I bet you already have a long list of launch announcements and product training sessions for your sales kickoff. That’s important information, but it’s not enough.
If your sales people are still having difficulty engaging executive and business audiences, even after that expensive solution selling training you invested in so recently, it’s because they lack a good alternative to the product-centric pitch.
Executive audiences – whether IT or Business – don’t need your sales people to recite widely-known industry trends as an intro to the product pitch. They don’t want to waste a meeting hearing information they could just as easily find on your website.
They DO want
- To see that you understand their business, in-depth
- To hear new insights about how to apply technology to grow their business
- To experience what it’s like to collaborate with your company
- To be able to justify their decision to work with you
That means your sales people need a new arsenal. Here are some changes you can make in time for Sales Kickoff:
- Throw away the PowerPoint. Replace presentation slides about industry trends with interactive discussion guides about customers’ objectives.
- Ask Insightful Questions. Your sales training and tools should provide lots of open-ended questions that intrigue customers, demonstrate sales reps’ expertise, and help discover what’s really of value to buyers.
- State a point of view. Give Sales something unique to say that customers haven’t heard from everyone else: Make some bold statements, show a distinct approach, or share a new perspective. Challenge common knowledge or the status quo.
- Tell Stories. Replace recitations of product benefits with use case-driven value stories. Provide sales people with stories that illustrate how you have helped similar companies (and will help them) create tangible business results within specific use cases by leveraging your unique capabilities.
- Brainstorm. Turn sales meetings into collaborative brainstorming sessions by enabling sales people to discuss many options and approaches, point out the pros and cons of each, and explain how they fit with other products the customer is likely to need.