Sean is a principal at FitzMartin, and our leading mind and voice on sales and marketing strategy. Sean is particularly adept at applying the science of behavior change to the art of sales and marketing. It’s an approach that he and FitzMartin have developed over thousands of client engagements since 1992.
Recently I got an email offer from a company offering to fix a sales efficiency problem we apparently suffer by automating the proposal writing process through a CRM (customer relationship management) system plug in.
The email: “I don’t know how long it takes you guys to write up a proposal, but I do know for a fact that all salespeople hate wasting time on writing them.
(Part 1 of 2)
They (stressfully) put an ugly and impersonal thing together as fast as they can (even though its one of the most important documents that will pass through their desk). Your sales people would prefer to be selling… (like I mentioned in the email I sent you last month…Maybe you were too busy customizing another proposal...)
Let them auto-generate a customized proposal directly from Salesforce that actually impresses your clients minutes after a meeting.”
Aside from the typo (it’s not its) in the second paragraph, I think they totally missed the point. Here’s why.
One key to helping your sales team spend more time selling is found in the routinization of your company’s offerings.
Products and services can and should be defined into plans that allow your company and your prospects to review what they are buying and the path to receive what they bought in a predefined manner.
For example I cut and pasted these words, with no editing, from the product/service plan document for one of our key consulting offerings called the Sales Gap Analysis.
What is a Sales Gap Analysis?
… “our Sales Gap Analysis applies a proven behavioral-science methodology to clarify what tools (and selling behaviors) are appropriate at each stage of the consumer decision journey. We start by working with you to appraise the current performance of your sales and marketing efforts. We then look closely to identify what gaps (or barriers) might exist in your sales and marketing processes from the perspective of B2B decision makers. From there, we’ll collaborate with you to plug those gaps and tear down any walls.”
Why do you need it? What problem does it solve?
“By the time a B2B buyer contacts a sales reps, the prospect has already progressed through 60% of the consumer decision journey. They’ve done most of their due diligence to not only define their problem, but to assess the value of your solution. This explains why 72% of B2B purchase decision makers say that a major determinant of purchase choice is a sales rep’s ability to ‘solve business objectives.’
B2B prospects are reaching out to sales reps later in the consumer decision journey. They are also weeding out potential providers from consideration before your sales forces has a chance to intervene.
The power of your sales team to shape a prospect’s initial expectations, to frame problems in a way that couches your offerings in the most favorable light, has been severely eroded.
Without a sound understanding of the customer decision journey and what barriers or gaps along that path your buyer experiences, well, then you have lost the ability to impact the majority of a purchase. Your sales and marketing teams are ineffectual.
You need more than just marketing and sales aligned with each other – you also need marketing and sales jointly aligned with your customer-to-be (the prospect).
What is the result of hiring you (buying)? “Our Sales Gap Analysis applies a proven methodology...
(...continued next week with Part 2 of 2)