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October 14, 2016

Stand and Deliver… Consistently

 

Being in the business of selling technology made for salespeople, I find myself in contact with sales leaders of all stripes on an almost daily basis.  I hear a broad range of questions and concerns covering a whole slew of topics that can vary widely from one industry to another, but one issue seems to show up as a major challenge for almost everybody I talk to:  message consistency. 

Anyone in business understands the necessity to differentiate yourself from your competitors and communicate a consistent brand message to your market.  This is something that many of us have gotten good at, and are able to manage by meticulously controlling every element of the signals we send, from our marketing campaigns to the look and features of our products.

But given the care our companies take to communicate consistently to the outside world, how do we make sure our sales team is branding the company the way we want it to be branded when they’re communicating with customers and prospects?  We’ve all experienced that “cringe factor” when hearing one of our reps delivering the wrong message or talking features and specs instead of articulating value.  After all, 85 percent of companies agree their sales teams’ ability to articulate value messages is the single most critical factor in closing deals, so executing on this is a must.

What to Do?

Traditionally, we’ve been forced to spend precious resources pushing out volumes of content while flying managers and reps to national sales meetings and face-to-face training sessions.  The problem is, we can’t be sure our reps are actually using all of that content we are giving them, and without some sort of ongoing reinforcement, research has shown that most of what they learn in the face-to-face sessions is likely to be forgotten within 90 days.

Consequently, one solution that modern sales organizations are turning to in order to fill this training gap is mobile-video sales learning.  Over the last few years, the technology has caught up to allow fast and easy sharing of videos across entire organizations without worrying about impossibly slow load times.  If you can avoid the need for face-to-face training sessions to get your reps up to speed on new product rollouts, new messaging, or message consistency certification, you can begin to get a handle on whether or not your team is representing the company the way you want them to.

Managers can share new product messaging, give assignments and see exactly how reps are delivering their pitch.  This allows managers to continually review individual reps’ performance even with geographically dispersed teams.  Another advantage of peer-generated video: sales reps can easily record and share videos highlighting best practices, insights from the field, tips on objection handling, and customer stories with their entire team, wherever they’re located.

Inspect What You Expect

Being able to leverage this kind of technology enables your managers to gain deeper insight into what is really going on in the field and actually inspect what they expect.  You gain a new level of visibility into exactly what your reps are delivering when they “stand and deliver” in front of prospects and customers, as well as an easier way to onboard new hires and identify problem areas with salespeople before it’s too late to fix them.

If you’re heading to CEB Sales and Marketing Summit next week, I’ll be facilitating a breakfast roundtable discussion among sales leaders from different industries on the topic of ensuring message consistency in the dynamic global sales environment as well as other trends shaping high performance sales teams of the 21st century.  If you’ll be in Vegas, we hope you’ll stop by our kiosk (#9) to learn more about how Allego can help your sales team deliver a consistent value message.

 

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