Nothing Happens Until Someone Sells Something: Best Practices to Enabling Your Sales Channel to Effectively Sell Your Products

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Too often, those of us in the product marketing role are not doing enough to help our sales team or sales channel be successful. Our typical approach to helping is to provide a new salesperson with …

Too often, those of us in the product marketing role are not doing enough to help our sales team or sales channel be successful. Our typical approach to helping is to provide a new salesperson with some marketing collateral and a product presentation and then wish them luck as they look for prospects and try to close deals with anyone that listens. This approach is sufficient for the star salespeople as they intuitively know how to talk with the right potential buyers about their problems and then show these buyers how to solve these problems with their products or services. But unfortunately, this only represents about 20% of salespeople. The other 80% of sales people need more training and coaching to be successful and we as product marketers need to help them be successful. This is the process of “Sales Enablement”.

What happens when we don’t engage in the sales enablement process? Sales people pursue opportunities that don’t fit well with your solution, speak with the prospects that aren’t really decision makers, sell solutions that you don’t really have and the list can go on. But the overall resulting impact is wasted time and effort in pursuing the wrong opportunities, confusion in the market place and poor sales results.

In this webinar, you’ll learn:

• Why the typical approach to enabling sales doesn’t work.
• The key goals of a successful Sales Enablement program.
• The core tools you need to develop to effectively enable your sales channel.
• Best practices to make sure the Sales Enablement program is effectively implemented.

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  • 1. Nothing Happens Until Someone Sells Something: Best Practices to Enabling Your Sales Channel to Effectively Sell Your Products Tom Evans CompellingPM @compellingpm Copyright 2013. The Lûcrum Group, Inc.
  • 2. Presentation Agenda • Typical challenges with sales teams • Why this happens • What you (PM) can do to improve the situation Copyright 2013. The Lûcrum Group, Inc.
  • 3. The Scenario Product (Smart Credit) targeted for credit issuers to better manage credit lines and interest rates based upon the credit risk of their clients/prospects, resulting in more balance build and less delinquencies and write-offs. “The events depicted in this presentation are fictitious. Any similarity to any person or company, living or dead is merely coincidental." Copyright 2013. The Lûcrum Group, Inc.
  • 4. The Lead • Sales meets an IT Manager of credit card issuer at a trade show. • IT Mngr – “I need a solution to detect payment fraud. Can you do it?” • Sales – “Yes we can!” (liar) • Sets face-to-face visit Copyright 2013. The Lûcrum Group, Inc.
  • 5. The Prep • Sales to Marketing – Create new collateral that shows “our payment fraud solution.” • Sales to Sales Engineer – Help me with a new presentation about “our payment fraud solution.” And while you’re at it, create a new demo that shows “our payment fraud solution.” Copyright 2013. The Lûcrum Group, Inc.
  • 6. The Sales Presentation • PowerPoint Presentation – Let me tell you how great our company is. – Now, let me describe our Evolutionary Statistical Algorithm (ESA) and how great it is. • • • • Demo - Now for another “cool” feature. IT Mngr – “Do you have feature A, B, C?” Sales – “Yes we do” (liar) IT Mngr – “Here is RFP, Send a proposal” Copyright 2013. The Lûcrum Group, Inc.
  • 7. The Proposal • Sales to Marketing – Create a new proposal template for payment fraud. • Sales to Sales Engineer – Create answers for this RFP. • Sales to Engineering – We must have features A, B, C in the product now to win this deal. We have a final demo in three weeks. Copyright 2013. The Lûcrum Group, Inc.
  • 8. The Close • IT Mngr – “The VP of Fraud decided to go with Competitor X, which is used by companies a, b, c for the exact solution we need.” • Sales - Discount the price! • Sales - Discount it some more! • Sales - Send in the cavalry (executive team) • Sales - Oops – we still lost it – Why? Copyright 2013. The Lûcrum Group, Inc.
  • 9. The Why? • Opportunistic v. Targeted Opportunity – I.e., high unlikely to win to begin with. • Never engaged executive that owns the problem • Sales message was technical v. speaking to business needs Copyright 2013. The Lûcrum Group, Inc.
  • 10. The Impact • Wasted resources on long shot opportunity. • New features in the product that nobody needs. • A frustrated and irritated executive team. • Confusion in the market place on what the company does. Copyright 2013. The Lûcrum Group, Inc.
  • 11. The Real Why This Happens 1. That’s just the way sales people are. 2. They were never properly enabled with the right knowledge and tools. Copyright 2013. The Lûcrum Group, Inc.
  • 12. The Real Why This Happens 1. That’s just the way sales people are. 2. They were never properly enabled with the right knowledge and tools. PM Copyright 2013. The Lûcrum Group, Inc.
  • 13. The Solution Sales Enablement Who owns it? Who owns the message? Product Marketing Copyright 2013. The Lûcrum Group, Inc.
  • 14. Sales Enablement Defined Sales enablement is a strategic, ongoing process that equips all client-facing employees with the ability to consistently and systematically have a valuable conversation with the right set of customer stakeholders at each stage of the customer's problem-solving life cycle to optimize the return of investment of the selling system. (Forrester) Copyright 2013. The Lûcrum Group, Inc.
  • 15. Evidence of Sales Enablement Problem • In 43% of losses the reason was “Lost funding or lost to no decision (Forrester) • 39% of executives say that meetings with salespeople are valuable. (Forrester) Failure to Show Value Copyright 2013. The Lûcrum Group, Inc.
  • 16. Goals of Sales Enablement • Improve sales team productivity. • Enables sales to have valuable conversations with the right buyers. • Ensure consistency and clarity of messages. • Focus on right opportunities. • Provide better buying experience for prospects. • Improve sales success! Copyright 2013. The Lûcrum Group, Inc.
  • 17. Starting Point of Sales Enablement • Deep Understanding of Customers • Who they are – Buyer Personas • Why they buy – Problems they want to solve • How they buy – What is their buying process June 21 Webinar http://www.aipmm.com/aipmm_webinars/2013/05/how-to-develop-a-deepunderstanding-of-your-target-markets---the-starting-point-for-great-product-ma.php Copyright 2013. The Lûcrum Group, Inc. 19
  • 18. Sales Enablement (Base Components) • • • • • Product Backgrounder Needs Discovery Guide™ Executive Level Presentation Message Driven Demo™ Competitive Weapons Copyright 2013. The Lûcrum Group, Inc.
  • 19. Product Backgrounder • Target Markets / Segments • Market Needs / Challenges • Buyer Profiles - Personas / Needs / Challenges / Goals • Key Messages – Value Proposition – Points of Differentation • Talk Track Copyright 2013. The Lûcrum Group, Inc.
  • 20. Copyright 2013. The Lûcrum Group, Inc.
  • 21. Needs Discovery Guide • Aka - Pain Sheets / Solution Development Prompters • One per buyer role per market segment – Challenges / Impact / Capability / Benefits – Match to your sales methodology (if any) • Use buyer’s language/terms Copyright 2013. The Lûcrum Group, Inc.
  • 22. Copyright 2013. The Lûcrum Group, Inc.
  • 23. Executive Level Presentation • Market / Buyer needs • High level discussion of how your solution addresses needs. – Remember the key messages • Benefits / Value Proposition • Case Study • 10 to 15 slides Copyright 2013. The Lûcrum Group, Inc.
  • 24. Message Driven Demo • Communicates key messages. • Show how buyers needs are solved. • Build it as story. Copyright 2013. The Lûcrum Group, Inc.
  • 25. Competitive Weapons • Competitive Comparison Matrix – Value/benefits oriented • Competitive claims and your response • Questions to raise competitive weaknesses – Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt (FUD) • Don’t misrepresent or make false claims! Copyright 2013. The Lûcrum Group, Inc. 27
  • 26. Getting Sales Buy-in • Have an executive sponsor (Sales VP/CEO). • Train them and train them some more. • Test them on their knowledge via certification process. • Make the tools real (not ivory tower) • Show how this will make them me their objectives • Cannot be perceived as imposed by product/marketing Copyright 2013. The Lûcrum Group, Inc.
  • 27. Closing Thoughts • Train the sales team & then test them (certify) • Review on a regular basis. • Make sure marketing and the executive team participate. • Use for sales channel. • Much of info should already exist - MRD, Market Strategy, etc. Enhances your role as market expert! Copyright 2013. The Lûcrum Group, Inc.
  • 28. Upcoming Training • Optimal Product Management & Product Marketing – Dec 9 – 11 (Austin) • AIPMM Certifications – Nov 5 – 6 (CPM – Austin) – Nov 7 – 8 (CPMM – Austin) More dates/locations - www.280group.com Copyright 2013. The Lûcrum Group, Inc. 31
  • 29. Free 1 Hour PM/PMM Consult • • • • First ten to submit information on form http://compellingpm.com/freeonehour/ Please include background on topic or issue Must include company info (no Gmail) Copyright 2013. The Lûcrum Group, Inc. 32
  • 30. Thank You! Tom Evans CompellingPM tevans@compellingpm.com @compellingpm www.compellingpm.com Copyright 2013. The Lûcrum Group, Inc. 33