26 May 2020
Ep.5 – Tailoring Your B2B Sales Messaging
In this episode we’re going to be looking at how you can craft your sales messaging, and specifically how you can start to think about how you can apply different types of sales messaging – more impact, deliver greater results.
Let’s get started today looking at the different levels. 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 at a company.
So what are you known for?
What differentiates you?
What value are you, as a company, bringing to 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 ecosystem.
So for 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. So, 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 repurpose content from podcast episodes into other marketing materials?
So the messaging helps me to understand who they are, what they do, where they fit, and how they can bring value to me, as a customer.
Ok, let’s move on to Solution Level messaging.
This is where you’re proposing a method or solution option for the customer. You could also think of it as customer challenge level messaging. If I use an example of outsourcing your IT as a solution, this isn’t exactly a product or service, but it’s a solution to a customer’s challenge.
Underneath this solution, you might have multiple products or services that you would use to deliver that solution to the customer.
Now another solution might be a completely different method, such as keeping your IT running yourself instead of outsourcing IT. So when we talk about solution-level messaging, we’re positioning a journey to customers – so we want to demonstrate in our messaging how our proposed solution would help them to overcome their challenges and enable them to meet their business’ aspirations and goals.
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, 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 you want to find an alternative way to get to work instead of using your car everyday.
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 decided which option or which ‘route’ you want to take yet, never mind being in a position to decide on a specific supplier.
The company offering an on-demand car service has sales messaging focused on the benefits of moving away from owning your own car and paying for travel when you need it, instead of investing up front in a car. But when you speak to the company selling electric bikes, they start telling you how their latest electric bike goes twice as fast as competitors 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 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 then look at 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 level messaging. This first way is by making your messaging customer industry specific.
So this is about tailoring your messaging to align with the different sectors in which you operate. So for example, you might sell outsourced IT services into the Financial Services Sector – in which case, you might want to have specific messaging about why Financial Services organisations should choose your company to work with, specific messaging about how your solutions support financial services organisations’ specific industry challenges, and specific messaging for each of your products to align them 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. So you can customise how you position Product A to buyers in the HR Department, compared with how you position the product to buyers in the finance department – and so on.
In our playbooks, we usually include around three Buyer Roles for each product or service to help sales reps have more credible conversations with different buyer profiles across their customers.
You could do this across departments or even across Managers versus their staff – so for example, as 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 they are decision makers or they influence the sale in some way.
Ok so that’s all for this week, so to recap we’ve looked at how to think about splitting your sales messaging out for greater impact, across:
Company level messaging
Solution or customer challenge level messaging
Product level messaging
Industry specific sales messaging
Buyer role sales messaging
You could also create messaging focused on specific customer challenges, and on each of your customers’ objectives. It depends how detailed and bespoke you want to go in defining sales messaging for your teams.
Find out more about how to build sales messaging over at https://contemsa.com/sales-playbook/
Find out more about The Sales Way Podcast: https://thesalesway.com
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