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What Makes a Sales Conversation Stand Out? Blog Feature

August 7th, 2014 min read

shutterstock_101806765This post originally appeared on the Force Management Blog. To read more content like this, visit the blog here.

If you’re a veteran seller, you likely appreciate a good sales conversation. So what makes a sales conversation stand out? One that’s focused on customer needs and the unique value your solution provides. 

A well-defined sales messaging strategy drives these types of conversations, and ultimately results in overall sales productivity and bottom-line revenue impact.

Without a framework to implement your sales messaging strategy, you run the risk of lagging sales, quarter after quarter. 

Here are six components that every sales messaging framework should have.

1. Value Drivers

Purchase decisions aren’t made on product features alone. Instead, buyers want to know that their needs are understood and that you can provide them with the best possible solution. 

An effective messaging framework outlines the driving reasons a customer would choose to purchase your solution. It aligns your company behind the value that drives your customers to make decisions.

As a result, it enables your salespeople to have sales conversations that are focused on the value of your solution.

2. Differentiators

Most salespeople have the ability to speak about the benefits of a strong product all day long, but ask why you should buy their solution over the guy’s next door, and the less skilled sellers will uncomfortably jostle on price and features, rather than true differentiation

To truly differentiate your offerings from competitors, your sales reps should be armed with tools that help them clearly speak to your company’s differentiation in a way that maps to the desired buyer outcomes.

A framework with well-defined differentiators helps your salespeople clearly articulate how you solve buyer problems better and differently than the competition.

3. Ability to Quantify Business Pain 

If you spend time talking about features and functions that your prospect doesn’t need, two things will happen:

1. They will perceive your product as too expensive, or as more than they need.  

2. They will feel like you don’t care enough to take the time to understand why they came to you in the first place

An opportunity is won or lost on the discovery process. Uncovering your prospect’s pain effectively gives you the ability to quantify the largest business issue.

By having the ability to understand and quantify your prospect’s business pain, you can demonstrate how your products and services can solve their specific pain points.  

When your salespeople become accustomed to asking the right questions and listening to customer problems, they will be able to guide the sales conversation in such a way that the buyer can see how their admitted problems will be addressed.

A sales messaging framework gives your salespeople a valuable tool to quantify business pains by helping them execute an effective discovery process. 

4. Outcomes of Doing Business With You

Proof points. Proof points. Proof points. 

We can’t say it enough. For a buyer to be truly convinced that your product or service can alleviate the business pain, he/she needs to be assured of the positive outcomes that come from working with you. 

Effective proof points speak to the priorities and the perspective of your customer. If you’re going to articulate to buyers how your solution is better than your competitors, you need to make sure your proof points are solidly in place.

A sales messaging framework should include these valuable references and make them consumable for the entire sales team.

5. Ability to be leveraged by the whole organization

An effective sales messaging framework should drive message consistency across the organization.

For example, your sales team will leverage marketing more because their collateral is built with the same customer language.

Your services department better understands the promises made to the customer in the sales process. A framework that is customized and built with the right inputs intrinsically aligns your entire organization behind those value drivers. 

6. Executives who manage to it, inspect it, and reinforce its use

You can have all the pieces in place - a way to understand buyer pain points, a way to sync problems to solutions, a repeatable process for every member of your sales organization - But, without leaders who are willing to drive adoption of the framework with the sales team, then nothing will stick and any hope for sales results will fall flat. 

The framework is only as strong as the leadership’s ability to reinforce it. An effective sales messaging framework should have a plan for executives to drive adoption and front-line managers to reinforce the concepts. 

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