If current market conditions have your sales-support budget in a limbo contest — how low can you go? — here’s a relatively inexpensive way to bring fresh thinking and possibilities to the next conversations your sales force will have with potential customers:
- Pull out a printed copy of your organization’s core capabilities presentation — the one your sellers rely on when they need to deliver the company’s best, most comprehensive features and benefits pitch.
- Starting at slide 1, count how many times your organization is referenced. By name. “We.” “Our.” Stop when you get to 10. Place a Post-It there.
- Now, starting again at slide 1, count how many times your customer or prospect is referenced, directly or implied. “You…” “Your…” “Businesses today…” “Homeowners…” “Decision makers like you…” Stop at 10 and place a second Post-It.
- Finally, check the two Post-Its. Which one takes longer to reach? The “You” or the “I”?
If it’s taking quite a bit longer to reach a critical mass of “You,” then there’s a good chance your killer sales presentation isn’t so much killer as it is deadly. Your sellers are probably spending way too much time and verbiage speaking to company history, mission, size and scope, and not nearly enough establishing context and relevance around the win-win dialogue they’re hoping to establish with customers and prospects.
Mid-size and larger companies might spend tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars conducting research to identify customer insights. Those insights typically drive extremely smart segmentation strategies and well-crafted advertising messages.
But it’s often the case, come time to get across the desk or in a conference room with the target, that those insights go out the window. Even in the largest and most sophisticated of organizations, it’s common for the developers of sales-support content to fall back on “who we are” and “what we do” long before they’ve established “why you should care.”
By contrast, in a world where customers are seeking more value and relevance, the most powerful sales conversations are most likely to start and end with a focus on you — the customer, their customer, their direct and indirect competition, and the evolving sales and marketing dynamics of their business.
News headlines. Case studies. Third-party research. Quotes from subject-matter experts. All these and more can be the material from which to develop and inject a strong dose of “you” into the front end of your core sales presentation.
And from there, seguing into “who we are” and “what we do” suddenly sounds a lot more like a solution, and less like a self-centered soliloquy.