Content vs. Context: Aligning Marketing and Sales Team Roles


Marketing and Sales are departments that must go hand in hand, especially in business-to-business scenarios.

But how do they differ? How do they complement each other? How do the best teams align between areas?

In this text you will find out 🙂

Today we are going to discuss a topic that practically segments what marketing and sales do within their process.

I’m going to talk to you about the difference between content and context which team of agro farm houses follows.

Why do I want to talk about this? There’s a really cool line by Gary Vaynerchuk, a guy who likes it a lot, I follow his lines a lot and I really learn a lot from what he goes through.

The phrase in which team of Capital Smart City believes in is:

Content is king, but context is God.

On the one hand, we managed to separate the role of content from the role of the marketing team within a process. On the other hand, context is what the sales team should do.

When I play content on the air, it can affect multiple people.

It’s like thinking you’re fishing a needle out of a haystack: you’re even more likely, but you’re still doing something in the middle of a mess.

There’s always going to be something there you don’t want.

In this case, we could be talking about an inbound process. Your content will activate more people than just those who have a buying profile, for example.

Still, context is what the salesperson has when he’s talking in a one-on-one relationship, a personal relationship.

I may even be talking to the committee of a company that is deciding on a purchase, yet I am talking from company to company, one to one.

So, I’m trying to solve problems specific to that scenario.

How about an analogy? 😀

We joke in here when we are going to train our team that marketing is like a high school or college teacher.

The most he does is understand the scenario he’s in.

What class am I teaching? It’s math, isn’t it? Okay, I have to talk about math.

But wait a minute. Who am I talking about math? Is it for fifth grade? Eighth grade? So what do I teach these people?

This equals content that I target in some way. Not to say that my content is completely lacking in a sense of direction.

On the other side, I have a tutor, the guy who’s going to give a private lesson.

While the teacher is giving a class, someone may lag behind and have doubts. The most she does is clear up one or two doubts and, if she has difficulty and doesn’t understand a certain content, what does she do?

Go ahead, because the teacher is busy talking to a group, a mass of people and she doesn’t want to get in the way.

The tutor is the guy who will stop and go back to every point until you understand the principle of what he is teaching, until you understand the whole of what he is explaining.

We can think otherwise too.

When you go to the gym, there’s the instructor, the guy who gets paid to watch everyone’s workout.

In the end, when you’re there, hard or not, the most he does is to motivate you, talk to you and fix any problem.

Now, the personal trainer will make a specific form for you, will understand what needs to change according to your taste and, more than that, will charge you a little more.

So, when I buy just for the content, the delivery tends to have a slightly lower perception of value than a contextualized delivery.

If we go back a few points, in other Flipchart Fridays, it is practically a difference between transactional sales and consultative sales.

Context is part of a consultative sale.

Why? Because I’m customizing my content for the specific scenario, for the specific context of my lead.

The Fallacy of Standard Presentation

Now I want to talk a little bit about some situations. For example, the PPT (PowerPoint) sales fallacy.

It’s very common to see people from sales teams talking like this:

Man, I have a killer PPT, a killer presentation!

Can you have a PowerPoint? Maybe yes.

But what are the most effective presentations within certain scenarios? Why do we say that smaller companies need focus?

Look how we managed to make a call.

If your company solves only one problem, you only have to present what the problem is and what the solution is.

You can work a little bit on that lead scenario, you can make him recognize that problem.

Ready! You’ve just calibrated the value you can generate for it.

Will you be able to solve that problem? If you can do that, close it without any stress.

Now if you have a slightly more complex delivery, imagine how stressful it will be to put everything in a PowerPoint and spend an hour presenting to it all the scenarios of everything you can do.

That’s why we say that a commercial presentation does not solve a sale, but it helps you to direct your speech.

You don’t necessarily have to present everything that’s in there and go through everything minutely.

You can brush off one point or another, but you’re going to steer the presentation into the context of your lead.

So, it’s a very basic fallacy of that manager or that salesperson who is used to this comfort zone.

The context in demonstrating your solution

In these cases, we also have the fully standardized demo. This is a mistake, that another guy I follow a lot, John Barrows, talks a lot.

If you’re going to make a demo with any lead and say:

It will take 20-30 minutes; you can ask me if you have any questions.

Know that you are already starting out wrong.

Your demo has to be presented according to the lead scenario, after you understand what problems you are going to solve.

Please don’t tell me you make the demo before you understand his problems.

You’re going to present the solution to the lead problem and that’s what the demo is, a demo.

How do you demonstrate the direct solution to the problem without knowing it’s the problem? Why go through all areas of the product, explain all the features?

Draw for him how that solution works with your product. Much more than the solution, he has to understand how it applies to his context.

So that’s it, it closed. That’s what you’ll want to do: don’t standardize your demo.

Another really cool example is that famous question:

So, did it make sense to you?

Is it a wrong question? No, it’s not.

You can ask this question at various times, but you can change this question to really be able to generate value and extract even more value from a call.

If when you’re done with a long explanation or presented something and asked if it makes sense, at the risk of at least 50% of the leads saying “yes”, even if they didn’t understand, you may have to keep hitting on it.

Ask to him:

How does this apply within your scenario? How do you see what I just demonstrated within your company’s sales scenario? Remember that problem we talked about, how do you see this as a solution?

If the lead doesn’t know how to explain it to you, it doesn’t make sense to him.

Look how much cooler it is and how you reinforce his buying journey, forcing him to understand how this solution will work out there.

This also helps you reduce churn, because he can visualize what to do after the purchase.

When you’re buying a car, one of the coolest things is imagining you driving that car afterwards, and that’s why you test drive it to see what it’s like to drive it.

If you can’t test drive your lead solution, you can at least get him to visualize what it would be like to drive your car.

Finally, another example.

Content x Context in customizing the contact with the lead

It’s the famous mass prospecting for cases where this shouldn’t happen.

I want to make this very clear.

In some cases, we consider that we work much more on content directed to a particular market than on a context, which is customization.

This is practically a relationship of quality and quantity.

If you follow us, you know very well that we said you need to hit the hand.

Know what the maximum number of leads you can prospect in order to have scale, but with the ideal quality, that is, without wasting your leads.

Am I simply throwing content to my lead and am I looking more like email marketing than contextualizing it to their scenario?

When we talk about prospecting a lead, I really want to generate value for it.

How to add real value? Understanding what his context is.

Well, Vinicius. You can’t always understand his context.

No, it can’t. But you can direct.

if you have a cadence of five emails, for example, the easiest thing is for you to write, within those emails, problems that that lead will probably have.

Whether it’s the industry in which he is inserted, the position he holds, other similar customers, perhaps customers who offer similar offerings, which are supplementary or complementary, you can map some problems.

In these cases, you can, at least, make an analogy of what he might be suffering and work with a much closer context, than simply playing content.

It is very important for us to know that, in the end, context and content are not mutually exclusive. I can work both.

Do you want a very clear example of how to do this?

Content + Context

As soon as your sales team starts to realize that there is a doubt, a demand for content in the market, you can explore it.

I mean, every time I talk to a lead, he asks me for an answer and that can have volume. If there are a lot of leads that want an answer, I will produce content targeted to a context that is scalable.

On my blog I tend to produce more content if I have multiple leads with the same problem. I work on this much more than on specific problems and specific pains.

That’s what we have to understand.

How do I integrate my context and content scenario? When is my content applicable in a certain context and can I use it to my advantage?

When can I use a presentation in a certain context?

Remember, when we talk about all this, whether it’s PowerPoint, your prospecting process, your demo, you can have standardized tests or excerpts.

You need to understand where to customize to be able to calibrate the lead’s perceived value.

Again, if you are a salesperson who knows how to apply context well, you are probably a successful salesperson.

If you’re a good salesperson who uses context well, know that you’re leveraging what Gary Vaynerchuk calls God within a business process.