Sales Are A Lagging Metric Of Your Positioning
A FOUNDATIONAL APPROACH TO SALES
Do you find yourself during the sales conversation constantly being drawn into comparisons with other companies’ products and services?
Being asked by prospects that are close to finalising a sale “What is different between this or going with [insert competitor]?”
If you are good at objection handling can you quickly overcome this and continue with the sale.
Wouldn’t it be nicer if questions like that were never asked to begin with?
Of course it would!
But how do you get into a position where your products and services stand out as different and don’t draw comparisons with others?
Well it doesn’t happen when you are having a sales conversation, it happens a long time before that!
It doesn’t even happen when they are in your sales pipeline, by this stage the prospective customer has already built a perception of where you fit in the marketplace, and perceptions are very hard to change!
It doesn’t even happen in your marketing. Go all the way back and think about your brand and positioning strategy.
When done correctly this should give you a long-term plan to differentiate yourself in the marketplace in a way that aligns with your mission and vision for the company’s future.
Here you can analyse the market and create products and services from the beginning that are both different from what anyone else offers and that provide your customers with real value.
This way you are going to have a business where what you say you do and what you actually do aligns.
More than that it will give you the ability to have clear messaging from day 1! Clear messaging that separates you from other businesses.
A common problem that I see in businesses of all sizes is that the positioning of the company in the marketplace is not clearly articulated to the rest of the organisation, sometimes because it has never really been thought about in any real detail.
Why is this a problem?
It is a problem because if your marketing and sales teams can’t clearly articulate and don’t consistently communicate your unique selling proposition then you are leaving it up to the prospect to lump you in a category with your competitors.
Once the prospective customers perceive your business in a category they start to draw comparisons between your products and services and other companies products and services.
The prospective customer is now viewing your business as a commodity, they are no longer looking at the value you bring but instead comparing what you are charging to what others are charging.
The marketing becomes more competitive and therefore expensive and sales teams find the process more difficult as they have to address a larger number of objections and find it more difficult to persuade decision makers.
If your sales teams are having a hard time with it.
If your marketing is not getting the results you want or would expect.
Don’t look to replace people prematurely or start blaming others. Instead stop, look at your positioning, differentiate yourself and develop a place in the market that has, and can clearly articulate, its unique approach that customers place real value on.
When you do this from the top down and have executives push the narrative of the company your customer facing teams will be more effective and be better situated to get the results you want.