How we Describe Command of the Message® to Sales and Marketing Leaders
It's a topic we get asked about frequently. Is Command of the Message a marketing initiative? Or, why is Command of the Message a sales initiative and not a marketing one? Indeed, the name may leave some confused, but once you understand Force Management's point-of-view, it begins to make sense for sales and marketing leaders, particularly those who are looking to create a better buyer and customer experience.
First, let's start with how we look at creating a consistent buyer message and an internal process that supports its execution. We look at messaging alignment along three broad categories: Value Comprehension, Value Offering, and Value Engagement.
Value Comprehension is your company’s ability to identify and respond to trends in the market. It impacts how you craft and deliver marketing messages that reach and resonate with a broad market audience. It's your market-level messaging - what's on your website, your collateral, your social media, etc... This is the focus of your corporate and product marketing teams.
Value Offering involves your company’s ability to translate an understanding of market and customer trends into world-class product and service offerings. It also entails your ability to craft product-specific messages that address market pains and business objectives. This area is where your product and services teams are focused.
Value Engagement involves your people's ability to articulate your company’s value and differentiation at what we call "the moment of truth". It's those conversations that are sales focused and then the ability of your organization to deliver on the promise of that value.
Value Messaging is what we focus on and it falls within the category of Value Engagement. The purpose of the Value Messaging Framework is to leverage Strategic Marketing and Product messages into impactful sales conversations that connect customer requirements with solution features and and your differentiation.
It's critical that these messages are highly "sales-consumable", meaning they're phrased in a way that salespeople can use them easily during real-world customer conversations. Can the SDR articulate the value of your organization in 10 seconds? Can your enterprise reps use these messages to move higher up in the prospect organization? When these messages are crafted in a way they can be easily consumed by the sales team there is tight alignment between marketing, product and sales. And, perhaps more importantly, this alignment ensures the messages are buyer-focused. That's the power of a messaging-focused sales transformation initiative. And, that's where Command of the Message comes into play.
When marketing invests time, resources and frankly, a lot of hard work creating messages to the industry that attract buyers, it's important that the sales reps have the ability to explicitly incorporate that value into their sales conversations. Otherwise, the buyers experience a disconnect and all that effort it took to get that person "in the door" ends up being a missed opportunity.
Command of the Message enables sales reps to effectively articulate your value and differentiation at the point-of- sale, then deliver on the promise of that value. This enablement is integral to the function of sales and other customer-facing roles and unfortunately, doesn’t happen without a clear process to get you there.
A sales team’s ability to consistently articulate the value message relies on their ability to draw through the messaging and value that marketing and product teams have established with the buyer.
Effectively engaging your prospects on the value you provide as part of your sales message, leverages the corporate and product marketing messages into impactful, “three-foot” sales conversations that connect the customer’s requirements with your solutions. The sales conversation is where the business strategy turns into revenue generation. Therefore, making a company’s messages highly “sales-consumable,” enables sellers to use them in real-world customer conversations.
That’s why alignment behind a sales messaging platform is so important and why it's important you train your sales team on that message. Your sales team is responsible for engaging your customers on the value of your solutions. It is critical that marketing, product and sales organizations are aligned on what that value is, because the role they play effectively enables the sales team to articulate that value to a customer.
It’s easy to articulate your product’s features and functions, but that’s not going to help your sales team sell a million-dollar deal. Complex, enterprise sales requires company alignment and high velocity around a focused value-message. Driving that alignment and as a result, enabling your sales team to have these value-based conversations generated with Command of the Message, you will you improve margins, generate more revenue and make your overall company more successful.