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5 Techniques to Use Before the Sale

Ankur SrivastavaBy Ankur Srivastava

I am constantly amazed by the variety of companies that approach us after burning through a significant chunk of their investments, and are missing the basic sales kits or assets that sales professionals need to successfully understand and represent their offering back to their customer base. In the last few months we’ve reviewed hundreds of companies and there are five constant pieces of information we find every great company has invested in. We also had a chance to survey our seller community and they came back with these as their top requirements to effectively engage a company and get them into their target accounts.

1. YouTube Videos — In the digital age where information is always ready to be consumed, people want access to information and they want it fast! Since sales professionals are generally out and about, they rarely have the luxury of sitting down and going through your value prop. However, they do watch and listen. When we asked our seller community, it was to no surprise that YouTube videos were voted as one of the best mediums to ingest content. We’ve also found that more and more companies are investing in these assets and often are fairly easy to produce. Today companies are investing in explainer videos as well as pitch and demos that can be easily uploaded to YouTube and shared. We’ve asked a lot of the founders of companies who are on our SwarmSales today to create these videos; often it’s as simple as launching a GoToMeeting session and recording it. The key here is making sure you wrap it up in 3-5 minutes, and if you can’t get the value prop within that timeframe, then you have another set of issues you have to deal with.

Tools to use: GoToMeeting or WebEx (any conferencing software with recording ability); iMovie, or something similar for editing; and a YouTube account.

2. Target Buyers — If you haven’t identified your target buyers or at least the persona, you should probably stop reading and prioritize this exercise. This is single-handedly one of the most important things you should absolutely know. If tomorrow you were to reach out to a profile to secure a meeting, your constituents should clearly know who, what for, and why they are reaching out to them. It’s amazing how many companies we’ve spoken to that have identified the wrong buyers for their offering. This is where companies die. You could be talking to someone that is trying to fit a round peg in a square hole, while your time and precious engineering resources are being devoured. You can’t afford that. If you absolutely don’t know or aren’t sure if you have the right target buyer, go work with folks to figure this out; it will help you. We’ve often referred companies to www.BetaSales.co, a sales accelerator that works with enterprises to align companies with enterprise executives to flush out the ideal target buyers and use cases. Their proficiency lies in creating sales playbooks, creating/refining sales processes, implementing your sales methodology, implementing a sales forecasting process, defining pricing for new products, and implementing negotiation strategy.

3. Battle cards — Often defined as a solution matrix or a competitive card, it serves multiple purposes. The core reason sellers love battle cards is because they deliver a quick-glance capability and help establish which use cases to qualify when meeting with your target client. They also help in positioning your solution against the incumbent products your solution is trying to displace. I’ve seen some amazing battle cards where you can understand a company’s complete strategy based on this offering. We absolutely require companies to at least put some thought into these cards, because sellers tend to lean more toward representing companies that have invested the time in building these. Here is a good example that will help you start thinking through the process and if you don’t have the details — project them.

4. Email Templates — We know there is nothing like a great email to attract attention; however, the days of quick responses to email are fading quickly. That’s why it’s absolutely important to have very precise emails that entice your end users to understand the value proposition of your offering quickly and how it ties to their pain points. Furthermore, if you have several use cases, you MUST have an email for every one of them. Here is the reason why I absolutely require these from our CEOs or CROs:  A seller has to reach out to hundreds of prospects during a week. If they have to craft a different email to every single contact, their bandwidth is drastically reduced — so make it easier for them. It will take you a couple of hours to draft, but it will pay dividends in the long run. Remember, the goal is to give the seller just enough information where they tweak the email and make it their own. Here is an example of a sample email:

Hi ——-

I am working with Company X, and I wanted to connect to see if you had a chance to meet and provide feedback to the founders on their offering. Specifically, if it would be something you could apply to internal business pain points you might be trying to resolve.

Company X is focused on solving… (what problem are you solving) and have been working with folks who are … (target buyers’ role) and are focused on …. Their solution allows (target buyers) to (identify the value).

I am attaching a quick link to their video presentation, as well as a high-level case study. Would welcome a chance to connect. Please let me know what works.

Best,
Seller

5. Elevator Pitch — Can you articulate your elevator pitch in 30 seconds? If not, start recording yourself and get to it. There is a reason why it’s called an elevator pitch — the best sellers who have some of the most amazing relationships walk the halls of your target accounts, and if they are going to drop by and get your target buyers’ attention, they have 30 seconds to do it. By having a well-constructed elevator pitch, you will find that sellers are able to pitch your value prop quickly and secure a meeting. So take the time to put your pitch forward, and heck, if you need us to review it, we would be happy to do so. After all, you will need it before we approve you on SwarmSales.

I should mention things like case studies, data sheets and use cases were also recognized as required assets; however, these five pieces of information ranked the highest among the sales community.

Ankur Srivastava is the CEO and co-founder of SwarmSales, a trusted global platform for targeted enterprise sales.


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