Question: Has your Sales Organisation formally developed content from a customer-centric perspective that is relevant and interesting to prospects in helping them solve problems – and does your current content and collateral address buyer’s challenges, concerns and objectives, instead of focusing solely on product features and benefits?
According to our research at ThinkSales Global, only 43% of Sales Organisations have formally developed content from a customer-centric perspective that is relevant and interesting to prospects in helping them solve problems.
In addition, 34.97% of companies rate their confidence as Outstanding that their current content and collateral address buyer’s challenges, concerns and objectives, instead of focusing solely on product features and benefits.
The ‘Features And Benefits’ Problem
Companies know the importance of connecting with their customers, but many still fail to translate this into customer-centric content, falling back into the old traps of features and benefits without addressing customers’ underlying questions.
Marketing and sales collateral that has a heavy focus on products and features doesn’t compel today’s audiences who are spoilt for choice and interested in finding a solution that speaks to their specific needs.
This means that buyers are looking for content that is relevant and useful to them, and which helps them to solve problems that they care deeply about. The majority begin this process as browsers, researching organisations and their competitors prior to contacting them. In fact, many buyers are significantly into their buying cycle before they speak to a sales executive for the first time.
Showcase Your Unique Ability To Solve Industry-Specific Problems
Instead of listing your features and benefits, prospects need your help in identifying pain points, as well as how your solution is ideally suited to help them solve their challenges. In this environment, you need to help your sales force understand the following key points:
- Your sales messaging only becomes compelling when you are able to align the issues they care about with how you can solve them, thereby creating a unique business value.
- To achieve this, you need an outside-in, customer-centric viewpoint that leads with: “What’s the value for me (the prospect) in addressing my high-priority issues or pain points?”
- This is a very different approach to a product-centric pitch that focuses on your solutions and the savings or benefits that could be achieved.
- Ensure your sales collateral and website content addresses the 10 underlying questions buyers have, which are covered in the Sales Leader’s Toolkit below.
There are two steps to delivering this type of sales process:
1. Apply your solution to the customer’s environment.
Your sales force needs to be able to showcase the application of your product or service in different client accounts and industry channels.
- The knowledge of both successful and unsuccessful applications will provide your team with the insights they need to pass on best practice to your customers as well as help them understand what your solution will look like (and what it will achieve) inside their organisations.
- The key here is to craft a message that takes each client on a journey to an ‘aha’ moment.
- Help your sales executives to learn how to converse with clients in such a way that they help their prospects to consider something from an angle they hadn’t previously thought about. Once they see the benefits of doing so, your sales executive has taught them something you wanted them to learn.
- This tactic requires bringing something new and interesting to the table that is of value to the customer.
- Each member of your sales force should collect anecdotes about how clients have achieved the best results, or factors that have hindered clients from achieving the desired results but which could have been prevented.
2. Familiarise the entire sales force with client stories across regions, sizes and industries.
As you can see, step one is not achievable without real client insights. These need to be the focus of everyone out in the field.
- These stories shouldn’t only include your clients, but past and present clients of other accounts within the business.
- They should include a deep understanding of the solutions deployed, customisations made, and successes achieved across various clients (of different sizes), in different regions, industries and so on.
- When crafting your customer success stories, remember that companies of similar size, operating in the same region, serving the same markets and at the same stage of maturity tend to share similar business challenges. When your sales executives highlight these areas, they are not only showing the prospect their understanding of the specific business and challenges they are dealing with, but they’re painting a picture of what your solution would look like inside their organisation.
- Build an arsenal of stories so that each sales executive can select those best suited to the prospect they are dealing with.
Sales Leader’s Toolkit
There are ten questions that need to be asked – and answered – when building engaging sales collateral and creating compelling conversations for your sales executives to be having with customers. They should be asked (and answered) from the customer’s perspective, and they include:
- Why should I pay attention – is the reason compelling to me?
- Do you understand my business and my needs?
- Do you have proven expertise?
- Can you solve my problems?
- Can I trust you?
- Can we trust your company to do an effective job?
- Should this be an urgent priority?
- Is there significant enough upside to justify the hassle
and cost of buying/change?
- Do you minimise the risks and uncertainty associated with buying/change?
- Can we justify the spend internally?
Assess The Health Of Your Sales Organisation
Content and collateral developed from a customer-centric perspective that is relevant and interesting to prospects in helping them solve problems and that addresses buyer challenges, concerns and objectives and does not focus solely on product features and benefits are two of 322 measures of a world-class Sales Organisation.
How does your Sales Organisation stack up? Find out by taking the ThinkSales 5 Pillar Strategic Sales Assessment™.
This first-of-its-kind 360-degree gap analysis report enables your Sales Leadership team to assess its strengths and detect weaknesses and impediments to revenue growth across the five pillars of a high performing sales organisation:
- Competitive Strategy
- Customer Engagement
- Sales Talent
- Sales Management
- Sales Enablement
Click here for more information on the ThinkSales 5 Pillar Strategic Sales Assessment™.