Messaging affects every aspect of the sales process, from the first communication to negotiation to the close. Problems with sales messaging can lead to bigger problems: negotiating on price rather than value, low productivity, and missed quotas, to name a few.
If your organization is experiencing any of the messaging problems below, it’s time to address them. The longer you wait, the more impact to the bottom line and your revenue growth goals. Don't start 2017 off without a plan.
1. Marketing and Sales Lack Alignment
More and more, B2B buyers are researching solutions online. This digital behavior demands tight alignment with marketing and sales. When the sales message doesn’t align with what they’re consuming online about the product and company, it creates friction that can slow or even stall the sales process. Consequently, when marketing and sales are articulating the same value message, the customer has a clear understanding of what your solution can do for them.
2. Product Value Not Differentiated
Marketing and sales messages that sound like every other product on the market won’t drive leads or close sales. To be effective, sales messaging must consistently tie your solution to the buyer’s biggest needs and clearly differentiate its value from the competition. If not, you’ll be forced to negotiate on price and see an uptick in lost deals to the other vendors in the marketplace.
Enabling a Company-Wide Differentiation Strategy | Watch the Webinar
3. Emphasis on “New” Products Distracting from Core Focus
New products and opportunities can drive a buzz in a sales organization. However, when that excitement translates to dilution of the core value message, it creates an environment in which salespeople are focused on product features instead of how the new technology drives value for the customer. Consistently tying those new features to business impact for the buyer drives revenue growth.
4. Your Margins are Suffering
Creating value for the prospect throughout the sales process is a key driver to preserving margin in the final stages of the deal. Also, when that value is correlated to a problem with major business impact, garnering a premium for your solution shouldn’t be difficult. A sales messaging initiative gives your salespeople the ability to create value from the first prospect contact to the final procurement negotiations.
5. Constant Influx of New Initiatives Inhibits Execution
When sales leadership jumps from idea to idea, hoping that the “next big thing” will be the driver for change, it hinders your team’s ability to execute. Instead, focus on adoption and reinforcement of the right initiative that will (1) build cross-functional alignment and (2) drive action and results from your sales force.
Any one of these problems can cause stagnant sales growth and they are surprisingly common. High-performing teams, on the contrary, develop strong messaging and support it throughout the sales, marketing, and development teams, to differentiate the product and drive effective sales execution. Here are four key components that successful sales organizations use to drive actions and results from a sales messaging initiative:
1. A practical sales-consumable framework
Integrate the messaging framework across sales, marketing, and product development. Leverage feedback from customers to align messaging and processes across all three areas to differentiate value according to customer needs.
2. Sales-ready messaging and tools
Tools should support the integration of the framework with the sales process. Customer-facing content, prepared discovery questions, and effective technology to support it should all be incorporated.
3. Formalized training and refresher sessions
The methodology should be rolled out in a formal training process and incorporated into new hire onboarding. Refresher sessions also help with adoption and reinforcement. Learn more about reinforcing a sales initiative in our podcasts here
4. Management-specific training
Training, specifically for your front-line managers, should be included to ensure that they can effectively coach the field, and hold them accountable to proper implementation.
Sales messaging problems are frequently at the core of missed quotas, stagnant growth, and waning market share. Effective sales leaders prioritize solving them.