In collaboration with SDRevolution we’ve created a two-part series detailing the importance of why SDRs should create content and what it could look like. Here in part one, we dive into the importance of SDR-created content and the process behind creating impactful assets.

In part two, SDRevolution dives into the detailed process of creating those assets and what an SDR might go through as they journey into the world of content production. They also provide some real life examples. Check it out here!

 

Should SDR’s really care about making content? Isn’t that marketing’s job?

This mentality has done nothing to serve salespeople over the years, so we propose that sales teams work alongside marketing to create content that prospective customers want to interact with. Sales teams have insight into what buyers want more than anyone else at an organization, so if your sales development team isn’t spending time creating content, they’re missing out.

Who else in an organization experiences real time updates to industry trends as rapidly as sales development representatives? No one, I’d argue! They’re on the frontlines of sales, constantly hearing what’s changing and what’s new. By leveraging this insight, both sales and marketing can benefit.

 

What Is Different Between SDR Produced Content and Marketing Produced Content?

SDRs already have a ton on their plate. Their jobs are often extremely demanding, and prospects can very quickly leave them feeling down. On the flip side, their days can be exciting when prospects respond positively to copy tweaks, or AEs congratulate them on finding quality prospects and booking stellar meetings.

SDRs, in no way, are expected to replace the content that marketing is creating. That’s their job, of course! In order to position themselves as experts in their field, SDRs need to spend time creating quality, personal content that shows prospects they are real people with real solutions. With all the outreach that happens today, it’s understandable that buyers are going to prospect you just as much as you’ve prospected them. Having real life stories, anecdotes, failures, and thought pieces attached to your name shows buyers you can be trusted and that you’re a real person.

SDR produced content is more personal and short form than content produced via marketing. Marketing is often mapping out content months in advance, with massive strategies behind the lift. SDRs should not feel obligated to do that. That is overwhelming and not in the job description. However, SDRs have insider information and know what buyers want to know. By having a catalogue of self produced content, SDRs are armed with additional material they can provide to prospects at various points along the buyer journey.

“Hey, I see that you’re the content director at FunSchools Software. We actually worked with another content director in the e-learning industry. Wrote this piece that touches on how we helped them roll out an SEO strategy. It’s short and sweet.. thought you might like it!”

SDRs then get to lead with conversations like that ^, instead of inauthentically jumping right into the appointment.

General Rules for SDR Content

These are different from the rules for marketing. Because they’re drawing primarily from personal experiences, they have less of a marketing rubric to follow. In order to be valuable, they should:

    • Not be promotional
    • Be authentic
    • Be bold and set the tone
    • Promote ideas and values, not products
    • Have an original point of view
    • Use failures as an advantage
    • Understand the audience
    • Take advantage of the right platforms

Being a thought leader means leading via your thoughts, not your features. That’d be called a “feature leader” – which isn’t a real thing for a reason.

 

What Types of Content Can an SDR Create?

Prospects want to see themselves in stories. They want to know that they’re in a situation that has existed before, with a clear arrival route and an even clearer way forward. As an SDR, that mentality needs to be the goal of your writing (almost always). Here are some prompts to get you noodling:

How have you helped prospects identify a problem they didn’t know they had?

Uncovering an issue for a client is one of the most challenging parts of outbound sales. Of course, when it comes to inbound, you’re already partly there if the client has come to you (even then, it still takes effort to highlight an issue). As an outbound SDR, part of your job is to illuminate problems that your clients might not know they have. How have you done this before? Perhaps create content around common signs that people in the industry you serve experience before turning to you. This might be something you work with customer success on since they likely dive deeper into ongoing issues with clients than you do on sales conversations.

Think of how you’ve helped clients identify issues. Write about that! You don’t even need to name names (unless a client gives explicit permission) to effectively tell the story of how a problem was identified.

Remember, not every post needs to cover every single situation. That’s the beauty of your content! You control how much is written and how often. So you can dedicate one post to the minutiae of one problem.

The absence of your solution:

Paint a picture of what it would look like for a prospect if they don’t deploy your service. Sometimes the absence of something is more powerful than the abundance of it. Show what their world would look like if they neglect to address an issue. Avoid turning your content into feature spitting, because that’s promotional, and no one wants to read that..

Trends in your industry:

How has your industry changed over the last year? It’s definitely changed over the last 6 months, that’s for sure. Now, how do you feel about it, and what do you think the lasting impact will be? Write about that. You’re allowed to have an opinion and a stance and should absolutely talk about it. It shows that you’re a dynamic person, with thoughts and critiques. Buyers want to do business with people like that.

Summaries of case studies:

There are undoubtedly case studies up on your company site (if there aren’t, talk to marketing about that!). If the case studies are public (and not gated), that means talking about those clients is fair game. Give a summary of those case studies. You don’t want to regurgitate exactly what is there, but you can talk about the case study in a new way. How did the clients feel before/after your solution? What was onboarding like for them? What does their company do? Make sure you give them a proper shoutout. People can read about the full case study on your site, so make sure you’re giving a new stance on it.

Failures and Hurdles:

Think about your favorite fictional characters. Did they win every time? Were they always on top? Probably not! They most likely experienced hardship and errors. Guess what? People want to read about that. They want to read the messy details. The things that failed. People want to know about the tactics you tried that didn’t quite work. It’s exciting to root for the underdog, and not that you need to position yourself as this forlorn underdog, but the more you share about things that didn’t work, the more honest you appear.

 

The Future of Content Marketing

Content marketing is constantly changing, and what works today very well might not work by the end of your next quarter strategy. That being said: Creating good content will always be a winning move. Whether it’s a well positioned photo on Instagram, a thoughtful piece of honest entrepreneurship on LinkedIn, or a life update on Facebook, people care about good content and good storytelling. For SDRs today, that means create content that is honest and compelling, and you’ll come out on top.

We do have some content marketing predictions about what the world will look like over the next year and how SDRs can adapt:

  • Socially Conscious Content: Buyers are loyal to brands that align with their values. That doesn’t mean all your content should be related to personal viewpoints, but your ethos and brand values should shine through in your content. If you work for a company that doesn’t let you believe in something, then ditch them. They’ll probably collapse soon anyway.
  • User Generated Content: B2C customer expectations drive B2B sales trends. This is because B2C organizations are really good at getting customer feedback and getting customers to talk. Whether it’s good or bad, it’s helpful to have reviews and live use cases available. SDRs should take this knowledge into the content they create. It’s not the easiest form of content, but its payoff can be huge. Perhaps consider interviewing clients that you’ve helped who have become closed won deals. Why did they pick your company? Tell their story with them. Perhaps consider interviewing clients that you’ve helped who have become closed won deals. Why did they pick your company? Tell their story with them.
  • Podcasting: If your company doesn’t have a podcast and you work with a cast of characters, think about initiating a podcast. 
  • Videos: It may feel like we’re saturated with video content, but we’re just getting started. Think about how, as an SDR, you can create video content for your brand. Perhaps you start an Instagram dedicated to you, the SDR, and the tips you have. Maybe it’s something a group of you start together.

 

SDRs have a tedious role. They’re brand ambassadors, first points of contact, yelled out and spoken down to, and scrutinized heavily. They’re also vital to the revenue generating departments. Help them create quality content, and everyone wins.

RevenueZen has been helping companies create quality content for buyers at every stage of the funnel. If your inbound or SEO departments could use some work (or don’t exist yet), contact us.

Jake Moffett

Jake is the Growth Manager at RevenueZen. He works with a number of entrepreneurial clients to help them tell their personal stories as it relates to their professional brands. He has three cats, loves bread, and is a pop singer under the name Jame Doe.