Consistency: The Missing Piece to Sales Success

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Imagine you’re looking to make a new purchase. You do your research, sign up for emails and download marketing materials. Then you get on the phone with a sales rep for the first time, and the story you hear is completely different than what you saw online. You’ve probably lost confidence in your sales rep, and the product itself by this point.

With the complexity of products on the market, and the sheer amount of information available, it’s likely you’ve experienced something similar, whether you were buying enterprise software or a new laptop or cell phone.

Being in the business of selling technology for enterprise sales organizations, I am in regular contact with sales leaders and I know firsthand about the challenges that come with increasingly complicated sales cycles and more empowered buyer communities. Not surprisingly, every industry has its unique challenges, but there is one topic that remains a major impediment for almost every sales team: message consistency.

Anyone in business understands the need to differentiate from competitors and create a consistent brand identity. Your brand and your value proposition should be clear and consistent at every stage of the sales cycle. However, with so many moving pieces in an organization, not to mention geographically dispersed sales teams and continuous staff turnover, how do you manage message consistency not just across the sales organization, but across the enterprise?

Conquering the Cringe Factor
Whether visiting a company’s website for product info, talking to a sales rep, or calling the customer support helpdesk, the experience should be cohesive and seamless for customers. However, as sales reps, we’ve all experienced that “cringe factor” when hearing a colleague deliver the wrong message. Or we’ve been given collateral by marketing that’s supposed to help us make the sale, but touts features and specs instead of articulating value. As companies grow, it becomes more difficult to ensure that all departments are communicating consistently with customers and prospects. Yet without alignment, cringe-worthy sales moments are almost guaranteed.

One step toward creating a consistent value message is to include both sales and marketing in the discussion. While it’s often true that marketing takes the lead when creating new messaging and collateral, sales reps can offer firsthand insight into specific customer pain points and industry trends – and whether or not messages will resonate with key audiences.

Another equally important step is ensuring that teams have access to the most up-to-date and relevant content. According to Erin Provey, service director, Strategic Communications Management at SiriusDecisions, “Sixty to seventy percent of content in b-to-b organizations goes unused. The number-one reason? Irrelevance. The number-two and number-three reasons? People don’t know it exists or can’t find it.”

Sales reps simply aren’t getting the tools they need to stand and deliver a consistent message. Traditionally, sales departments have been forced to spend precious resources pushing out volumes of training content while flying teams to national sales meetings and face-to-face training sessions, which offers little guarantee that reps will remember any of their training when they need it most: at deal time. In fact, without ongoing reinforcement, research has shown that most of what reps learn during a training event, like a national sales meeting, is likely to be forgotten within 90 days.

Mobile-Video Puts Everyone on the Same Page
Consequently, one solution that modern sales organizations are using to fill this training gap is mobile-video sales learning. Over the last few years, the technology has caught up to the promise of mobile-video, allowing for fast and easy sharing of content across entire organizations without impossibly slow load times.

With mobile-video sales learning, managers can share new product messaging, give assignments and see exactly how reps are delivering their pitch, allowing them to assess 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 high-impact customer stories with their entire team, wherever they’re located.

Using video sales learning tools has the added benefit of being highly accessible not just to the sales team, but to other departments they interact with, like marketing and customer service. Short debriefing videos created by salespeople after sales calls can help the marketing team see firsthand objections raised that may not have been considered – and it can help them see that, in fact, the salesperson did stick to the script. Additionally, customer service teams can record and share short videos detailing a new user rollout, giving the sales and marketing teams valuable information to highlight as a customer success story with prospects. Video can be the ideal bridge for multiple departments to achieve unsurpassed collaboration and message consistency.

Maintaining consistency is a cyclical process, requiring ongoing participation from multiple departments. Being able to access mobile-video content enables managers across departments to gain deeper insight into what is really going on in the field and get a deeper look into the brand identity being established in the market.

To achieve a smooth sales cycle, it’s imperative that both sales and marketing understand the complete buyer journey – not just the parts that involve them. Consistency is vital in establishing trust and building meaningful relationships with customers, which should be the ultimate goal for all involved.

Mark Magnacca
Mark Magnacca is the President and co-founder of Allego, and has spent the last 15 years helping sales leaders shorten the sales cycle and distribute their best ideas faster. Prior to co-founding Allego, Mark founded Insight Development Group, Inc., a leading Sales and Presentation training firm specializing in the Financial Services industry. As a former financial advisor, Mark brings a unique perspective to the world of consultative selling. Mark is a graduate of Babson College and resides in the Boston area.

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