Imagine the day when your salesforce is totally in sync with your marketing goals. When they’re laser-focused on selling high-margin, strategic solutions that address real customer needs and drive profitable growth.
That’s the dream of every sales and marketing leader, so how come reality doesn’t always work out that way? You’ve equipped your sales organization with reams of market knowledge, segmentation data, customer personas, competitive insights and selling tools. Yet it’s like all your hard work ends up in a big black hole. They don’t use it, you don’t hit your numbers and everyone’s frustrated.
Here are three reasons why your marketing efforts might not be paying off—and how an interactive sales playbook can help you get your sales organization to sell more strategically.
1. Everything’s a priority, so nothing’s a priority
Salespeople have a lot on their plate—so if you’re adding more to it without taking anything away, you’re setting yourself up for fractured results. If you’re the only marketer vying for sales time, it might not be so bad, but very likely you’re competing with other product managers who are also inundating the sales team with their new products, programs and priorities. If you sell through brokers and distributors, multiply that by every other supplier they represent and it’s no wonder you can only command a few, ineffective minutes of their time. Sales people don’t need more priorities; they need more focus. Otherwise, they’ll just go on selling business as usual, while your marketing initiatives sit idle, without ever gaining traction.
2. Too much information
By nature, salespeople are action-oriented creatures. Those reams of knowledge you send them before every new product launch? Yeah. They don’t care. It’s not that they don’t want your stellar market analysis and brilliant customer insight. They simply don’t have the leisure to study your lofty tomes when they’re scrambling to get ready for a sales pitch. Give them the essential information they need in a quick read and deliver it in a format they can easily leverage at a moment’s notice. The more you can align your message to the way they think, work and sell, the better they will embrace it.
3. You haven’t defined success
Salespeople are numbers-driven and innately competitive. They want to know what’s expected of them and where they stand. Harness that energy by clearly defining what success looks like. Set the goal, lay out the specific actions they need to take, and tell them how they’ll be measured and compensated. One annual sales goal is too vague. Break goals into drive periods to help the sales team hyper-focus on specific initiatives, stay on course and reach their goals.
Enter the interactive sales playbook. Here’s how it can help your sales organization sell more strategically.
- It focuses selling efforts on the things that matter. Ultimately, it aligns your sales team to go after the right opportunities, and waste less time chasing after low-volume/low-margin or price-sensitive business. Your top performers intuitively know how to focus like this. A playbook can empower new and developing talent to sell more like your best pros.
- It’s accessible. Sales people need the right information, at the right time for the right opportunity. And they need it at their fingertips. The interactive format and easy navigation of an interactive sales playbook make it easy for them to quickly get at the information they need, without getting bogged down with details they don’t.
- It’s robust (without seeming so). When structured right, an interactive sales playbook can not only provide a high-level snapshot, but also supply in-depth detail to those who need it. It’s the crib notes and the whole story, all in one spot. You can embed videos or link to assets on your intranet, consolidating different media formats to deliver all pertinent information to the salesforce right on their tablets (without making them wade through an 87-slide PowerPoint).
- It’s beneficial for every team member. Experienced salespeople will use the playbook as a quick reference to brush up on key actions before going into a call, while newbies can use it to dig deeper to gain the product or market knowledge they need to prepare and sell with greater confidence.
- It sets clear time frames and a sense of urgency. You can update the playbook every quarter to align initiatives with your marketing calendar and build sales momentum throughout the year.
- It’s more engaging. Just like an interactive sales presentation helps you engage customers, the interactive format and easy navigation of an interactive sales playbook ups the cool factor to get their attention. If they can get the information they need more easily, and it’s delivered to them in a more visual, engaging way, they’ll be more likely to embrace your message and get excited about how you’re helping them grow sales.
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