At its most basic, a sales strategy is all about demonstrating to your market that your product or service can fulfil a need. And yet, even when your product is good and the need is urgent, there are numerous reasons why a potential customer may walk away. Among them, is simply a breakdown in effective communication.
Let me illustrate with a low-tech example:
Say you’ve been spending longer hours at your desk and have started suffering from lower back pain. You do some research and find that people with similar problems have found relief by simply investing in the right office chair. You find more than one recommendation for the super-ergonomic XYZ series and click on the product website.
Hmmm. The site offers little concrete help on how to choose between models. Can your back pain be cured by the chair that promises ‘the ultimate experience in elegance and functionality’? How does this chair compare to the one that claims to ‘set new standards in workplace durability’? Forget the web. You decide to drop by a local retailer.
You are greeted with an enthusiastic salesperson. Great—except that he is fixated on promoting XYZ’s 20-year warranty, glossing over your questions about lumbar support or height adjustments. Time to leave. On your way out, you are relieved to see a stack of product brochures by the door. You grab one, hoping that at last you’ll get the answers you need.
However, the brochure focuses solely on XYZ’s manufacturer’s willingness to customize upholstery to match your office décor. You dump the leaflet in the first trash can you pass, already having decided to check out other chairs. It’s not like there aren’t thousands of other options out there.
Versions of this story plague customers in search of cybersecurity solutions. In an oversaturated market, customers need to know that you offer the best answer to their specific problems. How? By making effective messaging the core of your sales strategy.
Step 1: Formulate a compelling value proposition
To uncover your value proposition—messaging that resonates with target buyers and helps you close deals—you first have to achieved absolute clarity on several key questions, including:
- Why do you exist – what problem do you uniquely solve?
- What value do you offer to customers?
- Why should they choose you over all your competitors?
- Why should they choose you at all?
It’s important to note that translating your answers into a value proposition requires a whole different skill set to having actually built the product. As Mansfield CEO Greg Dunne puts it, “Technical geniuses aren’t often natural communicators.” If your team doesn’t have a ‘natural communicator’ to craft an effective, competitive value proposition, get help from someone who can.
Step 2: Keep the message consistent across your pipeline
In the office chair example, we don’t know whether XYZ had a value proposition oriented at anything beyond a 20-year warranty. What is clear is that even if they did have one, it was not effectively or consistently used. Remember, your value proposition tells your target market why they should choose you, so it is something that customers want to hear echoed throughout their buying journey.
An effective sales strategy needs absolute alignment within your marketing and sales department, ensuring that your value proposition comes across loud and clear in:
- Website content
- Sales scripts and battlecards
- Event collaterals
- And others.
Achieving this consistency is a challenge that requires specific skills and expertise. If you need help, be sure to engage help from sales consulting partners with in-depth understanding of the cybersecurity market to ensure that customers who need you (and those who don’t know they need you yet) know how to find you.
Remember, there are thousands of cybersecurity firms out there. Make sure the customer chooses yours.