Earlier today I watched this webinar by Edelman PR and LinkedIn who have leveraged their high-value network to ask 1300 senior decision makers what difference thought leadership content makes to their buying process. I've highlighted the outcomes in a table below:

In addition to the above, decision makers also confirmed that receiving expert-content has an impact of submitting their details for future information and contacting the vendor directly (lead generation). 

What is quite surprising is the disparity between how much impact sellers think thought leadership has and what buyers say it has. Therefore those organisations that do execute are clearly at a significant competitive advantage. 

Of course your content must be of the quality to impact the potential buyer. Since today's buyers have too much information available and also receive it from more formats that ever, the content provided needs to come from someone that they trust and very relevant to their needs. 

This has been supported through the continued research by Edelman PR and LinkedIn that says the highest performing content must be:

  1. Relevant and Applicable 
  2. Digestible
  3. Delivered by a trusted source
  4. Industry Insights 
  5. Stay current

In a sales situation it becomes quite obvious that those who can deliver the information on what content to produce are those engaging directly with the client (often sales and business development). In addition, the same group should deliver the content since they hold the relationship with the client. 

It also demonstrates that in order to have an effective nurturing and lead generation system you need this content available. Again, it can't be content produced by a team that 'think it is what the client wants', it needs to be far more reactive and timely, given that is what the buyers are asking for. 

I've highlighted the challenger sale description below because it is a valuable framework and used commonly by enterprise clients. With the key elements being teaching, tailoring and taking control the process above can deliver this.

On June 28th we are hosting our inaugural Rainkmaker event in London with those who are responsible for leading their businesses. We will have great examples of the above from leaders at Deloitte, SAP, Fujitsu, AIG, Ketchum, everis. You can find out more here and the registration.