In the changing environment, your buyer’s challenges may also be constantly shifting. Elite sales organizations are assessing how this economic environment is impacting their buyers and adjusting their sales message accordingly.
Consider these questions:
How have your buyers’ needs changed?
Can you solve these new problems?
What are your differentiators that align to your buyer’s new challenges?
How are your salespeople equipped to articulate your value and differentiation as it relates to these new challenges?
After all, you may be equipped to address these new challenges, but those capabilities may not have been articulated to your customers. They may not know how well you can do it, or why you can do it better than the competitors they’re already considering. Your sales reps’ ability to articulate current buyer value and comparative differentiators is directly related to how your numbers will fare during the pandemic and after we've come out the other side.
Don’t wait. Get busy.
Reframe Your Buyer Message With the Essential Questions
We write frequently about the importance of the Essential Questions. Everyone in your organization needs to have internal alignment on the answers to these questions. That consistency ensures your salespeople have a clear understanding on how to articulate value and differentiation in a way that has meaning to the buyer.
Right now, assess how the answers to those questions may have changed given the current pandemic.
What problems do you solve?
How do you solve those problems?
How do you solve them differently and/or better than the competition?
Where have you done it before?
The nature of crisis is that it often changes. Assess the answers with your executive team and then, communicate those changes to your sales organization.
Equip Sales Reps to Listen, Overcome Deficits and Ensure Value
Salespeople need to ensure their conversations are value-based and that they’re using that coveted time with prospects to overcome what we call the Seller Deficit Disorder. That’s what we call the assumptions buyers typically have about salespeople. Buyers typically assume salespeople don't listen and they don't understand the buyer’s business.
Your salespeople need to articulate the value and differentiation of your solutions in a way that is meaningful to the buyer in this economic environment. That's why your answers to the essential questions above and the ability for your salespeople to understand them are both critical.
If there's no cross-functional consistency on what problems you solve, how you do it differently that the competition, etc..., your salespeople will have difficulty articulating the value of your solution in a way that is meaningful to the buyer's needs and moves the opportunity forward. If your solution is increasing revenue, decreasing costs or mitigating risks, even in a tough environment, buyers will still be moved to action.
Prepare your salespeople for these conversations by updating your current tools (e.g., Discovery Guides, Pre-Call Planners, etc...) based on your answers to the four essential questions. Remember, regardless of outside factors, good selling is good selling.
Share these resources with your managers and reps to keep your sales teams focused on the fundamentals :
Are your managers playing their part and coaching sales reps effectively?
Use this time to also make sure your managers are reinforcing critical skills and providing feedback and criticism for constant improvement of sales reps. From virtual role playing to must-win deal coaching, your managers are a critical component to making sure your reps stay focused during the pandemic. We have a list of manager coaching resources and tools to help focus your managers on driving the most value for your reps.
If you want to go a step further, we now offer Virtual Manager Deal Coaching and Virtual Must-Win Opportunity Coaching to help managers improve their coaching skills fast. Contact us to learn more and schedule. Also, all of our offerings are delivered virtually, learn more.