Today's post is by Jim Moliski, senior vice president of strategic services at Launch International. For more information about sales enablement, view this recent Webinar featuring experts from Sirius Decisions and Miller Heiman: Game-Changing Sales Enablement: Repeatable Conversations that Drive Revenue.
Are your salespeople under pressure to sell higher or more strategically? Do your content and tools support that approach? Too often, sales portals are packed with product information. Sellers need guidance on trends, issues, problems, and outcomes, but what they get is information about features and functions. You can’t fix this problem overnight, but you can take some positive steps right away to reinforce more strategic sales approaches.
Here are three simple, short-term strategies to help up-level sales conversations:
1. Profile your key buyers.
Most sales training teaches you to understand buyers, yet sales content often lacks information on who these buyers are and what they care about. Simple documents on the most common three to five buying roles can help your sellers develop the confidence to engage with more strategic audiences.
Start by interviewing your most successful salespeople. Ask them to name their most common targets: Who are they, and what do they care about? How do salespeople get in front of them? If possible, also ask customers who fit these descriptions to tell you about their challenges.
For the buyer roles, summarize the following:
- their responsibilities,
- the functions they manage,
- what they care about,
- what gets them promoted or fired,
- how they can be reached.
2. Summarize big-picture insight.
Successful salespeople get buyers to think differently about their problems and how to solve them. Your press releases, Website, and marketing campaigns often contain a wealth of insight on buyer issues and the unique ways your company helps address them. With minimum effort, you can summarize this insight and add guidance on how to use it to develop business.
Start by reviewing the source materials mentioned above and interviewing subject matter experts. Then create a simple set of coaching documents that summarize the following:
- What trend is impacting buyers?
- What problems or opportunities is the trend creating?
- How do buyers need to change?
- What is the benefit of changing and the cost of not changing?
- What can your company do to help?
3. Ask sales management to help get the word out.
A salesperson’s time is a precious, closely guarded commodity. How can you enable these new approaches when training can take weeks to schedule? Try enlisting your first-line sales managers. Sellers talk to their bosses frequently and tend to listen to them. Give sales managers some brief training, and encourage them to use every meeting as an enablement opportunity. Give them simple guidelines and tools, and provide anecdotes on how the most successful managers do it. Here are some opportunities for coaching:
- Deal-review calls
- Pre-meeting planning
- Team meetings
- Weekly check-in
Want to learn more? Check out these free resources from Launch International.