Alignment is a critical component to an entire organization executing a successful sales message. If you want to drive consistency, repeatability and predictable results, you need everyone rowing the oars in the same direction.
Communicating your value and differentiation effectively, requires a shift in mindset, an understanding that you aren’t providing product features, widgets and SKUs. You’re providing value that helps your customers achieve critical positive business outcomes that have bottom-line impact.
It’s not about features and functions. It’s about value and solutions.
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Every function in your organization should play a role in delivering and articulating that value for your customers, not just sales. That’s why undertaking a customized messaging initiative fundamentally transforms companies. It builds alignment behind the value you provide your customers. This alignment can be broken down into three value components:
Value comprehension is your company’s ability to identify and respond to trends in the market.
When we began our work with Welch Allyn, for example, they were dealing with unprecedented changes in the healthcare industry. These changes were having a huge impact on their customers, and their marketplace.
Understanding the value they provided within that dynamic industry was critical to the way they marketed themselves, and how they communicated with their customers. Value comprehension impacts how you craft and deliver marketing messages that reach (and resonate with) a broad market audience. Product and corporate marketing take the lead role in an organization’s value comprehension.
Your value offering involves your company’s ability to translate an understanding of market and customer trends into world-class product and service offerings.
What is the solution that you are providing to the marketplace?
Your value offerings also entail your ability to craft product-specific messages that address market pains and business objectives. Value offerings fall under your product and services team.
Value engagement is your teams’ ability to articulate your company’s value and differentiation at the moment of truth during customer and prospect conversations, then deliver on the promise of that value.
This is integral to the function of sales. Sellers play a vital role in engaging buyers and current customers on the value your solutions provide.
A sales team’s ability to consistently articulate the value message helps execute on marketing’s hard work and allows product and services to deliver on realistic expectations.
Effectively engaging your prospects on the value you provide leverages the corporate and product marketing messages into impactful, “three-foot” sales conversations that connect the customer’s requirements with your solutions.
The sales conversation is where the hard work of the company is executed. Therefore, making a company’s messages highly “sales-consumable,” enables sellers to use them in real-world customer conversations.
That’s why alignment behind a sales messaging platform is so important. Your sales team is responsible for engaging your customers on the value of your solutions.
It is critical that marketing, product and sales organizations are aligned on what that value is, because the role they play effectively enables the sales team to articulate that value to a customer. It’s easy to articulate your product’s features and functions, but that’s not going to help your sales team sell a million-dollar deal. Complex, enterprise sales requires company alignment around a focused value-message.
Driving that alignment and as a result, enabling your sales team to have these conversations, will help you improve margins, generate more revenue and make your company more successful as a whole.
Rachel Clapp Miller is the Assistant Marketing Director at Force Management. Force Management specializes in sales transformations that help B2B sales organizations increase revenue, improve sales margins and gain market share. Follow them on Twitter: @ForceMGMT and on LinkedIn.