Proof Points are a critical component to the sales process. They provide proof that you do what you say you can do. The more they’re aligned to your buyer through industry, problem or positive business outcome, the more effective they’ll be. Sales organizations that have a process for developing and maximizing the effectiveness of their proof points are able to leverage this important tool in a way that creates and preserves value in the sales process.
Establishing a process to gather, promote and use testimonials in the right way during the sales conversation can help your salespeople differentiate and win more. In a recent interview on the Hunters and Unicorns Podcast, The 33 CXOs, Force Management’s John Kaplan talked about the importance of proof points.
When proof points are customized and tell the full story of how they were achieved, they help buyers believe their positive business outcomes can also be achieved. Here are a few ways you can improve the proof point process in your own organization.
Enable your sellers to build and articulate proof points that tell a story:
Proof points should tell a story of how your solutions effectively solved your customer’s problems and achieved measurable results. When proof points showcase how your solutions solved high-level business problems, sellers can align them to similar conversations they’re having with their buyers. Their ability to relate metrics, before and after scenarios, and similar problems to their current deals helps sellers be as relatable as possible to live opportunities and validate their price.
Define who owns the responsibility of the initial creation of proof points
This point is typically a shift in many organizations. Yes, your marketing team can refine the proof points and clean them up, but your sellers are the ones who have the needed relationships in the account. They are the ones who have access to their champions and can leverage that relationship to gain agreement on publishing meaningful results.
Help your salespeople capture great proof points by holding them accountable for:
Ensuring they have client agreement on how they’re measuring success. This agreement ensures your salespeople have a mechanism in place to measure that impact prior to engaging with your customer.
Laying the groundwork for getting a proof point that you can and will be able to publish. Should publishable quotes be put into contracts? Are your salespeople building positive relationships with their champions in a way that supports their ability to capture testimonials?
Knowing the white space in your company’s proof points. Can your salespeople identify gaps in your available proof points that they can fill by leveraging future or past champions?
Embed proof points into your messaging tools to ensure effective execution
Once you’ve developed great proof points, ensure your entire sales organization can leverage them where it matters most, in-front of the customer.
Your value propositions are only as useful as your ability to prove value realization. If you want to equip your entire sales team to leverage your proof points to validate a premium price, you’ll find the most success when you establish a simple way to help your salespeople understand the story and PBOs related to each proof point.
Build proof points into your messaging framework and make them easily consumable. Tie each proof point to the specific value propositions your solution set solves for your customers. Building this alignment into your messaging content enables your salespeople to quickly associate relevant proof points to the PBOs, metrics and solution requirements discussed in sales conversations. Tying relevant proof points to different business outcomes and solutions will also enable your salespeople to leverage them in a way that’s meaningful to each different market segment and buying persona they work with in their territory.
What Elite Sales Organizations do to Accelerate Growth:
Buyers want to see measurable proof and hear success stories that are relevant to their situation. In the B2B sales environment, your salespeople have to have the ability to connect your products to high-level business issues and PBOs and validate your solution’s ability to achieve a buyer’s desired outcomes. John Kaplan recently shared his take on the playbook elite sales leaders use to scale sales success, while he was on The Hunters & Unicorns Podcast, The 33 CXOs. The podcast series uncovers the stories and playbooks of the most prolific sales leaders in the industry. Tune in to hear key best practices of the world's fastest-growing companies.