You always want to ensure that your business is getting the most from your sales resources. But in today’s economy, maximizing sales effectiveness is critical – and could make the difference between struggling for survival and generating growth. Here are seven tips to help you drive more effective sales.
1. Develop a distinct point of view
A distinct point of view is a deliberate approach to changing your customer conversations in a way that puts you in the position of sharing useful insights. It helps your customer see around the corner at what challenges are headed his way and provides him with a way out.
How it creates more effective sales: Having a distinct point of view moves you out and to left of the bake-off and puts you in a position of guiding the customer buying cycle.
2. Create context that makes your prospects care.
Too many salespeople want to lead with the strengths of their product or service. The problem is that the customer isn’t ready to hear about them. She has no frame of reference to put those strengths of yours into a situation that she feels is uniquely hers.
How it creates more effective sales: You need to establish the right context to create urgency. It’s not your product that makes the customer care. It’s the changing context that makes it meaningful and gets the customer to consider doing something different.
3. Target the status quo, not the persona.
If you are like many marketers today, you have created personas with demographics, attitudes, and behaviors to help frame and target your messages. But demographics and attitudes have little to do with what motivates real prospects – and to motivate them, you need to challenge the status quo.
How it creates more effective sales: If prospects believe their status quo is at risk and they may need to do something different than they are doing today, they will be more receptive to your message.
4. Align sales tools with the sales process.
The sales tools that you provide your salespeople must not only match the messaging, they must also align with actual selling tasks performed throughout the sales process. These activities include emails, phone calls, face-to-face conversations, team presentations, and other communications.
How it creates more effective sales: Your sales reps are more likely to use sales tools if you provide them in the form factor in which they – and your prospects – want to consume your messages.
5. Use grabbers.
Before your prospects are ready – and willing – to listen to your message, you need to capture their attention, get them curious, and have them thinking, “What next?” Use grabbers – the “wow” of your message – to create your hot opening, hot closes, and spikes in the middle of your message.
How it creates more effective sales: Grabbers get your prospects emotionally involved, literally and figuratively leaning into your message, making them openly receptive, not just passively listening to it.
6. Use visual storytelling.
The white paper is a staple of the B2B sales toolkit. But of the five senses, the Old Brain – that part of your brain that acts as a filter and decides what gets noticed – responds most strongly to the visual sense. You need to transform your traditional written word messages into visual vignettes.
How it creates more effective sales: By replacing your white papers and other written documents with visual materials that stimulate the Old Brain, you make it easy for your prospect to see how your solution affects his world.
7. Have conversations, not presentations.
Turn off the projector and turn on the lights. Instead of giving a run-of-the-mill PowerPoint presentation, grab a marker and an easel pad and have a conversation with your prospects.
How it creates more effective sales: By translating your biggest ideas into a few easy-to-remember numbers and simple visuals – and communicating them via an interactive dialogue rather than a one-way lecture – you’ll get your prospects engaged, even after you’ve left the room.
At Corporate Visions, we’ve crafted a portfolio of solutions designed to help you achieve more effective sales, and we can help you implement these seven tips – and many more.
Learn more about this topic
Check out these resources to help you increase sales effectiveness:
- Report: Sales & Marketing Messaging Report Q3 2009 – State of the Sales Call
- On-demand webinar: Are You Ready for Sales Readiness? – Learn which five sales readiness initiatives have the biggest impact
- Executive briefing: Experience our solutions for yourself in a three-hour, executive briefing session near you