Are your sales challenges actually routed to your selling story?
Business to business (B2B) sales has always come with its own set of challenges; some unique and some not so, but over the past 6 months we’ve noticed some key trends that keep cropping up time and time again.
Many don’t seem to be getting the consistent focus and attention that they deserve or are simply packaged into other strategies as an afterthought.
But often, many of the issues link back to the actual selling story.
- What is it you are selling?
- What is in it for me as the commercial buyer of your product/service?
- Are the commercial benefits of what you are selling clear and concise?
Over the past 6 months we’ve been working with clients directly and through our consultancy division helping them breakdown their selling proposition challenges and combat them in a way that is simple, effective, and sustainable.
Here’s 3 of the top challenges we’ve encountered, along with what our recommendations are to fix these issues if they resonate with your business:
No 1 : The Selling Story is Often Disconnected.
We’re all guilty of it – it’s easy to set out with an ambition to ‘grow market share by X’ or ‘grow market visibility from XX% to XX%’, but what has become apparent is that businesses are losing their ‘why?’.
A website is not enough to sell a proposition on its own (particularly in the B2B space). Although it does have a part to play as 90% of customer buying decisions start online.
It’s becoming increasingly difficult to separate yourself from the competition and as Gartner made very clear the B2B buying process has changed, and your sales strategy must, too:
This means that there are more touch points in the buying journey than ever! It also places a microscope on your proposition and your key differentiators/unique selling points.
The challenge we’re seeing here is that the take-to-market selling story has been lost in translation across multiple channels and therefore misinterpreted by your prospects.
With changing resource across the board, different attitudes and mindsets, responsibilities that are misaligned to skill sets, numerous social media channels and routes to market, a wide range of products and services, A and B testing… the list goes on…
…you can quickly see how easy it would be for your selling story to become disconnected.
Make sure you have a clear and concise customer journey mapped out which details all your buyers buying touchpoints.
Put yourself in the eyes of the buyer not the seller!
What do they want from you and how can you best serve them…whilst acknowledging that not every buyer is at the same stage of the journey.
Mapping the customer journey is the first stage and critical to developing a selling proposition that touches all buying touchpoints.
No 2 : Lack of shareable content that delivers the story concisely
As a result of the above, shareable assets that help deliver your B2B message are at an all-time low (in a world that is so digitally active!).
‘Content’ is a term that’s thrown around a lot nowadays and we’re not talking about trying to sell a £50k machine through Instagram to your friends.
Good content is about producing assets that are relatable and easily digested by your prospect audience, and which are in line with a unified brand narrative and selling story.
2 years ago, the Direct Marketing Institute (DMI) published that 75% of B2B buyers were using social media to research vendors. That was before we all adopted remote working!
This content could come in the form of blogs (like this one ????), infographics, success stories or case studies, videos, testimonials, reports, newsletters.
The point is that it all forms touch points in a buying journey and we as humans, just expect this now.
If it’s aligned to your selling story and has a unified brand identity it can then be delivered across both your sales and marketing functions and guess what – you’ll be seen to be singing from the same hymn sheet!
Make sure you have a content plan that aligns precisely to your customer journey and that the timelines are relevant to your message and draw on real-time happenings in the market, where possible.
Decide which stage of the journey your assets relate to and focus on executing well. Take time to understand your engagement and reach so that you can apply it to the channels that are relevant to your audience.
No 3 : Consistency in selling the story…
In addition to the above points, we’ve also found that overcoming them alone won’t suffice.
There’s equally a need for a common understanding throughout your business about the importance of each – from C-suite through to the Reps on the ground!
Everybody needs to be driving in the same direction, consistently. Otherwise, you’re back to square one.
Naturally, this is incredibly true of the sales and marketing teams. There must be communication and collaboration in order to feel part of and, truly believe in your proposition.
Employees need enabling; they need the training, background, and support in order to understand and deliver a unified
Acknowledge that sales and marketing should work in harmony. Think yin and yang.
Both functions are designed to complement one another. Cascade this mentality throughout your business and make resources readily available for sales teams to access at the right time.
Deliver ongoing, consistent, training and ensure everybody understands your history, direction and ambition as well as (and this is important) how to sell it.
We are a 21st century, sales growth agency and we pride ourselves in simplifying your challenges.
If your selling proposition has lost its potency and relevance in the marketplace or, is not being translated and delivered consistently by your sales team then we can help.
Not only do we help our clients develop a compelling selling story, but we also help translate this to sales content that can be utilised across multiple channels AND finally we train this into your sales team…
…so, everybody tells the same powerful, selling story, the same way, ALWAYS.
Get in touch, and we’ll share with you how we use our marketing leading technology capability and 20+ years’ experience to re-engineer your selling story and amplify your sales potential.
P.S. If you’ve read this and realised that you don’t have a selling story at all, we’ll help get your business ready for 21st Century selling. Just drop us a message with the word ‘Discovery’ to find out how!