The conversations between salespeople and their prospects play a significant role in differentiating a brand from its competitors. At the Content2Conversion Conference and Demand Gen Summit later this month, Corporate Visions’ Tim Riesterer will address the value of communication between marketing and sales, and sales to prospect.
We caught up with Riesterer a few weeks before his session at #C2C16 to get a sneak peek into what he plans to highlight in his keynote address.
Demand Gen Report: In your session you will discuss how B2B decision-makers are identifying value and making choices. How does messaging from marketing and sales impact these decisions?
Tim Riesterer: B2B decision-makers want to put you in a “commodity box” and convince you that all of your competitors are the same as you. You don’t help matters by basing your sales messaging on the voice of customer research and then connecting your capabilities to these identified needs, because everyone else is doing the same thing.
To differentiate your message, and to avoid being branded a commodity provider, your message needs to introduce the challenges or missed opportunities your prospects don’t know about — what I call their “unconsidered needs.” You need to map the needs you introduce to the unknown strengths of your solution, showing prospects how you’re uniquely suited to fix what ails them.
DGR: What sort of relationship does sales need to have with marketing for sales teams to articulate value?
Riesterer: You need to avoid what I call the “conversion gap.” Where you tee up prospect excitement with insightful content about a particular challenge or need, but your sales reps then default to traditional product training and knowledge when they pick up the lead. The prospect was trying to figure out “why change” and your sales person’s interaction was focused on “why you.” That’s where the conversion gap takes place.
To bridge this gap, you need to provide salespeople with the messaging content and skills to pick up the threads of your demand generation content and have that first “why change” conversation and cement the opportunity. In other words, your content program needs to include connected sales enablement content.
DGR: How do marketing's content initiatives impact sales' success?
Riesterer: Buyers have all the power in negotiations because they have all the alternatives. They can stick with the status quo or choose from a variety of same-same competitors with no perceived negative consequences. The job of your content is to position your solutions as a better alternative.
First, your content must help break the status quo bias by getting prospects to see their desperate need to change and do something different. Second, your content needs to provide a different point of view for solving their needs than your competitors’ do in order to create enough contrast that adds perceived value and helps you protect your margins.