Fundamentals | Deliberate Selling
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Fundamentals

We've all seen the cartoon that goes "Ready, Fire, Aim!".
Unfortunately its all too true for companies that never quite get their strategy sorted. Target markets are too broad, target buyers poorly defined. product and offering deliverables inflexible or irrelevant, and many other variables.

This scenario plays out every day in thousands of sales organizations each and every day. The result is poor to mediocre performance at best. If you think this is not you, or could not happen at your company, you could be right.

Sales and Marketing absolutely must align in these areas.
These 5 fundamentals need drive your recruitment, on boarding, sales process design, marketing collateral development, web design, and more. Imagine prospecting for business when you had little idea about your business, knew not much about the prospects, and what an insult it is to knock on someone's door and proclaim you're there to help when you have no clue.

Fundamentals inform your marketing and your sales content strategy. Everything you stands in relation to your competitors, target segment, what makes you different and valuable, the story you need to tell and your succinct message.

Competitive Analysis

Most companies have an excellent idea about who their competition is, how many there are, and in general what they do.
Yet these games companies don't know exactly what their direct competitors do to defeat them in the market place. Not knowing the fundamentals of your competitor's business is a sin. Most business owners know the competition at some level, yet the sales team never learns the specifics until much later in their term with the company. A solid sales on boarding program makes all the difference for both sales, and marketing.

 

Segmentation

Segmentation implies grouping and separating based on explicit criteria. Great idea!

There are so many elements to segment on. The better you segment, the better you will do, the more success you will enjoy..

It could be the:

  • Value
  • Offer
  • Customer Company
  • Buyer Persona
  • Vertical
  • Geography
  • many more…

Differentiation

When you got into this gig, you we're all alone, or one of a very select few. That was then, this is now.
Everything your sales team says, marketing says, and support says, sounds like everyone else. And there are many everyone else in your world - getting' kinda crowded!
Its not that you're not unique, its that nobody can tell. Too many web sites promote new & nice shiny objects, use pretty pictures, and happy faces to imply that your customers are happy. Yet no one in your target market, including current customers could describe what you do that is "better, relevant, or valuable".

And that really is a problem for sales and all marketing communications.
Why be a hapless commodity simply because you tell a me too story?

Value Story

Lets play 20 questions.
Ok, maybe not 20, but its try a few relevant ones.
What story does your company tell about the value created for the customers?

  • Is it quantifiable?
  • Is the value you claim unique to each buyer persona, or one size fits all?
  • Is your value story at the logo-brand level, or specific to each offering?
  • Is everyone on the same page, telling the same story?

Your offerings "DO" stuff, thats clear. And they do create specific value for specific clients in specific situations. Your value story needs correlate what you do to the value you create. To gain trust, you'll need it to be relevant, credible, and demonstrate sharp contrast.

Message

Can you reduce your message down to one or two points that your prospects will get, and your customers will agree is true?
Something like "we improve project performance by 3 - 8% while reducing Political Risk by over 40%".
Some people say that makes no sense. Talk to a relevant C-Suite executive, and they'll say it does.

People talk too much when they lack confidence.
If you don't know your offering value story, you can never be confident.
Sales process and marketing communications MUST reflect the distinct value you create for the executive and their organization. Past that, its all noise.