Why Your Sales Messaging Is Holding You Back, Not Your Sales Process
Often times when we’re faced with the kind of numbers I shared in this blog post, the typical company reaction is, “We need a better sales process. Our sales process is broken.”
It isn’t necessarily your sales process that’s the issue. You’re selling in a highly commoditized and competitive environment right now. Your customers are inundated with incredible amounts of information and data. They’re forced to make very complex buying decisions and they’re overwhelmed. And often times, the messaging that we’re bringing forward isn’t resonating with them. It isn’t compelling for them. And it isn’t getting through all the noise and clutter.
As a result, you and your competitors all look the same. You all sound the same. Because of this, your customers believe that you ARE the same. By definition, that makes you a commodity.
When you allow you and your products to become commodities, your customer’s buying decision gets reduced solely to price, forcing you to squeeze your margins to keep business. Additionally, you’ll likely lose business to competitors who bring less value to the table. Or worse, your customers may choose to do nothing at all.
As you can see, it isn’t the sales methodology that’s at fault in this case. It’s the sales message. Your messages aren’t resonating. They’re not getting through. They’re not focused on your customer and their world, and you’re leaving it up to the customer to translate your message into their world.
You don’t have to take my word for it, though. SiriusDecisions asked the question, “What is the most prominent inhibitor to sales achievement quota?”1
In other words, why are only 57% of sales reps achieving quota on a regular basis?
The top two answers uncovered by the study were:
#2: The sales person’s inability to cross-sell and upsell in current accounts. In other words, one of the inhibitors to sales reps achieving their quota was their inability to deepen their relationships with their customers. They knew they needed to do it, but they simply couldn’t execute.
#1: The sales person’s inability to communicate distinct value. This was the number one barrier to sales people achieving their quota.
If you look at these two answers, they both deal with the messaging being conveyed, not the mechanics of the sales process—or the methodology. Instead, these sales people were held back by their ability to communicate value in a relevant and compelling way, which affected their ability to cross-sell and upsell.
How well do your sales reps communicate the distinct value your company brings to the table. To evaluate your company in this area, ask yourself the following question:
How well do your team’s emails, phone calls and presentations set you apart from your competition?
In other words, does your message clearly convey what makes you the best choice for your customers—in a way that’s relevant and compelling to them?
That’s the key that’s going to push your sales to a different level in 2014 and give your team the ability to meet—and even exceed—their sales goals.
1SiriusDecisions, 2012 Summit, Transforming Sales, Marketing and Products Through Alignment.