It’s tough out there. Really tough. But that doesn’t mean there are not still opportunities on the table. But taking advantage of them is becoming increasingly difficult, but fortunately, if your positioning and sales processes are on point you can maximise the potential.
However, connecting the two so you can really rev up the engine and feed the pipeline is another matter. Here’s our take on it all.
The forgotten element of positioning
Positioning, strap lines, or value propositions – whatever you want to call them, they matter. But they mean nothing without joining the dots and connecting them to sales.
Value propositions are all just part of the sales enablement initiative to help you drive a better pipeline and close bigger and better deals. However, some agencies will blind you with flashing lights and give you the fanciest, quirkiest, and ‘cool’ positioning line…but it means nothing.
It means nothing because it’s not connected to your sales process, meaning that when you go to close a deal your positioning either doesn’t mean anything or just isn’t there to be found because it’s a totally separate entity.
So, what makes up getting your positioning right, and how do you connect it to sales?
Getting your positioning right
We’ve written at length about positioning, so we won’t go over old ground too much here. But the key to getting your positioning right lies in relevancy, value, and answering the question: “why should we hire you?”.
Not only do you have to position yourself as relevant to your audience’s problems and consistently offer value, but it’s also about answering the above question with the quickest, smartest, and most convincing answer.
Let’s start with the first point: relevancy.
We talk a lot about relevancy, but that’s only because we know it’s so critical to sustained success. Identifying your audience’s pain points and understanding the problems that you solve will allow you to position yourself as relevant in the eyes of your customers and prospects.
That means being the go-to option in your audience’s mind when they have the problem you solve. So, naturally, it’s about being relevant in a particular area or situation.
Now, a lot of people will tell you to niche and be relevant in that particular niche, but that’s not always the right way to go. Sure, if you’re on the small side and it’s viable to only service one industry or specialism, then go for it. But as you grow, you’ll need to diversify and expand – that means being relevant at all times.
You can be relevant through content marketing, asserting your authority and solving problems through content. It’s also about your positioning being relevant to the problems that your audience is having. Make it clear, succinct, and to the point. Why are you relevant to their problems?
Value is often something you exchange for currency of some description, but in this case, value has to be offered at all times and mostly for free.
Sounds weird, right? It does, but think of it this way: if you’re offering value through problem-solving content, e-books, or Super Gateway products, your prospect is far more likely to buy from you as you’ve demonstrated that you know your onions and are an authority.
Build an audience, engage with them, and then shatter your content to consistently deliver value around problems that you know you solve.
Why you? Why not?
This is potentially the most important of the trio of factors we’re rolling through. You have to be able to answer the question (and provide the answer for your audience) of “why should we hire you?”.
Consider what makes you stand out and what makes you, you.
It’s also about providing the answer for your audience, subconsciously. They have to be able to reach their own conclusion, but you can help them on their way with perfect positioning.
It’s a process of presenting yourself as the logical solution, the only way to get results, and the answer to all their prayers.
Getting your sales process right
Getting your sales process right is a little trickier, but if you approach it from a logical point of view you should be just fine.
Ever heard of a sales ladder? Well, you have now. A sales ladder is a process of connecting all of your products or services in a snakes and ladders kind of way.
Start from Super Gateway products, such as e-books or whitepapers, leading up to Gateway Products such as audits, sense checks, and evaluations. These are low-cost items that take money off the table while the sales cycle towards Core and Premium offerings rumble on in the background.
The theory is this: the sales cycle for your big ticket items (think whole app builds, retainers, website design and development) is far too long for it to be sustainable.
By having a sales ladder that you can walk your prospects and clients up, you can take money off the table along the way – therefore keeping you in business and on the steady road to growth.
A brilliant visual aid for your sales process and sales ladder is product cards. A product card lists:
- What the product is
- What it does
- What your process is
- What the deliverables are
- How much it costs
- Clients that have previously bought the product
- What clients then went on to buy
By designing a product card, you can bring it out in sales conversations to easily demonstrate success, authority, and next steps alongside your process. This eases your prospect into the decision-making phase, and makes it easy for them to come to a conclusion. It also shows that you’re prepared, on the money, and a professional outfit.
Of course, your sales process is about far more than a sales ladder and nicely designed product cards. It’s also about leadership alignment, sales and marketing linking up effectively, and talking to your customers to understand what worked for them and where you can improve.
Connecting the two
Connecting the two is where things get interesting.
As mentioned, it’s about a sales enablement initiative to drive a better pipeline and close better deals.
A sales ladder is a critical step towards connecting positioning and sales.
When you go through the value proposition process, the next natural step is the sales ladder as your positioning should be directly linked to what you offer.
The value you offer for free and the relevancy you chase are all contained within the sales ladder and value proposition, and by answering these questions you should be able to then answer your customer’s question: “why should I hire you?”.
That’s a wrap
So, that’s quite a lot to take in in one article. But if the fundamentals are taken care of, the rest should fall into place.
There aren’t enough pixels on this page to run through the entire process of connecting sales and positioning, as well as how to get each one right, but if you stay tuned we’ll try and offer more insight as the year goes on.
Or, if you’d rather get ahead and beat the competition, book in a call and we can roll up our sleeves to connect your positioning to your sales processes.