There’s no question about it: the buyer’s journey has changed in recent years, and data centers must modify their sales approach if they want to expand their client base.
Gone are the days when cold calling and direct mail yielded outstanding results, and consumers trusted the advice of sales staff implicitly. In fact, most people already have their minds made up before they even approach a salesperson.
How can a data center sales team remain relevant to buyers who are now more discerning and independent than ever before? By adding value to their journey via interesting, engaging, and educational content at each stage of the research process.
The Awareness Stage
At this point, buyers realize they have a need or a problem that a data center’s services can solve. To achieve relevance for them at this stage, use online content aimed at helping them identify their needs and how the company’s services can assist. Examples include:
- Infographics that clearly illustrate the features, advantages, and benefits of a service
- Short and informative whitepapers
- Checklists that allow the potential client to identify possible solutions
Data center sales and marketing teams should work together to bring awareness to what the company offers so buyers can appreciate what it is and how it can help them. Content should focus on solving customer problems instead of touting the center’s services.
Searching for Solutions
Also known as the Consideration phase, buyers at this stage are looking around, getting ready to commit to a service package—usually because they experienced an event that emphasized the need for one; perhaps they experienced a natural disaster and were recommended offsite data storage, or they encountered a major system failure in the office. Content likely to appeal to them includes:
- Case studies demonstrating how the data center solutions solved similar issues
- eBooks and blog posts serving as how-to guides
- Testimonials and peer reviews
The data center sales staff can present themselves as competent and trustworthy advisors to these potential clients by publishing blog posts, social media announcements, and other relevant content to inspire a future advisor-client relationship. They can also send out more targeted information or supply content that can only be accessed via a conversion.
Ready to Buy and Meet Data Center Sales Teams
At this point, buyers are becoming serious about making a decision. They will reach out to their preferred options and involve their IT department and other parties who will play a role in transitioning client resources to the data center. Content in this stage should emphasize what the data center can do and why the potential client should choose them. Examples include:
- Free trials and service demonstrations
- Invitations to gated webinars
This is the stage where sales materials should become brand-specific. Positive experiences of previous customers count for a lot; detailed case studies should be displayed to show potential buyers what others have achieved by choosing a particular data center and how beneficial their choice was.
The Bottom Line
An important part of success is understanding how buyers make purchasing decisions. It starts with awareness, which is when people define a need or problem and progress to consider potential solutions.
Finally, a solution has been decided upon in the decision or commitment stage, and the buyer is evaluating different providers. When a data center delivers content that adds value to each stage, they will remain competitive and thrive.
Does your sales and marketing team customize content to maximize value for all stages of the buyer’s journey? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments box below.