Few tools in your sales team’s arsenal can move the needle like effective proof points. They verify that you do what you say you can do. The more proof points are aligned with your buyer’s industry, problem, or positive business outcome (PBO), the more effective they’ll be. Sales organizations with a process for developing and maximizing the effectiveness of their proof points can leverage these important tools in ways that create and preserve value in the sales process.
Establishing a process to gather, promote and use testimonials the right way during the sales conversation can help your salespeople differentiate and increase their win rate. When proof points are customized and tell the full story of how they were achieved, they help buyers believe their PBOs can also be achieved.
Here’s a three-part roadmap to building an effective proof point process for your organization:
1. 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.
John Kaplan drives home the importance of storytelling for crafting effective proof points during a guest appearance on a Hunters and Unicorns podcast. Here John points out it’s not about showing off a logo; elite companies use proof points to tell the story of how their solution mapped to PBOs, verified by metrics.
2. 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. Work with front-line managers to ensure these pieces are baked into the selling motion:
Ensure reps have client agreement on how they’re measuring success. This agreement ensures your salespeople have a mechanism to measure the impact of the solution, including a pre-engagement baseline for comparison.
Lay the groundwork for getting a proof point that you can publish. Should permission to use quotes and metrics be put into contracts? Are your salespeople building positive relationships with their champions in a way that supports their ability to capture testimonials?
Know 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?
With your sales team aligned on their role with these crucial pieces, the packaging, polishing and production of each proof point from marketing is notably easier. The proof points become more powerful, and the reps’ ownership adds momentum to the cycle of creating and using them.
3. 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 a diverse array of business outcomes and solutions also enables your salespeople to leverage them in ways that are relevant to each market segment and buying persona they encounter.
If you're looking for more ways to help your sales organization nail the proof point process, here are a few methodstop salesorganizations use.
Attach to ROI and 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, validating your solution’s ability to achieve a buyer’s desired outcomes. Providing industry-relevant examples that verify your claims of what you can do should be a cornerstone activity in your team’s sales cadence.