How to Modernize Your Sales Content for Better Selling in 2021
3 Tactics You Need to Compete Today (and Tomorrow)
It’s no surprise 2020 brought a lot of changes for many businesses, and those changes are very much carrying into 2021. Because the sales landscape changed as a result of last year’s events, businesses and organizations need to examine their sales content and strategy to ensure they actually resonate with today’s potential buyers.
With that goal in mind, here are three ways to modernize your sales content for the best possible results:
3 Tactics to Improve Your Sales Results in 2021
Put the Customer First
A crucial piece of modernizing your sales strategy and the content you create is focusing on the customer. Putting the customer first isn’t a new idea or concept, but in the digital age, it has taken on different nuance and significance. Arguably the biggest challenge with a customer-centric approach is that most companies think they’re already doing this. Many, however, are missing the mark in significant ways—ways that hurt close rate and revenue.
Knowing your customer today doesn’t just mean devising a few vague buyer personas and outlining some high-level demographics. For real success in 2021, you need to deeply understand your potential buyers. Know what they want. Know what they need. Know their goals and ambitions.
If your business underwent changes over the last year, it’s a good bet your customers did as well. Even if you think you know your customers inside and out, go back to the drawing board. Update goals and desires with changes that might have occurred over the last year.
For example, have your potential customers starting working from home? Does that affect their personal or professional goals? Have they stopped traveling as much for work? Have their businesses put a pause on expansion or scaling? Think through all these kinds of questions.
Speaking effectively and persuasively to your potential customers is the goal of your sales content, and you can’t hope to do that until you really know them.
Get Away From Product
In some ways it seems counterintuitive. How are you supposed to sell your product or service without talking about your product or service? The reality, though, is that today’s buyers are exhausted with product pitches. Whether they’re being inundated with LinkedIn messages, targeted emails, ads, or other forms of sales content, people today are just weary of yet another company talking about all the great features and benefits of yet another product.
For success in 2021, steer your content (and your strategy) away from your product and away from your company. Take the focus off you, and put it back on your customer.
Does your offering have a place in the sales cycle? Absolutely. You’re still a business looking to make revenue. Product is just not the most effective place to start the conversation.
Lead With Value
How do you determine what’s valuable? It comes back to your customer. Think about their problems, challenges, and goals. (If you’re truly putting your customer first, you’ll have a great idea what these are.) Create content that speaks to their problems, addresses their challenges, and illuminates how you can help them reach those goals.
When you start the conversation with that kind of indispensable value, you’ve already got their heads nodding. You’ve already got them acknowledging that, yes, you’ve identified a real problem I’m having. This makes them more receptive to the potential solution you’re offering, which is where you can start to layer in your company or product’s benefits.
One important caveat here is that the value you’re providing can be perceived or unperceived. Many people are simply too close to their own businesses and don’t even realize the kinds of core challenges they’re up against. In these cases, the sales content you’re providing will be heavily focused on education and insight. This benefits your customers because it provides genuinely helpful information, but it also positions you as a thought leader in your industry. It elevates your status in that prospect’s mind.
At the end of the day, structuring your sales content, messaging, and prospect conversations in this way alleviates a lot of the friction, stress, and needless complexity that sales reps deal with every day when interacting with potential customers. You and your company are perceived in a more positive way, and it paves the path to not only an initial sale but ongoing value from that client.
(Interested in account planning and the steps required to convert a one-time sale to a lifelong customer? Check out our free on-demand webinar, The Mistakes You’re making with Account Planning (and How to Fix Them).)
Sales Technology to Help Modernize Your Content Strategy
In any economic downturn, companies can become desperate. They know they need sales, so they fall back on what they know best: pitching product.
More than ever, this is an ineffective solution. People are exhausted with overpitched product or service. It’s not that they aren’t having problems. It’s not that they aren’t willing to have conversations with companies. Their willingness is just contingent on you actually solving a problem they have.
The right sales technology can help you effectively create, implement, and store your sales content for the best results. Here are the categories to watch:
Keep Your Eye on the Bottom Line
Guided selling spans a wide range of both processes and tools, but the goal remains the same: to facilitate efficient, effective seller engagements with prospects. It’s a software solution that essentially “guides” a prospective customer to purchase a given service or product. (Read this thorough breakdown for more insight.)
Value-based selling is an approach that aims to provide genuine value and benefit to the prospect at every stage throughout the sales cycle. (If this is an area of interest for you and your company, check out this deeper dive into the topic.)
Sales Enablement and Content Management
High-profile sales enablement roles are incredibly focused on value from the customer perspective. They think deeply about that prospective client and implement all strategy and deliverables around how best to provide that desired value.
Sales enablement technology can help align your various departments to ensure everyone is working effectively toward that collective goal. It can also facilitate with aspects of coaching and training to ensure “value” and “customer” don’t just become buzzwords in your company. After all, modernizing your sales content is less about a specific measure or program and more about a holistic and transformational shift in mind-set.
More and more sales technology solutions are helping companies navigate this approach. Check out the following:
Are you looking for even greater success in 2021? Interested in learning more ways to ensure your sales content and sales approach resonate with today’s buyers? Join us for our 100 percent free webinar, Modernizing Sales Content for Big Growth in 2021. It’s February 25 at 1:00 p.m. (EST). Spots are limited, so sign up today!