Why skilled copywriters are a cheat code in B2B sales

A rational person might think that a sale starts and ends with a sales professional, but most B2B businesses know that that isn’t true. All B2B sales start with consideration, which means that the first person they “seek out” from your business is not your salesperson — it’s your B2B copywriter. 

In fact, your salespeople are the last people your prospects want to see while shopping for solutions. No offence, but your prospects are allergic to your salespeople at the early stages of their buying journey. It won’t be until they’ve spent a good chunk of their time researching companies like yours, narrowed their choices down to a top three, and run it up the chain of approval before they start reaching out to your sales teams. 

Before they make contact with your salespeople, they’re making contact with your content — reading articles, downloading e-books, scouring your website. In effect, the first people a prospect “meets” from your company aren’t your salespeople — it’s your copywriters, who find the words to speak for your company and sell a super-niche product or service just as effectively as your top sales teams. 

But surely someone in-house and ChatGPT can write as well as a B2B copywriter?

Sure, the combined efforts of an overstretched employee from a different department and a large language model can produce credible copy — that is, if you’re satisfied with copy assets that are bereft of an understanding of industry nuances and buyer personas and devoid of the faintest resemblance of personality. 

We’re not here to trash ChatGPT or Tim from Sales, who is publishing rushed and (no offence, Tim) subpar content at the expense of his primary duties. Given the right time and attention, both could probably develop into passable B2B copywriters. But who’s got that kind of time, or that kind of attentiveness? (Pssst: it’s us, the original B2B copywriters). 

Forcing employees into hybrid roles and doctoring copy with ChatGPT is like putting a temporary spare tyre on a car. It works. It keeps the car running until you can get it to a shop. In many situations, it’s the only option. 

But you can’t compete on an F1 circuit on a donut. If you want to enter the big leagues, you’ll need to differentiate your brand with quality copywriting that does more than “good enough” — especially when everyone else’s strategy also comprises ChatGPT and a sales rep who read Wuthering Heights to completion in high school. Tim’s product knowledge may be at Mensa level, but he still lacks the 10,000 hours it takes to craft pitch-perfect copywriting. 

Three reasons why B2B copywriters earn every cent of your payment

Necessity breeds ingenuity and, with the advent of ChatGPT, B2B copywriters are more ingenious than ever. Instead of cheapening their labour, ChatGPT has in fact equipped B2B copywriters with a capacity for greatly accelerated research and learning. The result? You’re getting more bang for your buck by hiring qualified writers who can work faster without compromising the accuracy or quality of their copy. 

1. Even ChatGPT thinks that human copywriters do a better job at B2B content than AI  

As a thought exercise, here is a ChatGPT-generated table comparing the effectiveness of a human copywriter versus AI in various aspects of B2B copywriting. 

B2B copywriting skillHuman B2B CopywriterChatGPT (AI)
Communicating complex informationBetterGood
Building brand credibility and trustBetterAdequate
Influencing decision-makersBetterAdequate
SEO and online visibilityBetterGood
Lead generation and nurturingBetterAdequate
Differentiating in a competitive marketBetterAdequate
Supporting content marketing strategyBetterGood
Educational and thought leadershipBetterAdequate
Adaptability across platformsBetterGood
Measurable impact on ROIBetterAdequate

That boils it down to an essential question: do you want your B2B copywriting to be adequate, good, or better? 

2. They understand that EQ is as important as IQ when writing B2B content

Consumer research from Stackla reveals that while 86% of consumers report that authenticity is an important factor for which brands they support, 57% feel that fewer than half of companies create truly authentic content.

AI can scan mountains of data and identify trends with aplomb, but it lacks the human element of emotional understanding. It can’t grasp the nuanced anxieties, frustrations, and aspirations that drive B2B decision-makers. As such, it cannot be used effectively to craft compellingly authentic copy. 

Ask a chatbot to articulate the nuanced anxieties, frustrations, and aspirations that drive B2B decision-makers in your industry and it will make varyingly vague references to intricate worries, irritations, or ambitions or subtle apprehensions, exasperations, and goals. Ask a B2B copywriter the same question and they’ll diagnose rather than synonymise them. That’s EQ, baby. 

3. They turn content into breadcrumbs, leading your prospects to your website (and your best salespeople)

B2B buyers crave self-service research and independent content discovery. B2B copywriters nurture this craving for independence while also gently guiding them towards the most optimal end solution by creating search engine-optimised content signposting the way to your business’s website, answering their questions, soothing their anxieties, and nurturing them at every touchpoint. 

It’s not just about the asset — it’s about creating context for your buyer, ensuring that the next Hansel and Gretel breadcrumb is laid at precisely the right moment to lead them in the right direction at the right pace.

The more skilled your B2B copywriters are, the more optimal the conditions for landing a B2B sale 

Delegating the multi-layered task of crafting compelling B2B copywriting to anyone with passable grammar skills and access to ChatGPT is not a viable long-term strategy for attracting and retaining qualified buyers. Hiring highly skilled and experienced B2B copywriters won’t just ensure that ChatGPT isn’t taking liberties with the accuracy of your copy (and, therefore, the trustworthiness of your business), it will also prime your prospects for an optimal sales interaction by nurturing them at every available touchpoint along their journey. 

Nobody can attest to the power of quality B2B copywriting in revving up your B2B sales like Shelf’s founder, Hila. Book a call with her to hear her take on where and how quality content works like a cheat code to unlock the mother lode of B2B sales.