Content marketing attracts and engages prospects at each stage of the buying process.

Have Something to Say, and Say it Well

Original Post July 21, 2009

Image source: Seraph Science

Use Persuasive Communications to enhance your selling and marketing communications. 

Persuasive Communications helps you deliver your message and deliver it in a logical and persuasive way. It is a buyer-centric approach to communicating.

From my earlier work at PA Consulting and continuing today, I use what I believe is a very useful framework  for communicating and persuasive arguments. At Revenue Architects, we often ask each other, “What is your S-C-Q-A? ”.

 

What is Persuasive Communication?

You can use persuasive communications to capture the buyer’s situation or problem by asking questions about your their situation, then you can deliver your message by reflecting back on their situation and complication before offering a ‘single-minded message’ (your answer) along with evidence that supports your answer.

Persuasive communication is a structured way to position and communicate that ties your Answer – or the Governing Thought –  to the Situation and the Complication that your buyer must overcome.

Let’s walk through an example by introducing this Persuasive Communications approach. In this example, I will try to convince you that you should embrace persuasive communications in your organization.

To do this, I will use “SCQA” or Situation, Complication, Question and Answer which is the structure that  guides the delivery of your messages.  SCQA can be used in subtle and conversational ways, but to illustrate the logic and how it works, I will use it explicitly in the following argument:

Situation:

Communicating a clear and persuasive message to your buyers is critical in a marketing, sales or service delivery. We need to deliver our ideas in a clear and convincing way that reflects the key issues and challenges the audience is facing.

If we can be more effective in communicating our message and persuasive arguments, we will be much more likely to convince our audience that they should take the actions we propose.

Complication

Unfortunately, to often our communication lacks clarity and structure. Marketing messages are inside out rather than reflecting the audience and their pain points.  Corporate presentations miss the mark in delivering a single-minded message and instead offer only a reflection of the company itself – without an adequate focus on the audience and the opportunities they seek to address. Sales teams often meander through client conversations without delivering a clear and persuasive argument backed by logic.

With the proliferation of online media and brand messages, it is important to differentiate messages and communicate in a clear and compelling way. In order to deliver persuasive communications, writers and presenters need a structured communication process they can use day-to-day.

Question

How can we improve the way we communicate to our audience and realize better results?

Answer

Build structured communications into the fabric of the organization by helping communicators deliver compelling arguments that drive results.

How? We can do this by following three steps:

  1. Formally introduce Structured Thinking and Delivery  and the top-down S-C-Q-A structure using  workshops, hands-on practice, and real-world examples.
  2. Reinforce the approach by applying structured communication techniques across interactions day-to-day – including internal presentations, emails, blog posts and marketing communications.
  3. Ensure adoption across the organization, leading by example and recognizing the impacts that come from applying the approach.

Persuasive Communications is a critical element of an effective organization and a foundation for realizing results from audience and buyer engagement.

How have you used these techniques in your organization? Please share your ideas and comment at the Revenue Architects blog.  Good luck and good communicating!

 

Marketer as Producer: Using Storytelling to Engage Customers Effectively

Cut through the noise.

“If you can’t tell, you can’t sell,” says Storytelling authority Robert McKee.

What’s your definition of a story?  McKee defines it this way: “Sequence of causally connected, dynamic events that changes a person’s life.” Change focuses the mind.

Read more

77 Percent

77% of B2B marketers are NOT making their numbers! Why?

77 Percent

Many so-called “Revenue Marketers” are writing checks that their companies simply can’t cash! According to a recent study by HubSpot, only 23% of marketers are exceeding their revenue goals. Yet, Revenue Marketing has become a ubiquitous concept and is getting tons of hype in today’s market. And rightfully so. No question – it’s the “holy grail” of today’s senior stakeholders.

Here’s the problem—all the verbiage around it was generated by companies and people deeply invested in its success. These include companies that are predominantly staffed by marketing automation technologists and solutions engineers, who are actually software people, not demand marketers. And all the talk isn’t limited to the marketing operations and automation folks who are making claims. There are also many strategic consulting firms and agencies that do the same, but they don’t have enough experience as practitioners to execute on the very recommendations they are prescribing to clients.

Don’t get me wrong, the modern marketing technology stack forms the most powerful marketing enablement toolkit I’ve witnessed in a nearly 25-year career. But it’s just that…an enablement toolkit. It’s a partial solution. You ALSO need effective buyer engagement strategy and execution or the monetization of your marketing investments won’t even come close to its potential.

Quite simply, revenue marketing can work—when (and only when) it’s driven by a worthy buyer engagement strategy. But the primary challenge, which we address in our new eBook entitled Exposed. The False Promises of Revenue Marketing., is all the confusion, misinterpretation and general lack of understanding that exists around revenue marketing and the buyer engagement strategies that are essential to its success.

These points of confusion include:

  • The fundamental deficit in buyer understanding that is killing marketing performance at most companies
  • What’s wrong with persona development
  • How messaging is largely missing the mark
  • Why most B2B content is lousy as it’s “domain-centric,” not “engagement-focused”
  • How most marketers are focused on all the wrong metrics
  • Why so very few marketers are capable of aligning all the requisite elements of a high-performance buyer engagement strategy

In the eBook we highlight these critical elements (and many more) that are too frequently being ignored, simply misunderstood or not fully embraced, but that are vital for true revenue marketing. In it we address 9 foundational principles that when used as a roadmap for marketing automation and social media propagation are the surest way to develop a sound buyer engagement strategy that transforms you into a true rock star of revenue marketing.

Download a copy of the eBook to discover 9 ways to exponentially increase leads, conversion, pipeline velocity and revenue impact:

 

 

Office

Three Reasons to Audit Your Sales Messaging

Improving the quality and completeness of sales messages delivers hard ROI. Here are three reasons you should review the content your sales teams are using and take a diagnostic approach to assess the effectiveness of your sales messaging:

Office

Three Reasons to Audit Your Sales Messaging:

1) Reduce the time required for achieving channel effectiveness: 

  • Channel effectiveness occurs when the average salesperson can cost effectively close the sale. Eventually the sales channels [and customers] will learn the value of the differential being offered, but while the market is still learning these values, the effectiveness of the sales channels is reduced. It is difficult to close the sale when the customer doesn’t know the value of the differential being offered, and the sales channels has not been provided with the values, calibration, and evidence needed to convince them.

2) Increase sales capacity

  • Sales capacity is the number of salespeople [or outlets] that are effectively selling your products and solutions. Retail uses a term “self ware” to refer to products that are sitting on the shelf but aren’t being bought. Having salespeople that are expected to sell the product but can’t/don’t is the channel equivalent of shelfware. Frequently this occurs when the skill required to sell the product exceeds the skill available in the channel. So the top 10% of the salespeople can sell the product, but the average salesperson can’t. Poor quality sales messaging is frequently the cause of product shelfware.

3) Reduces the cost of sales

  • Improved messaging increases the close rate and reduces the number of sales calls required to do so because the customer value being offered is clear and with evidence.

Use a diagnostic process for more consistent implementation

  1. Review the “top 10” sales messaging deficiencies to see if the issues are identified.
  2. Check the material being sent to sales people –  before it is sent!
  3. Use a checklist to ensure the quality and completeness of the information being provided.

Make certain your content and messaging is sufficient for the average salesperson to cost effectively close the sale. Would you like a copy of the checklist? Check out the 9 Sales Enablement Content Imperatives.

Here is another article by Bud: 10 Message Deficiencies.  Contact us to schedule a discussion.

This is a guest post by Bud Hyler – a member of the Revenue Architects’ expert network.