product, you could be leaving money on the table.  Products in the water industry use complex technologies to solve challenging problems

Does your sales team truly understand all the features and benefits of your innovative, earth-shaking, new product?  Maybe not as well as they could.

How can you get them up to speed in time for product launch?  A white paper can do that job.

“A white paper?”, you ask.  Indeed, the water industry publishes white papers for all sorts of reasons.  White papers can:

  • generate leads
  • influence a selection committee
  • redefine a market space through your solution.
  • build authority, credibility, and thought leadership
  • keep up with competitors who have white papers.

Another powerful use is education.  You can educate potential customers, channel partners, and the media.  But most importantly, your own sales force.  They are at the forefront of your marketing strategy – the face of your brand, literally.

Read on to discover how white papers educate your sales force, which can lead to increased conversions.

White papers educate your workforce

The best type of white paper to use to educate will depend on the sales team’s technical sophistication.  Are they trained sales and marketing people?  Or are they qualified engineers?  Credentialed scientists maybe?  A mix of all?  Let’s think about the three main types of white papers and see how they can help educate your sales team.

  1. A problem/solution white paper helps your team understand an industry-wide problem. It then explores the technology in the market that provides a solution.  The white paper then describes and  explains your ‘new’ technological solution.
  2. A numbered list white paper could be used to itemize the features and benefits that you want the sales team to focus on.
  3. A technical backgrounder could be used to provide the team with all the technical features that prove the benefits. Visuals, like graphs and charts, could illustrate the proof.

Then again, you could also mix it up.  Combine two types to come up with something even better.

For educating the sales force, a problem solution combined with a numbered list could be magic.  The problem sections would give the team the information they need to understand the problem and your customers’ pain points.  The solution section would fully define the technology behind your product – the solution.  A numbered list could list and define all the features and benefits in an easy to read and remember format.

Depending on your product and your sales team, a technical backgrounder could also be mixed up with a numbered list.  The background section would provide in-depth technical details about your product.  The numbered list section would list statistics and specifications that the sales team then highlights with customers.

Conclusion

Whatever type of white paper you choose, just be sure not to leave money on the table.  Educate your sales force so they can sell all the benefits of your product.

White papers are a valuable tactic in a content marketing strategy.  Professionally developed and actively promoted white papers can generate leads, build thought leadership and, importantly, educate.

 

 

A persuasive white paper uses simple language to explain complex technologies.  In this free special report, you will discover the true value of a persuasive white paper.

 

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE REPORT

 

 

 

 

Please follow and like us:

Does your water industry writer have these 5 key skills? (continued)

research skills

In last week’s post, we started looking at how to pick a writer.  How to choose the best writer for water industry content marketing.  We saw how important writing skills are.  In this week’s post, we look at Skill #2: Water Industry Knowledge.

Skill #2:           Water Knowledge

This week we discuss another important trait you want in a content writer: water knowledge.  You need someone who knows your industry.  You shouldn’t have to explain the difference between an anaerobic digester and a clarifier.  Or the difference between removing oils and grease from effluent and lowering the BOD.

Integrated wastewater management is complex.  Wouldn’t it be great to find a writer that understood the water industry?  Understood water quality? Understood wastewater treatment and use? Understood water quality regulation?

water industry knowledge

A writer for the water industry must be able to interpret the unique jargon.  As with everything else in the water industry, the jargon is complex.  There is the language used by academic researchers.  There is the terminology used by engineers.  There is the semantics of legislation.  The writer you need understands and interprets this jargon.  And translates it into simple terms.

A writer for the water industry must be able to explain and illustrate large data sets.  Graphs, tables, conceptual diagrams, infographics.  All these tools can help your audience understand complex information.  Your writer must be able to use these tools to accurately relay your data.

That’s the kind of writer that could deliver powerful, persuasive content for the water industry.

 

I am an expert water quality scientist with experience in the water industry. I understand the science behind your solutions.  I can interpret the jargon.  I can explain complex ideas in simple terms and compel your prospects into action.

 

Contact me to discuss your next content project.

CONTACT ME

 

Next week we look at Skill #3:    Understanding the water industry audience 

Please follow and like us:

How can white papers help the water industry?

content marketing goals

Introduction

Are you losing prospects in the long water industry sales funnel?  Do they enter the funnel confidently but then get lost among the treatment options?  White papers help!  White papers have the power to lure prospects into your funnel.  Lure them in and keep them engaged right through to conversion.

White papers helpBut what kind of white paper?  When?

By understanding the sales funnel and how decisions are made when the problem is complex and the solution expensive, the right type of white paper can be chosen for each point in the funnel.

Top of the funnel – generate leads

B2B customers need time and information to make decisions.  And decisions in the water industry are about complex problems that require expensive solutions.

At the top of the sales funnel, the object is to get the attention of potential customers.  Generate leads.

A problem/solution white paper is very effective at generating leads.  First you define the problem your prospects are trying to solve.  You provide quality information about the solutions already in the marketplace.  You then introduce the new type of solution your company provides.

The idea is to provide information upon which a buyer can base a business case – never use the hard sales pitch at the top of the funnel.  Never mention specific products in a problem/solution white paper.

A problem solution white paper is used:

  • To generate leads at the top of the funnel.
  • To educate salespeople and channel partners.
  • To educate analysts, bloggers, and journalists.
  • To redefine a market space.
  • To build mind share.

Middle zone – maintain interest and information flow, build competitive advantage

The middle of the water industry sales funnel can be excruciatingly long.  You must maintain interest without exerting pressure.  Do it by providing controversial, educational, and possibly even entertaining information in a numbered list format.

A numbered list white paper might be a set of tips, points, questions, or answers about an issue.  They tend to provide quick summaries in an easy to read format.

People love numbered lists because:

  • They are easy to scan.
  • You always know where you are.
  • They are an easy read.
  • The structure is clear.
  • You’ve been reading them for years.

Numbered list white papers are relatively quick to produce since they tend to present highlights rather than deep analysis.  The points presented can almost be random with the numbering system holding them together.

A numbered list is especially powerful:

  • To get attention with provocative views
  • To help prospects along that area already in the funnel
  • To cast doubt on your competitors.

A numbered list keeps the information flowing into the middle of the sales funnel.  At its best, a numbered list white paper encourages discussion by introducing sometimes controversial ideas about the problem or about solutions currently available.

Bottom of the funnel – pulling in the sale

At the bottom of the funnel you want to pull in the sale.  A technical backgrounder white paper provides detailed technical information about the features and benefits of your product, process, or service.

A backgrounder has a tight focus on one offering from one vendor.  This type of white paper is also referred to as an evaluator’s guide or a product briefing.  It tends to do one of the following:

  • Explains key features, functions and benefits in more detail than a brochure or data sheet.
  • Explains new, unfamiliar or misunderstood technology to a technical audience.
  • Supports a product launch by explaining the product in technically detailed terms.

A backgrounder-style white paper is powerful in the late stages of a buying decision. It can help the buyer or buying committee make a final decision.  The white paper needs to provide specific details of how the features of your product, process, or service will benefit the buyer.  And how those features will solve their problem.

At this point features are as important as benefits, sometimes even more important.  The buyer needs to know that your product/process/service will solve their problem.

Post Sale – maintain interest and relationships by re-purposing white paper content

After the sale, your content can help build stronger customer relationships. Relationships that can lead to future sales.  After publishing an effective white paper, the content can and should be used to feed other channels.

To establish thought leadership, you must provide new and engaging content continually.  Search engines like Google assess content as well as keywords.  And white papers are expensive. Re-purposing their content makes good business sense.

Each section of a numbered list could become a post on your blog.  They could each be re-reworked into an article in your newsletter. Both the blog post and the article should contain a link to the full white paper on your website.

A problem/solution white paper could be presented at a conference with a PowerPoint slide show.  Several white papers could be tied together and published as an e-book.

Conclusion

White papers can engage and educate your prospects all the way through the sales funnel. They make an excellent call to action in a strategic content marketing campaign.  Prospects who download the white paper are expressing an interest in the solutions offered.  Be sure to collect information when they do.  Then follow up. Follow up. Follow up.

 

A persuasive white paper uses simple language to explain complex technologies.  In this special report, you will discover the true value of a persuasive white paper.

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE REPORT

 

 

Please follow and like us:

Does your water industry writer have these 5 key skills?

research skills

There comes a time in the life of every business when you realize you need a freelance writer.  A time when your key personnel are busy doing the things they do best.  The things that build your business and sell your products.

You know marketing today is focused on the internet as a way to reach potential customers.  And the internet is focused on content.  You have developed a content marketing strategy.  You have worked up a content calendar.

Now you need a freelance content writer.  How do you choose the best writer for water industry content marketing?  In this series of five posts we will explore 5 key skills your content writer should have in spades.

This week we look at Skill #1: Writes Well

Skill #1:           Writes Well.

It would seem obvious but the most important skill you want in a content writer is the ability to write well.  The ability to write clearly and concisely.  But it’s more than that, isn’t it?  The information you need to convey to your prospects is complex.  It’s scientific.  It’s technical.  And the language used in water industry content to provide this complex, scientific, and technical information is often unreadable. That is- it’s hard to understand.

writes well

A few things can make it hard to understand. The most likely is because the language isn’t simple enough.  And that’s important because simpler is easier to understand.  Albert Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

How do you know when your content is readable?  It’s something called the Flesch Kincaid (FK) score.  It is a measure of the complexity of the text.  The score is derived from an analysis of the length of sentences, sentences per paragraph, and the common nature of the words.

writes well

For clear communication, as you want in your marketing content, a FK score of less than 8 is recommended.  In a random sampling of ten water industry websites, the average FK score was 16.

The other important attribute of a readable asset is structure.  The content needs to be presented in a logical sequence that draws the reader, your prospect, right through to the end. To the call to action.

The structure is unique to the type of content, which is unique to the audience.  And the audience changes as they progress through the water industry sales funnel.

Skill #1, then, for a content writer in the water industry is the ability to write well.  The ability to convey complex scientific and technical information in clear concise language.

 

Do you have a white paper or case study that didn’t bring the return on investment you had hoped for?  Perhaps it needs a Readability Revamp.

I am a water quality scientist with fantastic writing skills.  I offer a service that can improve your content’s ROI.  I take the text and bring the FK score down to 8 or below.  I will improve readability without “dumbing” it down. I will help your prospects take the action you desire.

 

Contact me about your content requirements.

CONTACT ME

 

Stay tuned next week for skill #2:        Water Knowledge

Please follow and like us:

Welcome to Water Copy

It’s always been about water…

Ever since I was a kid, I have had a fascination with water.  Swim lessons in the rain in Seattle.  Body surfing off California till our lips turned blue.  Tubing down rivers in Arizona.  Snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef.

That fascination with water has stayed with my all my life.  In my professional life water – quality, quantity, management, and use – is what has captivated me.

And in my professional life I have been well served by my love of reading and writing.  I love to research a topic and find the compelling idea at its core.  And then to prove that compelling idea in simple and concise language.

I love how words can transform complex scientific and technical concepts into stories that engage your prospects.  How stories can persuade, compel, empower

Okay. So, it’s always been about water and words…

I am now a freelance content writer with a focus on industrial water management and use.  I understand the science behind your wastewater treatment technology.  Better yet I understand your prospects and clients.  I understand the challenges they face in managing water and wastewater.  I know their pain points: supply, treatment, compliance.

I can help you communicate your value to your prospects and clients in effective ways.  I can help you build thought leadership in integrated wastewater management.

So, how do you persuade prospects to visit your website, connect with you, to contact you? You need to engage them both emotionally and rationally.  Find the emotionally compelling idea that will spark their interest.  Then prove to them that your solution will solve their problem.

How do you build thought leadership in your niche?  By providing compelling content on a consistent basis.  Allow me to help you with effective content assets: white papers, case studies and newsletters.

WHITE PAPERS

Extensively researched and effectively written, I write whitepapers that nurture leads through the lengthy sales funnel for wastewater treatment plants.  White papers vary in length, style, and investment.   We work together to address information needs at different points in the sales funnel.  We develop a white paper strategy that will pull in leads and nurture them into clients.

CASE STUDIES

I write case studies that tell your success stories.  Given access to the happy customer I craft a story that testifies to your brand. Your solution. These success stories are testimonials to your solutions as well as to what it’s like to work with your company.

 

NEWSLETTERS

Together we develop a newsletter strategy that streamlines the process.  That makes generating a newsletter that people want to read a piece of cake.  Newsletters chock full of meaningful content.  But that also show your personal side.  Your employees, Your impact on the industry and the community.

Let’s work together and create content that will generate leads, and build your brand. No one else researches the problems you solve like I do.  And I will work with you until you are satisfied with the final product.

Please follow and like us:

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)