How Positioning Affects the Sales Process
If you’ve been in business five, ten, 15, 20 years and beyond, chances are you’ve probably experienced a time where you’re offering that you’re actually servicing your clients with no longer matches what you’re displaying to the marketplace. And it definitely doesn’t match what people are asking for inside of sales conversations when they’re net new customers. Essentially, your clients have helped you to evolve your offering in a way that you no longer showing to the marketplace. And in those situations, the reality might be that you need to take a hard look at your brand, you’re positioning and your messaging in order to fix that problem.
We experienced this ourselves Element Three a couple of years ago, and it really affected my ability as a sales professional to have really quality conversations with prospects. The best way that showed up was I’d get on an intro call with somebody and they would come in really a vending machine option like, imagine you’re at a restaurant and there’s one of those big Coke machines and you get to choose like, I want caffeine free vanilla cherry Coke, enter, and then it comes out.
People were coming to me like, I want a website plus lead generation and paid media strategy. Enter, please export thing, Joe. Right? This is not really in line with the
consultative nature of what we do. And so my job inside of the sales process
really became repositioning the business to the appropriate point, aligning with the prospect on, now that you understand what we actually do, do you still want to have a conversation? OK, great. You do. And now we can start the sales process.
And so that turned into a really elongated timeframe to take somebody from first conversation to close. And that made everything harder, right? It made harder to predict when a new deal would land and when to have capacity for that. And it made my role as a salesperson just a lot more difficult. It also really probably emotionally mostly impacted my ability to prospect because I wasn’t certain about who to talk
to, the words to say to each of them, and exactly how to describe what Element
If you’re a marketing leader, a sales leader, you understand that the way you talk
in marketing language and the way you talk in sales language is different. And so having those words made was just a challenge, not having access to them on a day to day basis.
So if you’re experiencing longer sales cycles, inbound leads that are not qualified and difficulty with effectiveness of prospecting, your first hunch might be my sales team needs support from a sales trainer or a sales coach, or I need to train them better. The reality might be that there’s an element of truth to that. But your positioning and your messaging could be off base, and you might want to start with looking at how is my brand positioned in the marketplace? And do I need to revisit how people see us before they even start talking to our sales team before I solve those other problems.
At Element three, we experienced that, and as it’s been solved, I’ve really been empowered inside of the sales process in three ways. Number one, it’s allowed the sales process to speed up. So what that means is people come into the sales process. They already know, “Hey, I’ve got this problem that I think you guys can solve. Let’s vet that out.” And from there, have the appropriate conversations.
The second piece that it’s done is it has allowed us to have really intentional qualifying conversations to ensure, Hey, what we do, we do brand and demand. We transform brands. We generate demand for them in the marketplace. Does that statement get you excited as a prospect? Are you like? Yes, that is what I need. And have we determined during conversations that we agree? You need that because the reality is, if we don’t think that’s true and we get to a point where, like, I’m not really sure you actually need what we do, that’s a much more natural place to say, “Hey, recommend you find this partner or this style of agency instead of us.” Makes it a really natural conversation, that feels good to me as a salesperson.
And the third place that it’s really impacted my day to day activities is inside of prospecting. Now I know, hey, these are the people we typically partner with. These are the problems that we’re solving for them. And these are the business environments in which we’re solving them, merger and acquisition, private equity involvement, new market or significant product launch.
I can go out and talk to any business leader around Indianapolis, Indiana, the country and call them and say, Hey, this is this scenario in which we are valuable. Is that happening in your business right now and are you looking to solve it? It’s a very quick, natural question. They can either say, “Yeah, actually, we should schedule some time to talk about that. I’m looking for that right now.” Or they can say, “You know what, actually not on my radar right now. Thanks for calling,” and we have a three minute conversation to hash that out. Nobody gets wasted time. There’s not this big, pushy sale going on. It feels like a very natural conversation to have.
So if you’re looking forward to, Hey, I need to have a faster sales cycle, I really want to be qualifying based on business fit more than I am right now, and I want my sales team to be empowered with prospecting. There’s potential that looking at your brand, the positioning and the messaging that you’re taking into the marketplace. might really positively impact your ability to do that.