Sales Enablement for a New Message
Messaging is critical to the way products and services are sold, marketed, and perceived in the marketplace. What we say about ourselves has a direct effect on the bottom line. Here are the do’s and don’ts for taking a new sales message to market:
New Sales Message Mistakes
Companies spend a lot of time and resources on the marketing strategy for a new message. Unfortunately, “sales messaging” (the words salespeople say in conversations with customers) often receives a lot less attention. Focusing primarily on the new tagline and high-level pitch deck leaves a lot of gaps for salespeople and partners.
One of the most common pitfalls is underestimating the degree of change needed, and the timeline for the change. A major shift in the message requires more than alaunch at sales kickoff or a team webinar. It’s easy to assume salespeople will like and buy-into your new message. It’s painful when you roll out a new message only to find that the sales team doesn’t embrace it; instead relying on a comfortable old message. The sales team may even be skeptical if they don’t understand why a change is needed and why it will resonate with customers.
The final mistake is not making sure salespeople receive the coaching and learn the skills to be successful with a new message. For example, the sales team may fully support a new strategy and message but not have the confidence or ability to deliver the message at the right level in the customer organization.
Driving Sales Mastery of a New Message
The goal should be sales mastery and adoption of the new message as quickly as possible. That starts with clearly defining why the message had to change and why salespeople and channel partners should be confident the message will lead to results with customers.
A great way to get started is to get everyone involved. This might look like a cross-departmental meeting with sales, marketing, and product leaders focused on defining and documenting the sales engagement strategy, along with the implementation plan. With everyone involved you’re less likely to leave glaring gaps (like focusing only on a pitch-deck). Get salespeople involved, too. Having salespeople involved in creating and validating a playbook will build credibility when you launch the new message with the whole sales team. Another group that’s often overlooked is the customer. Road test your new message and get feedback from friendly contacts.
Ideally, this sales and customer-validated content will be packaged as a sales-friendly playbook. The best playbooks provide simple and practical guidance for everything a salesperson needs to know, do, say, and show for the new message.
A significant messaging change requires an experiential training launch - whether it’s delivered through large in-person sessions or though managers leading team meetings. Experiential training means application, simulation, and role-play. Immediately following the launch, consider a “90-day sprint” that challenges the sales team to accomplish a series of milestones or activity goals that will lead to quick wins. Celebrate those early wins to build momentum. Identify which salespeople are having success and package up what they are doing & how they are doing it for the rest of the sales organization. These sales insights can be delivered through on-demand training, webinars, or podcasts.
What Success Looks Like
Canadian telco company TELUS transitioned to a new sales strategy and message around digital transformation. TELUS’ new message has resulted in larger, more strategic deals and faster time to productivity for new sales reps. Here’s three ways TELUS accelerated sales change and outcomes:
Bringing sales, marketing, and product together in building the right selling strategies, messaging, and tools
Combining the implementation of digital transformation messaging with the roll out of a sales leadership system to drive the right sales behaviors
Prioritizing multiple rounds of training over time through a variety of enablement approaches: In-person, virtual, on-demand, and manager-led
“DSG has been a trusted and collaborative partner in enhancing how we interact with our customers. We needed a more customer-focused message and a way to help our sales executives define their new identity and adopt a new way to have business conversations at the C level. That was the impetus behind our digital transformation messaging. DSG has helped us transform not only in the way we interact with our customers, but also how develop our teams with a focus on sales rep coaching and team development. We already had great existing sales processes and DSG was able to leverage our methodology and adapt to it.” LOUIS MORIN, VP OF SALES PERFORMANCE, TELUS
Consultation with DSG
Are you about to implement a new sales message? DSG has 25 years experience working with B2B companies to accelerate sales mastery and adoption of new messaging. In a brief web meeting we can:
Share a sales messaging playbook example
Show how high-level branding & positioning can tightly connect to what salespeople are saying in customer conversations
Explain a framework for making change stick through “continuous learning” versus relying on a big event