Creating Content as an SDR

creating content as an sdr

In collaboration with RevenueZen we’ve created a two-part series detailing the importance of why SDRs should create content and what it could look like. In part one, RevenueZen dives into the importance of SDR-created content and the process behind creating impactful assets. Check it out here!

In part two below, we dive into the detailed process of creating those assets and the process an SDR might go through as they journey into the world of content production.

What Types of Content Can an SDR Create?

When you hear the word ‘content’ it often conjures up the image of whitepapers, eBooks, datasheets, and other forms of long-form assets. However, SDR created content doesn’t have to take on that form. Posting on LinkedIn, creating graphics on Canva, or crafting a highly-personalized email all fits under the umbrella of ‘content.’

SDR created content also doesn’t take months to plan, edit, and promote. All of the examples below cover content you can create quickly and easily to accelerate a sales cycle or answer questions from your prospects. Plus, they’ll help you start brainstorming ways you can create content on a more regular basis.

Helping Prospects Identify a Problem They Didn’t Know They Had

This is all about illumination. The best way to go about illuminating potential problems is by making some broad assumptions that are based on past experiences.

For example: This is a 50-200 person company in the education space, and I’m talking to their IT Director. What other examples can I draw on when ideating the potential challenges this company is facing? How can that be delivered?

Instead of writing up a full case study (that’s marketing’s job!), come up with a “caselette,” or a less detailed case study, to share with your prospect.

(You don’t have to name names, but it would be easier if you did.)

It’s all about the story. What were the prospect’s pain points? How did you help solve them? What was the outcome? Focusing on a few main points will help you limit the size and scope of what you create, but focus it for one prospect in particular.

Check out our example of a ‘caselette’ here:

We recommend that you create something like this in Canva – it’s free, easy to use, and allows you to create templates instead of starting from scratch for each new piece of content.

The best part about this is SDRs don’t have to create anything ‘net-new.’ They can choose to just pull data and information from existing case studies to create a custom caselette.

If they do want to make their ‘own content’ it’s easy enough – have a spreadsheet built out where you constantly add examples of challenges you helped overcome. Categorize it by industry, persona, company size, etc.

That way you can customize each caselette you send out. Easy enough to pop open the template in Canva, and just copy/paste from your spreadsheet.

The Absence of Your Solution

Look no further than this graphic here:

You want to sell someone on both:

  • What their life would look like without your solution
  • What their life could look like with your solution

If you pop this graphic into Canva and break it down by each element so it’s editable, you can sub in your solution, the prospect (both before and after), and the text.

For example, this template…

Becomes this:

You’re showing the prospect what life is like now (challenging, something blocking their way), and what their life is like after your solution (successful, able to accomplish their goals).

Showing, not telling, is the key to making this content successful. And this is something you can whip up quickly to help make a point or show value to your prospects.

Trends In Your Industry

This one is probably the easiest to work with.

There are TONS of articles out there that cover trends in your industry. Use them. Search for them on Google, comb through LinkedIn, use your own conversation data, etc. 

But just summarizing trends isn’t enough. I recently watched The Prestige for the first time (watch it if you haven’t, seriously), and they talk about the third component of any magic trick (the prestige) that’s necessary for success. Collecting and summarizing trends only covers the first 2 parts, and no one would clap yet -“because making something disappear isn’t enough; you have to bring it back.”

So the ‘prestige’ of summarizing trends is adding your own insight and opinions. Regularly grabbing top trends you see floating around on LinkedIn, in articles, or through conversations, and posting them with your insights is GREAT content for an SDR.

You establish authority, credibility, and expertise within your target audience. 

Then, you can take it a step further and create a mini-series, eBook, guide, etc. to round up all of your insights for your prospects. You can make this is as simple as building out a Google Doc and rounding up your insights to share with prospects, or go all in and create a template in Canva to collect it all.

No matter how you do it, the point is you can create some really compelling content brick by brick.

Summaries of Case Studies

This is where storytelling becomes your best friend as an SDR. How can you distill a full, existing case study into a few sentences (or graphic)? 

*You can replace ‘success metric’ with another variable of your choice

Like anything else, it’s all about the process. Take stock of the existing case studies you have and determine:

  • What persona is this written for? Who would find it useful?
  • What do the success metrics look like? Do other case studies have similar metrics?
  • What big challenge did we help solve? How? Who else could experience that challenge?

Once you’ve categorized your case studies and found commonalities, it’s time to summarize them. I recommend summarizing & repurposing by a few variables:

  • Industry Served
  • Challenge Overcome
  • Success Metrics Achieved

That way, you don’t have to pigeon-hole yourself into sending just one case study to your prospects. This gives you the opportunity to show the breadth and depth of your success, all while adding your own insight into how your solution can bring value.

Failures and Hurdles

Simply creating content for your prospect doesn’t automatically grant you a meeting – it won’t work 100% of the time. These are just examples of tactics you can take advantage of as an SDR to increase your chances at engaging with your prospect.

There are plenty of custom videos that go unwatched, graphics that go unviewed, and case studies that go unread. You’ll have plenty of these examples as you start creating content and putting more of yourself into your outreach.

My best advice? Use those to your advantage.

Vulnerability and honesty go a long way in promoting yourself and your content on sites like LinkedIn. People love a good story, and they love being able to learn from failures (their own or others).

I posted about a failed attempt at personalization when I was an SDR in 2017, and it’s a good example of showing your audience:

  • A technique you tried / content you created for a prospect
  • What the outcome was
  • What you learned from it

There’s no point in just talking about your wins, you have to pepper in your defeats as well. It’s humanizing, and it captures people’s attention. 

The Future of Content Marketing

Creating good content will always be the winning move.

There’s no point in looking for shortcuts or silver bullets. Honest and compelling content will always win out.

And over the next few years, we see the content categories below expanding even further.

Socially Conscious Content

      • Look at Gravy. They KILL it on this front. They want their reps to promote content on LinkedIn that’s about THEM and not the company. To show off their personal lives, share secrets, give you a view about who they are as people, and collectively establish the Gravy brand. They’re down to earth, raw, and relatable. Everything they create promotes that idea because the company is on board with it.
      • Another example is Gong. The audience they’ve developed LOVES the content they put out because it speaks to them. And they do a great job at aligning their values and personality with posts like this.

User Generated Content

      • Review sites like G2 Crowd and Capterra are your friends. Why? Because it’s a treasure trove of user data you can pull from when you have to overcome objections, deliver value, or write emails. 
      • Connecting with customers about WHY they ended up working with you (or not) is also incredibly valuable user data. Nothing is more impactful than hearing it directly from the horse’s mouth. Collin Waldrip talked about that on our Live Expert Panel in June, and he couldn’t be more right – you can teach someone all day long, but when a customer says it there’s more weight behind it.

Podcasting

      • Everyone and their mother has a podcast these days (shameless self-plug for the SDRealness Podcast!), and for a good reason. They aren’t hard to start (minimal investment in terms of time & capital) and they can generate a TON of re-purposable content for your audience.
        • Talk about user generated content galore! If you can get a customer on your podcast and they mention some of the ways your solution has been able to help them, clip that audio and promote the heck out of it. 
      • Podcasting is a great way to establish your personal and brand identity and help build the authority & credibility you need in the sales space. Check out tools like Anchor.fm and Buzzsprout for hosting options!

Videos

    • They might seem ‘mainstream’ now, but video prospecting is still being adopted as part of the core outbound strategy at a lot of organizations. And for good reason. People would simply rather watch a video than read an email or article. You can take advantage of that as an SDR and go as small as injecting video prospecting into your cadence or as big as pulling a Corporate Bro and making it your new identity. 

Conclusion

SDRs are vital to the success of many sales organizations. They have access to real-time customer data, act as brand ambassadors for their organization, and fill the top of the sales funnel with quality leads. But they don’t do all of that alone – they get buy-in from sales and marketing to make their role as productive as possible. If you want to help grow the sales development function at your company and get them to be a revenue-producing machine, help them develop content

They’ll establish the credibility and authority they need, and you’ll reap the benefits (top of funnel leads). Everyone wins.

P.S. If you want access to the example templates in this blog, join our Slack Community and send me a DM! Happy to share 😊