According to SiriusDecisions, 71% of sales representatives polled stated that their inability to close deals is due to a lack of knowledge. Make reps smarter about the needs of their buyers, give them some sales scripts and positioning statements that are targeted to each of their buyer personas and the problem is solved, right?
Unfortunately it’s not that simple. Let’s dig a little deeper.
To provide meaningful value to the buyer in sales conversations, the rep must be prepared to clearly communicate and convey the following for each buyer persona:
- Key Messages – to best position the company’s unique value propositions
- Insights – including key trends and finding, and what other companies in their industry are doing to solve similar problems
- Goals – that each buyer persona is trying to achieve
- Questions – that show the rep’s business expertise and uncover motivations to buy
- Competitive Positioning – in a non-disparaging manner, why your solution is better
- Objections – typically asked by the buyer and the best responses
That’s a lot of content that the rep has to learn and apply. The enormity of the challenge becomes apparent when you consider all the possible combinations of buying opportunities that might emerge.
As an example, let’s expand this sales conversation challenge over 8 target industries, with 3 sub-verticals, with 6 different buying personas, 6 key conversational elements across 4 different solutions. That represents a total of 3,456 different sales conversation scenarios.
How can a rep have a true value-add conversation if he doesn’t have the means to gather, organize and learn all this content in advance of one of the 3,456 possible combinations? It’s even more daunting when customer needs, products, industry challenges, competitors, etc. are constantly changing. No wonder reps are much more comfortable talking about product features instead of business value.
The solution to the sales conversation challenge begins with a sales content strategy. First, prepare a “sales conversation matrix” to better understand the challenge your salespeople face when trying to add value to their conversations. You’ll then be in a better position to formulate a strategy to create the content that will help them increase their effectiveness.
Once you have a plan for what content you need to provide to your sales team, use technology like bigtincan’s to make that content easy for reps to find and apply in their conversations. Better yet, use sales enablement technology within a guided selling framework, where sales content and training is delivered just-in-time, relevant to the buyer persona and the current stage of the buying cycle. Armed with relevant, valuable sales content available within minutes of a sales conversation, your reps will quickly become trusted, knowledgeable advisors and engage with buyers on a much higher level than your competitors.
For specifics on deploying a sales content strategy, download our 5 Steps to Higher Sales Productivity ebook.