WTF is Happening in Sales? Part 1

Summary

Sales is more challenging than ever. What’s happening? How can Marketing help?

Part 1: Why Marketing Should Care

It’s time to talk — about how we talk.

77% of buyers don’t believe that sellers are putting them first. [I]  It’s no wonder 33% of buyers today want a seller-free experience—and for millennial buyers, that number rises to 44%.[ii]

WTF is happening?

Obviously, sales has never been a job for the faint-hearted. Constant rejection, quota pressure, and the challenge of aligning priorities between sales and marketing already made for a tough gig. Great sales reps naturally thrive on relationships — but the Zoom world we now live in is likely here to stay. This lack of in-person connection affects both morale and sales results.

If you thought selling was stressful before, it’s nothing compared to now. The Great Resignation is real, and sales professionals are no exception to the career exodus occurring in high-stress professions.

WTF are we going to do about it? It’s time to reignite sales.

We believe that starts with having a Compelling Conversation— interactions that have meaning and bring value to both prospects and sellers. The Visible Impact team has decades of experience working across the sales and marketing ecosystem and believes there is a communication approach that will change your sales team’s professional lives and keep them inspired to get back out there.

And, by the way, this same Compelling Conversation™ can enable marketing to produce exponentially more effective interactions.

Uncovering the real competitor: the status quo

Most sales presentations – and most marketing materials for that matter – follow the same format: who we are, why we’re great, our customers, our portfolio, and more about us.

Boring.

These “lullaby presentations” typically overlook — or at most, skim over — powerful reasons why a customer needs to make a change. It is a tired (and tiring) approach that builds minimal sales momentum. And if the messaging in the sales presentation is disconnected from the marketing materials your buyers has likely already read, the presentation has created confusion for your buyer and further reinforced the likelihood of a non-decision — aka the status quo.

We can, instead, inspire buyers to choose change.

Based on the principles of insight selling, the Compelling Conversation™ consists of five simple elements. By including these five elements in every communication – sales or marketing – with your prospect, you can consistently hold more effective, persuasive dialogues.

  1. The Ice Breaker — Relevant industry trends and statistics that let a prospect know from the start that this conversation is about them, not you.
  2. The Breakdown — A statement of the unique challenges faced by your buyer’s organization and industry, demonstrating a deep understanding of their needs.
  3. The Turn — These pains now turning into promise where you invite prospects to imagine what could be possible if their challenges were overcome.
  4. The Breakthrough — Your solution that makes the turn come about, courtesy of the core customer benefits that your solution offers.
  5. Proof Points — The solution details, outcomes, and customer experiences that give your prospects reasons to believe they will achieve measurable results.

At Visible Impact, we’ve worked with clients selling both products and services, across a wide variety of verticals for nearly 10 years. And the Compelling Conversation™ has worked. Every. Single. Time. After years of seeing consistent results, we finally decided to have it trademarked. If you’ve ever had to work with the U.S. government to accomplish anything, then you understand just how much belief we had to have in it to go down that road.

 

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this blog post, where we will explore the role of the Compelling Conversation™ in relation to post-pandemic Sales Mission and Management and the Great Resignation.

At Visible Impact, our mission is creating the Compelling Conversation™ that breaks through the status quo. But we’re also peers, with a staff of seasoned sales, product, and marketing professionals. That’s why we know how to develop the assets and training that will keep your people satisfied and successful in their work.

[i] The State of Sales 2021, United States & Canada Edition.” LinkedIn, 2021, https://business.linkedin.com/content/dam/me/business/en-us/sales-solutions/cx/21/pdfs/the-state-of-sales-2021-report.pdf

[ii] “5 Ways the Future of B2B Buying Will Rewrite the Rules of Effective Selling.” Gartner, 2020, https://www.gartner.com/en/sales/insights/b2b-buying-journey (gated)

Ready to Break Through?