The title of today’s post stimulates from a recent report “Selling Challenges Study” from Richardson. Richardson conducted a survey with field sales reps, senior sales professionals, and sales leaders to gauge what they felt would be their biggest challenges faced.
Salespeople say their top 3 challenges to closing a deal this year are:
- competing against a low-cost provider,
- creating a compelling case for change to avoid a “no decision”
- positioning competing value proposition.
These challenges actually reveal something greater, marketing and sales aren’t working collaboratively. These selling challenges are less of issue when there’s a culture of cooperation and integration within sales and marketing.
Sales and marketing must come together at the point where awareness and messaging connect.
Below are three marketing activities that I believe should be at the forefront of any attempt to solve the biggest challenge to closing a deal.
1. Competing Against A Low-Cost Provider
The secret here is take price out of the equation by offering a product or service with some remarkable and desirable element that can’t be compared. Until you can firmly offer a solid reason for why a prospect should buy from or hire you over the competition, you’ll compete on price.
When salespeople solution sell and respond to RFPs they basically make every business look the same and make price the primary issue.
Working your marketing team can help identify what service or product elements really nails the buyers pain-point or desire. Working together marketing and sales can communicate a unique way of doing business that will demonstrate a premium pricing value proposition.
- First Responder Cleaning. There are very few one-of-a-kind commercial cleaning services. They offer a 30 minute response time
- Punctual Plumber. We’re on time —offers to pay commercial customers $5 for every minute they’re late up to $300
- Attorney’s are notorious for not returning phone calls in a timely manner — one attorney offers a Return Call Guarantee. If clients’ calls aren’t returned in one business day, they’ll take $500 off the client’s next invoice
- Contractors frequently overbid projects and rely on the power behind their license as a justification — Guarantee your work to pass Building and Safety inspection or you will fix it for free
- Customer support don’t really care if you find a solution or not — offer a No Hang Up Guarantee “We don’t hang up until you’re happy”
2. Creating a Compelling Case for Change to Avoid a “No Decision”
Today you must prove your value, make a compelling case for why a prospect should change vendors or buy your offering.
Creating this compelling case may be the most significant piece for your salespeople. It can become a handy tool for cutting through the marketing hype and getting to reason why a prospect should trade their money for what your have to offer. It informs the buyer that you have a completely different way of addressing their challenge.
Your compelling case for change and to avoid a “no decision” should address the following in a seminar format, case study, marketing kit or any other marketing material:
- A challenge, problem or desire that your customer has
- An mental picture of what business is like when the challenge or problem is solved or desired fulfilled
- The path that got them in this position in the first place
- A call to action or change
3. Positioning Competing Value Proposition
One of the biggest challenges that any business faces in the area of marketing and sales is standing out from everyone else that says they do what you do or make what you make or provide what you provide.
The best way to create a competition crushing value proposition is to commit to sitting down with a handful of your best clients face to face or over the phone for about fifteen minutes and conduct an service improvement interview of sorts that may lead to some powerful propositions.
From your interviews you should have some key phrases, words, language used to describe your offering to work with to create a competition crushing value proposition.