Your sales strategy needs to lead with a clear articulation of the challenge you can help your prospect solve. During the beginning of a sales conversation, your prospect likely doesn’t fully understand the benefits of what you’re selling. The last thing you want to do is immediately treat your product or service like a commodity, rather than a valuable solution for a real business need they have.
How do you create the best and most effective sales strategy? Most advice out there tells you that as long as you have a documented plan, a solid process, and a pull of technical-sales reps who know your solution inside and out, you’re ready.
The problem is, most sales strategies are too internally focused. They succeed in documenting internal procedures but lose sight of the messages and skills sales engineers need to communicate value to their customers.
Research performed by SiriusDecisions.com shows that the number-one inhibitor to Sales achieving quota is an “inability to communicate a value message.” People tend to trust those with authority. We’re conditioned to believe this from a very young age where the likes of our parents and teachers were the authoritative figures in our childhood helping to shape our behavior and development. You should make your prospect feel like a human being, not just another “lead.”
Too often, salespeople base their messages on the needs that prospects tell them they have. Then, they connect those identified needs to corresponding capabilities, in standard “solution selling” fashion. If you base your messages on what your prospects tell you their needs are, whether, through the voice of the customer research or discovery questions, you’re then inclined to connect those identified needs to your solution’s specific capabilities that respond to those needs.
The problem with this approach? You fall into the trap of commodity messaging along with your competitors, who are likely constructing their value message in response to the same set of inputs. As a result, you sound just like everyone else, leaving your prospects indecisive and without any real urgency to change.
Instead, you need to introduce Unconsidered Needs that extend beyond the identified, known needs and solve for those. Introduce prospects to problems or missed opportunities they’ve underappreciated or don’t even know about. Then, connect the Unconsidered Needs you’ve identified to your differentiated strengths, which are uniquely suited to resolve those risks.
To avoid commoditized conversations, you need to help your prospects see their situations in fresh and revealing ways. You need to help them realize the inconsistencies or uncertainties in the way they’re doing things today.
Now, your prospect has a reason to care about your strengths and capabilities. They go from not adding value to being invaluable. This intersection between your prospect’s Unconsidered Needs and your solution’s unique strengths is where you can establish that you’re singularly qualified to drive a better, more valuable change scenario.