The question comes up time and time again: Should salespeople be blogging?
After sales thought leaders Frank Belzer, Rick Roberge, and Pete Caputa debated whether or not sales reps should be blogging, I decided I'd chime in with my own experience.
Spending seven years on the phones as a sales rep myself, I have to admit that starting a blog this year has totally helped me sell better.
A buddy of mine on the HubSpot sales team – John Sherer, shown dashingly in the stock photo of this post– and I started sellinbound.com in March, and over the past few months, it's helped me in the following three areas.
1) Blogging builds sales credibility.
Let's face the hard truth: Many prospects believe that sales reps are just brainwashed to pitch what the company wants. Those of us working in modern sales environments know that we work for companies we believe in and get to sell accordingly.
So when I'm jumping on a sales call and someone asks me a question about my industry or why the strategies I'm pitching work, I point to my sales content. This shows them that my ideas aren't just a rehearsed pitch. If I'm publicly sharing my ideas out to the world, it means I actually believe in them. That can go a long way in building trust with your prospect.
This can also translate into opportunity nurturing. If a prospect is subscribed to your blog content (or simply sees it shared through social), you become a repeated thought in their mind rather than just another sales rep. This provides them with even more opportunity to see you as an advisor or to simply re-engage with you.
2) Blogging attracts prospects.
When you're on the phone as often as we are, we end up answering the same core questions over and over again. But if you spend an hour gathering those top prospect questions and answering them in a blog post, potential prospects searching for those answers online will end up on your blog posts. Here are some examples:
Answers to Your Top 10 Questions About Social Ad Software
Five Facts You Didn't Know About Peanut Butter Consumption
Here's Why You Can't Just Use Any Old Design Tool
As I've learned from my pals in marketing, search engine optimization is no longer about keywords – it's about topics. And if you're posts are hitting on the topics your prospects are hunting for, you're naturally attracting potential customers. Just make it easy by providing them with a way to contact you at the end of the post.
3) Blogging ensures you know your stuff.
Sometimes, when I'm on a call, I feel like I'm talking out of nowhere. Even though I went to the internal sales training and listened to all the information product marketing shot at me, I never took the time to truly formulate my thoughts.
Blogging allows me to digest the information sent my way and ensure my thoughts and ideas are complete. It oftentimes challenges me to think about a different side of a buyer objection, which, in turn, helps me articulate proper rebuttals to them on actual sales calls.
That being said, I've definitely heard opposition to blogging as a sales tool. Here's one comment that stuck out prominently in a recent LinkedIn Sales Group discussion:
"I don't think sales people should be given the opportunity to do anything but sell. Give them a blog and they'll take liberties ... all of a sudden, out comes a comment that is taken as an opinion – not from the sales rep but from your company. You can fire the sales rep but you can't repair a reputation that easily.
Since few people take advice like that, I say go ahead and try it – see what happens – if it's the last thing your business does."
What's your take on this debate? And if you've tried blogging as a salesperson, what has or hasn't worked for you?
Originally published Dec 10, 2013 9:30:00 AM, updated July 28 2017