Three Reasons to Audit Your Sales Messaging

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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:

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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.

Better Salespeople Need Less Sales Enablement Content

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Bad Sales Guy

Generating revenue and winning customers requires a balance of good content and confident sales. Design your sales enablement content around what your medium-skilled salespeople need.

Bad Sales Guy

Your top salespeople have sufficient confidence and sales skill that they don’t need a lot of content to be successful in their sales efforts. However an average salesperson with less confidence and less sales skill will require much more content.  Top sales people usually need less content because they are able to develop a greater level of customer relationship and trust.

One of the responsibilities of sales management is to specify the content requirements that sufficiently augments the sales skills of the average salesperson so that revenue is successfully generated.

Read more

Good Selling Checklist: Activities and Competencies

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There is a continuum of different B2B business models – from luminary consultants to commodity products – and each model needs to have a distinct structure for marketing and sales.  Before we assess sales team readiness, we begin by ensuring that the right revenue architecture (the product and process of marketing and sales) is in place and aligned with the target business architecture.

For businesses with a complex, solution sale or consulting sale, there are sales effectiveness attributes that we look for. Below, we’ve outlined competencies, activities, and attributes for good selling. Sales executives, client managers and account reps that sell complex products, business solutions or consultative services should possess the following:

How to Set up a Lead Nurture Program

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You have implemented marketing automation and you are generating some inbound leads. Great!  You have uploaded a database of contacts and these represent even more potential ‘leads’ (in the system). Now you need to manage all these leads. How do you convert them into subscribers and real sales leads?

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Of course, only a handful of leads are likely to become MQLs – Marketing Qualified Leads ready for sales engagement. Also, sales will likely want to send some MQLs back to marketing for more nurture. You need an approach to manage all the leads and contacts in your marketing database and start to nurture them into sales ready MQLs.

How do you set up a lead nurture program to generate more MQLs?

The answer is simple segmentation. Tackle this in three simple steps:

 

1. Define your buyer personas. Start with a few (3-4 perhaps) and build from there if needed. Personas could represent your typical economic buyer, technical buyer, business decision maker and influencer.  Focus on personas that would likely value different types of content and messaging from you at a different cadence. Some marketing automation solutions will automatically generate lists based on the persona and corresponding drop down self-selection fields that new prospects can complete to self select one of these persona segments.

 

2. Define your custom fields. This is an important step to ensure the database has the parameters you need based on your specific business. Of course, the more data fields you track, the greater the segmentation options, but the harder it is to maintain and complete profiles for each contact.  Data fields (custom and standard) may include things like business function, industry segment, personal contact status, interest areas, client status, partner, analyst, consultant, etc. You can also use existing analytics, like behaviors (interests) and lifecycle stage to help further create target segments and lists. All these existing and custom fields will allow you to build highly targeted lists for nurture campaigns and sales focus.

 

3. Build a matrix of segments to nurture campaigns. Now you can create a set of segments using the personas and appropriate custom fields. These segments can each receive different engagement campaigns. Campaigns can be set up along the customer journey;  for example awareness stage, consideration stage and decision stage campaigns. Another campaign archetype could be general company news and updates. Build your matrix to define which segments gets which campaigns and agree this with the sales team.

 

Now that you have the database set with personas and custom fields, you can run queries and build targeted lists for specific sales / marketing campaigns and follow-up. Of course, the process between marketing and sales must be highly collaborative. You can answer a range of queries that may trigger a targeted campaign or sales prospecting follow-up, e.g.:

  • Who has visited the site and registered in the last 2 weeks ?
  • What people that we know, have we not reached out to in the last 8 weeks ?
  • Who made an initial visit to our site and returned n times to download what?
  • Who do we know at XXX Company?
  • How many [sector] contacts visited/registered/ and downloaded the Infographic or eBook?
  • Who has responded to our initial message?
  • How many contacts do we have in Segment A?
  • Who visited our site and registered – but we have not followed up with?

Contact us know if you want to discuss nurture strategies in greater detail.