In Episode 5 of The Sales Way Podcast we look at how you can tailor your B2B sales messaging – to have more impact and deliver greater results. Here’s the podcast episode with the edited transcript below:
We’ve also included an edited transcript below about how to make your sales messaging more bespoke to your customers so that it resonates more with prospects.
Let’s get started with looking at the different levels of sales messaging through our Sales Messaging Hierarchy.
Company Level Messaging
So firstly – we have your Company Level messaging.
This is where you position your company as a whole, and the aim is to help your buyers understand where you fit in the market, as a company.
- So what are you known for providing?
- What differentiates you from the competition?
- What value are you, as a company, bringing to your customers?
I also like to think of company level messaging as being about helping customers to place you and figure out where you fit in their ‘needs’ ecosystem.
So as an example, I’ve been following a company on LinkedIn who help businesses with podcasting.
So immediately, as a potential customer for them, I am trying to figure out where exactly they fit in the podcasting ecosystem to understand how they can help me. Are they helping companies with launching a podcast, or are they helping with recording and editing podcasts? Or perhaps they help with marketing podcasts or repurposing content from podcast episodes into other marketing materials?
So the aim of their Company Level messaging helps me, as a customer, to understand who they are, what they do, where they fit, and how they can bring value to me.
Solution Level Messaging
Ok, let’s move on to Solution Level messaging.
This is where you’re proposing a method or solution option for the customer – and it’s the stage before they have fully decided on the type of product they are going to purchase. You could also think of this messaging as ‘Customer Challenge’ level messaging.
I’m going to use an example of ‘outsourcing your IT’ as a solution. Underneath this solution header, you might have multiple products or services that you would use to deliver that solution to the customer (such as IT hosting, IT support services and so on…)
Now, your customer could also be considering other solutions to their problem, such as keeping their IT running in-house, instead of outsourcing the IT to an external provider. So, when we talk about solution-level messaging, we’re positioning a method, approach or journey to customers – therefore we want to demonstrate in our messaging how our proposed solution would help the customer to overcome their challenges and enable them to meet their business’ aspirations and goals (which is the core of how we build out Sales Playbook content).
But, the important thing to recognise here is to make sure you’re delivering the right message at the right time – if your customer is still at the solution stage where they’re deciding what route to take in order to solve their business challenge, it makes no sense to be positioning your products here.
Likewise, if your competitors are positioning their sales messaging at a solution level, you need to make sure you’re not responding with product level messaging.
Take this example:
Imagine you’ve decided that you want to find an alternative way to get to work instead of using your car each day.
You’ve decided to talk to a company who sells electric bikes, and a company that offers an on-demand carshare service.
You’ve not yet decided which option you want to go with, never mind being ready to decide on a specific supplier or product.
The company offering an on-demand car service has sales messaging focused on the benefits of moving away from owning your own car and the benefits of paying for travel just when you need it, instead of investing capital up front in a car.
However, when you speak to the company selling electric bikes, they start telling you how their latest electric bike goes twice as fast as competitors’ bikes but uses half the energy, and has 20 gears.
These are two different levels of messaging, and the detail about the bike’s features is only relevant once you have decided that you are going to purchase a bike.
Instead, the electric bike company should focus on selling at a higher level – focusing on the benefits of moving away from car journeys towards less pollutant modes of transport, or why the exercise benefits of non-car journeys deliver amazing health benefits to their customers.
Then, once you decide that an electric bike is the right choice, you can look at product level messaging to make your choice about which bike to buy.
Product Level Messaging
So, that leads us nicely on to product messaging. Like in the example I’ve just been through – it’s about positioning how your product delivers value to your customers, how it aligns to their challenges and business objectives and what it enables them to do or achieve.
Each of your products will likely need their own sales messaging that forms the basis of any product briefs, brochures or sales presentations that you deliver.
Now, let’s look at how you can further tweak your company, solution and product messaging to make it more relevant to your customers.
This first way is by making your messaging Customer Industry specific.
Customer Industry Sales Messaging
This is about tailoring your messaging to align with the different sectors in which you operate.
For example, you might sell outsourced IT services into the Financial Services Sector – in which case, you might create specific messaging about why Financial Services organisations should choose your company to work with. You might also develop specific messaging about how your solutions support financial services organisations’ specific industry challenges, and have specific messaging in place for each of your products so that they align with the challenges, objectives, initiatives and perspectives that are bespoke to the financial services sector.
This makes your messaging more compelling and allows you to drill down into specifics for each of your customers’ industries.
Secondly, you can tailor your messaging to fit specific buyer roles.
Buyer Role Sales Messaging
You can also customise how you position your products to buyers in the HR Department, for example, compared with how you position the product to buyers in the finance department – and so on.
In our Sales Playbooks, we typically include three Buyer Roles for each product or service to help sales reps have more credible conversations with different buyer profiles across their customers, using the right language for the specific buyer role.
So if we’re talking to finance, we might discuss the CapEx versus OpEx benefits of our service, or if we’re talking to marketing, then we might focus on how our service will deliver more brand exposure for their company.
You can tailor sales messaging across departments or even across Managers versus staff – for example, an IT Administrator will have different motivators to the CIO. The key is obviously creating sales messaging for roles which have an impact on your sale – so either your sales messaging is targeted at decision makers or contacts who can influence the sale in some way.
Customer Challenge Sales Messaging
You can also create sales messaging that is organised into different customer challenges – focusing on each challenge one by one, and aligning your product/service messaging to demonstrate how you help customers solve this challenge, in detail. This can be really useful if there is a handful of very specific customer challenges that your product is great at solving, or if there are a wide variety of applications for your product then it can be a good way to get your sales teams clear on how to sell your product so that it aligns to different buyer requirements.
Customer Objective Sales Messaging
Like the Customer Challenge Sales Messaging, we can also create sales messaging focused on how our product aligns to specific customer objectives. You might call these ‘Sales Plays’ – where we take a specific objective such as ‘Reducing business operating costs’ and then align sales messaging to demonstrate how your product or service can deliver results for customers wanting to reduce their business costs.
In future podcast episodes, we’re going to go into more detail about how to craft your sales messaging, from start to finish.
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