Honing Your Sales and Product Messaging – Overachieving Your Sales Targets


Last week we looked at how to best target your accounts for maximum impact – by thinking about how you categorise customers and how you ensure you have a plan for each stage of their relationship with you.

 

This week we are going to think about how to hone your sales and product messaging so that your messages and presentations deliver impact each time.

 1) Developing a sales messaging framework

Developing a sales messaging framework is key to enabling your sales teams to move away from describing what your product is and what it does, to demonstrating what your product or solution means for your customer.

If your customer doesn’t fully appreciate the value and outcome that can be realised by purchasing your product then they won’t be motivated to move down the path of procurement.  However, we often imagine that we are explaining the “business benefits” to our customer, but in fact we are talking about the features, functions and benefits of the product.

 

An example of the fundamentals of a sales messaging framework is below, looking at a data analytics software product as an example:

Product feature >

Enables you to (do a data-related activity) >

Which gives you (a data-related benefit) >

Which makes this difference to your business (I.e. business-related benefit) >

Which means this for your business (business level outcome)

An example of this is:

Product feature > Your data product lets you have mobile access to its interface

Enables you to (do a data-related activity) > this enables you to get real-time access to important information when you are out and about

Which gives you (data-related benefit) > which gives you the ability to be more informed about client sales information

Which makes this difference to your business (I.e. business-related benefit)> this means that your sales people provide a better, more timely service to customers and appear more knowledgeable about customer information

Which means this for your business (business level outcome) meaning you are more successful in selling to clients.

 

Can you say for sure that in every sales conversation, your sales teams are exploring the wider business benefits to customers, and not just stopping at the product feature benefit further down the chain?

It’s a mistake we all make, regularly.  We assume the benefits are obvious – of course knowing more about your customers will help you sell to them, so why say it?  But it is important to point out to clients – as it shows your product is business-changing, it is not just a product.

2)Sell me a pen (or a kettle…)

Think about if two people came along to see you one day to sell you a household appliance, let’s say, a kettle.

If one person listed all its features, slated the competition and told you that there was a limited offer allowing you to get 20% off the price if you signed up today, then would you take it there and then?  Some might, some might not.

But if a salesperson called on you and explained how kettle technology differs wildly between providers and that their new heating system reduces your typical electricity usage for boiling the kettle by 75%, helping you reduce your overall electricity costs and put more money in your pocket each month.  It helps you to reduce your home’s carbon footprint and is more eco-friendly.  With this financial and energy saving, your kettle pays for itself within a year and has a 5 year guarantee so what could go wrong? It’s a no-brainer.

The chances of agreeing to purchasing the kettle are increased because you can see how that kettle can impact not only the energy used for boiling the kettle, but the overall electricity usage of your household and the money you spend each month.

Plus the message can resonate with different people – it’s not just solving an issue for one person; it helps and affects everyone in the house (or organisation).

3) Identifying the underlying causes

Putting it another way, it’s about identifying the underlying causes to the customer problems (this helps to identify the final outcome and impact on the business).  Many marketers still focus on identifying the feature, function and benefit rather than starting with the customer problem and the underlying causes to those problems.  There is a good article here (http://www.admarco.net/Marketing-Messaging-Framework) about how to create a value proposition.

Creating your own sales messaging framework allows you to create an impactful story for your customer, charting the journey from issue, cause of the issue, how you can respond and why this product will help to solve those issues.  This enables you to have a more provoking conversation that incites action at the end of it.

 

So, to recap, here are the basics to developing your sales messaging framework:

Product feature >

Enables you to (direct action result) >

Which gives you (direct benefit) >

Which makes this difference to your business (I.e. business-related benefit) >

Which means this for your business (business level outcome)

 

Next week we will look at the art of the customer conversation to support you as you take your messaging out to clients and present your solutions to customers.

 

Here is a summary of the articles in the Overachieving Your Sales Targets series:

Week 1: What Went Wrong (And What Went Right) 

Week 2: Building The Foundations for Sales Success 

Week 3: Honing Your Sales and Product Messaging  

Week 4: The Art of The Customer Conversation

Week 5: The Selling Landscape in 2015 – Tools and Trends

  

About The Sales Way

Carrie Morgan is the Managing Director of The Sales Way Ltd, a sales enablement consultancy that creates clever, innovative playbooks and sales enablement collateral to help companies have more valuable and credible conversations with their clients.   Visit us to find out more and sign up for regular updates from The Sales Way: http://www.thesalesway.com

Originally published on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/honing-your-sales-product-messaging-overachieving-2015-morgan?trk=prof-post)