The Right Methodology to Ensure Your Technology Sells
Finding new ways to meet evolving buyer needs is the cornerstone of every great sales organization. The current environment has many companies adjusting product road maps and sales campaigns, trying to align with the most pressing needs of their specific marketplace.
Given the current state, you, as a sales leader, have a huge opportunity to enable your sales teams to sell new products (or your exciting offerings) in a way that drives competitive revenue growth. How you enable your sales organization to sell your technology will play the biggest role in their success, and your success. Here’s how you can make the biggest impact:
Technology + Methodology = Repeatable Numbers
So many companies put forth competitive technology, but don't back it up with a sales methodology that equips their reps to sell on the business value of their solutions. Then they wonder, “Why aren’t these great products selling?”.
Your front-line sales reps and managers need to be equipped with the right messaging to communicate the value and differentiation of your solutions in a way that's meaningful to the buyer. After all, you don’t run on the assumption that the product team will hop on the phone to discuss how product capabilities align with a buyer’s most pressing needs. Product demos may impress the customer, but if they’re not aligned to how they increase revenue, decrease costs or mitigate risks, they won’t be able to close opportunities.
Yet, so many companies still continue to leave their sales teams to fend for themselves with a list of features and capabilities to share with critical prospects. Listing of features and functions brings up a whole new retrograde of challenges for your sales teams, especially if your organization is already struggling to gain access to the higher-level decision makers in critical opportunities. This is because sales conversations focused on features and functions set salespeople back in two critical ways:
- The conversation soon becomes too technical, leaving sellers to be delegated down to who they sound like and lose access to high-level decision makers
- The conversation may stray away from focusing on the buyer’s specific problems and reasons for engaging, leaving them to lose interest in moving forward altogether
You can create a competitive advantage for your sales organization (and company) by enabling your sales reps to keep the focus on the high-level needs of their buyers in their critical sales conversation.
Buyer-focus vs. Product-focus
While your technology might have shiny features that offer solutions to a variety of problems the fact is — your buyers have specific, positive business outcomes they’re looking to achieve. You know this, but it’s critical that your sales people tune into this and try to keep the focus of conversations on the buyer’s problems, instead of your solution's capabilities. Equip your salespeople with a repeatable framework that enables them to understand the negative consequences their buyers are currently experiencing, the positive business outcomes they’re looking to achieve, and the solution requirements and metrics that determine the success of the purchase. When your salespeople can understand and speak to these critical buying criteria, they’ll be more equipped to steer the conversation in a way that favors your product offerings.
Without a repeatable buyer-focused framework, sellers are often eager to talk about their capabilities and show product demos to potential customers. However, doing it, before they gain a better understanding of the business issues puts important deals at risk.
This is a classic example of the Seller Deficit Disorder.
The Seller Deficit Disorder is what we refer to as the bias most (if not all) buyers have about salespeople, where they believe sellers don’t understand their problems and they don’t listen. The best way to enable your sales teams to overcome this challenge is to provide them with a way to listen and strategically help their buyers define their solutions requirements and metrics for success in a way that favors your technology suite.
Buyers want to be heard. They’ll give your salespeople everything they need to know to determine which suite of offerings best fits the biggest business problems of the buyer. The key is to enable your sales teams with a messaging framework that they can use to steer buyers answers towards your technology’s competitive differentiators.
Drawing the line between what you sell & how you sell it:
We often say “how you sell is just as important to driving revenue as what you sell.” By the end of our engagements, even product leaders (who originally believed their products would sell themselves) see the immediate need to ensure their sales organization has a methodology to sell their technology at a premium.
With the right messaging framework and methodology, your sales teams can use what they discover in buyer-focused conversations to create and capture value in a way that enables them to command a premium, in every critical opportunity.
Without a repeatable messaging methodology, it can be difficult for sales teams to keep the focus on the buyer long enough to create and capture business value at a high level. Equipping your sales team to sell the business value of your technology is the quickest way to ensure your sales organization can accurately hit their numbers and grow bookings, quarter after quarter.
Right now elite sales organizations are assessing how this economic environment is impacting their buyers and adjusting their sales message accordingly. This year’s SKO event, whatever that may look like, may be your best opportunity to bring your sales teams up to speed on new offerings and capabilities. Consider how you can use your next SKO or a virtual sales transformation initiative to launch new technology and a messaging methodology that will enable your sales organization to compete.