The Secrets to Aligning Your Company on Customer Value and Differentiation
Categories: Sales Messaging
If your company is fast-growing and you find yourself leading a sales organization that has jumped from startup phase to mid-market, you may be experiencing the challenges fast growth can bring, including:
- Too much of a focus on demos and product features instead of business value
- Salespeople selling one-time deals, not digging enough to get higher in the business
- Losing too much margin as a result of price-only negotiations
Rather than whipsawing your team into reading the latest sales book or undergoing a motivational speech at a sales kickoff to solve these challenges, stop the fire drills and focus on cross-functional alignment behind your differentiation and your customer value. Generating a culture of buyer alignment in your organization can enable you to build resiliency in your sales team's ability to hit their number.
The power of everyone agreeing on buyer value drivers and your company's differentiators will do more for your bottom line than a lot of other initiatives you may be considering. There are two critical steps to takes. First, you need cross-functional alignment on the essential questions. The next step is to provide a tool that enables the buyer conversation.
Align on the Essential Questions:
1. What problems do you solve for your customers?
When you align your company on the problems you're solving, marketing messages, sales messages and delivery messages are all aligned on the critical challenge that the solution solves. Your able to go after the right buyers. Your buyers receive consistent messages through marketing and the sales conversation. And, your services or delivery team can make good on the promises made in the buying process.
2. How do you specifically solve those problems?
As you gain agreement on the key value you provide, you need to also agree on the specifics. Saying we deliver insight into marketing programs is good, but it is likely very similar to other messages being delivered by competing organizations. How specifically do you do that?
3. How do you do it differently than your competition?
Now that you've reached mid-market stage, you likely have some competition in the marketplace. You need to have cross-functional agreement on what makes you different from the competition. The key component of this is your salespeople need to understand that differentiation and they need to be able to articulate it in a way that has meaning to the buyer. It’s one thing to say that you are better than the competition, but you need to align on how.
4. What’s your proof?
At this stage you should have a good amount of customers with measurable results of the value you provide. Those proof points should be packaged in a way that salespeople and any customer-facing person in your organization can deliver them to customers.
A Tool to Enable Consistency
Once everyone in your organization aligns on the answers to these questions, your sales team has a clear target to go after. They know what problems they're solving and why your solutions are different than others in the marketplace. They need a tool that gives them the ability to quickly and easily have that conversation with the buyer.
We help our customers customize a tool called the Value Framework.
Think of it a navigational aid that helps sales teams engage in a consultative sales conversation focused on value and differentiation in a way that has meaning to the buyer. Individual reps can tailor it to their own selling style and other departments can use it as a way to stay buyer-focused. Marketing can use it to position its content and align its campaigns with the sales team. And, services better understands the promises made to the customer in the sales process. It also can be used as a tool to integrate any previous sales training investments. Without a tool that enables the sales team, you won't have the consistency needed to move the needle.