Increase sales? Sell from your vision.

How do you increase sales if you have lost sight of your vision – the ‘how and why’ you are selling?

For 18 years I’ve worked with businesses of all sizes, stage of growth and across different markets. One thing in common?  The desire to maximize sales, shorten the sales cycle, excite and engage their marketplace – and create a bigger impact.

Yet sometimes companies may be on the brink of marketing-self-sabotage — where marketing and sales initiatives undermine or delay sales — and they don’t even know it.

One of the symptoms of this is when a company doesn’t lead (by which I mean consistently act with a deliberate direction) from their vision.

Your company exists for a reason. There’s an underlying vision of what it wants to change in the world or in people’s lives; there is an impact the founder of the company envisaged. Yet companies lose track of this and stop leadiIncrease salesng from their vision.

I like to ask companies about their vision right up front, and it’s surprising how many people within a company — sometimes even founders — aren’t crystal clear on their vision, and how inconsistently the vision is articulated, with so many different answers. Get clear on your vision, share it with your company and then lead from it — not just in terms of management, but in terms of positioning and marketing.

Do you believe in your vision and act in ways that constantly and consistently support it?  Does every part of your business reflect your vision – from the way you communicate to your market, to the way you articulate your sales cycle, to the way you treat your staff? Are you acting on, reinforcing and underpinning the vision every single day ?

Help your prospects and your communities understand why your company exists and make it easy for them to engage with you.  Build your vision into your working practices. Remind and inspire your co-workers. Because if you’re not clear and engaged on the vision, then no-one else is going to feel part of it.

If you are looking for fresh inspiration on how to accelerate and reinvigorate your sales cycle then join us for our FREE Sales Mastery webinar on August 25. You will learn more about how a shift in attitude and a killer sales plan can dramatically and immediately boost your sales conversions. We look forward to you joining us!

Content, Vision and Sales

‘Content is king’ is a used (and frequently abused) statement in marketing circles. (To me it’s also got an obvious element to it – like saying: ‘talking is about what you say.’)

We can agree – whether you’re a marContent, Vision and Salesketer, in business development, a business owner or a sales person – that content is important. I think we’re all on board with that.

But it’s important that content is two things: (1) connected to your vision (2) connects to your sales.

Vision is frequently not as clear as it should be (I’m sharing my thoughts on vision and sales in this webinar on May 5), in which case the company lacks direction which means that even the best-written content can feel purposeless.  And many people have a poor perception of sales, so worry about overtly-linking content to sales, so we skirt around this because we don’t want to come across as ‘salesy.’

It doesn’t matter what your business does, whether you make cupcakes, manufacture electronics, provide security for mission-critical software, or created an app that cooks dinner; you need to share messages that relate to your vision – to your WHY your business exists and its purpose.

And as well as connecting and resonating with your prospects, you also want to help them identify the best path to a solution – that’s where the sales element comes in. And it’s important that you are comfortable with this, and able to help your prospects – to assume the role of assistant buyer.

Stuck on how to articulate your vision and link it to your sales? Then we can help you – sign up for a free 30-minute strategy call with us to get your vision and sales aligned (so you can share it in your content).

The Importance of a Launch Plan

 Having a well-considered launch plan in place for each product launch can really shift the resultsDuring 18 years I’ve seen many vendors throw themselves into launching new products or services without a written launch plan, and it’s simply not the best way to map out and achieve results.  Going without a launch plan -pinning results on hope instead of research and facts – is also a stressful way to launch anything.  Plus a well-considered launch plan shifts the results — including sales.

Planning launches ahead of time with step-by-step messaging, objectives, audience analysis and targeting allows you to put specific objectives in place, to speak to relevant prospects and gives you essential momentum.

Launches also need to be shared with your team – whether you’re a startup, early stage or a more established business.  You don’t want to dedicate all of your time, voice and effort outside your own company and team without considering how you should first launch their own products and services within their company – so your employees, partners and other stakeholders are part of the launch, and not just bystanders that are told about the launch after it has happened. An internal launch doesn’t just grow your fan base and build up enthusiasm internally (which may be more important than you think).

If you’re launching something that is very new, then consider a staged launch starting with a soft launch. This gives you the opportunity to build a base of customers, collect feedback, ask for references and testimonials, before you go onto a larger-scale launch.

Want to know more about how to stage a launch, or have any questions about setting objectives, defining audiences or getting your message right for an upcoming launch? Then why not join me for a free 30-minute product launch strategy session.

 

Technology vendors: Be honest (realistic) about what you do…

In technology, with all its acronyms, blurring of lines and the need for influencers, commentators, buyers and vendors themselves to define new markets, there can easily be overlaps from one technology to another. Yet sometimes vendors overstep those lines and claim spuriously to do what their competitor does.

I’ve seen this a number of times in an enterprise sales situation – a vendor is defensive of a potentially competitive vendor coming into a project so they ‘overstate’ what their own technology can do. It’s not always blatant – in my experience they typically and truly intend – whether through through customization or development – to deliver what they have promised. But often claims are deliberately left hanging out there, to their advantage, and longer-term potential detriment.

In consumer technology there is far more of a ‘does what it says on the tin’ attitude, largely because of the need for simplicity driven by the target market, price-point and competition. Buying something for a few hundred dollars to perform a specific task is much simpler than trying to implement and integrate complex enterprise technology. The inherent complexity of enterprise technologies often makes it difficult for vendors to describe succinctly what they do. But some tech vendors certainly don’t help themselves, either. So if you’re a technology vendor and you’re currently reworking your messaging, please be deliberate, considered and honest.

It’s also important to consider how you categorize your product or service – what do you call it? What do your customers think they’ve bought? I’ve certainly written a number of enterprise case studies where a CIO or IT director describes the product/service they’ve implemented and they really aren’t using the same words as the vendor that sold the solution.

So – take a moment and think about why your company exists, what it does and what you should call it – as honestly and as realistically as possible.

1. Why does your company exist — what is its vision and purpose?
2. What problems do you solve?
3. Who do you solve these problems for?
4. Describe in the simplest terms possible what your technology does for them
5. Do you have customers that are already using this technology to solve such problems?
6. Ask a good proportion of your customers (don’t just ask one or two):
– What is the problem you had before you worked with us?
– Did we solve this problem?
– Can you describe how we solved it?
– How would you describe our technology, product or service — what is it? (and no prompting them with your own self-created market or terminology!)
7. Ask each of your employees, business partners, suppliers, and other people you trust to complete the following statements on paper:
(Your company name) makes/develops /sells _______________ to
_______________ which helps them _______________.
8. Which technology sectors/descriptions are frequently confused with your own technology but do NOT do the same things that you do?
9. And conversely, which technology areas do you overlap with?
10. Want to know more? Email me or send us an email to worksheets@prompt-pr.comand ask for our tech enterprise messaging template.