Most sales leaders are under the impression that their reps are prepped for success before each sales call. But less than 20% of them are right in this assumption. How can you easily improve your reps’ preparation and performance, and in turn gain a ridiculously unfair competitive advantage?
The key is your team’s approach to sales presentations. Think about the training your sales reps go through before they start selling. It probably involves listening in on calls, practice demos, and initially following a loose script based on the cadence of your company’s sales conversations. In essence, your reps likely sell your company’s product the way they are taught that it should be sold. All presentations will be streamlined, replicated and reused for each sales interaction, meaning that messaging is consistent since it’s worked well enough in the past. Don’t fix what isn’t broken, right?
Not necessarily. According to Forrester, sales reps are grossly unprepared for prospect conversations, no matter how many times they’ve practiced their pitch or how well they know the product:
70% of final decision makers claim salespeople are not ready for the questions they ask
77% claim salespeople don’t understand the prospect’s issues and where their solution could help
78% claim salespeople don’t have relevant case studies to share with the prospect
This should make you wonder why, if every customer and their needs are different, do salespeople use the same pitch for every call? Sure, it might vary slightly based on industry or the prospect’s title. But for the most part, reps stick with the same process (and presentation) for every conversation, because it’s what they are comfortable with and it’s probably worked in the past. Too bad your prospects are left unimpressed and will soon be off to explore other options.
What if reps didn’t have to use the same rigid set of slides and accompanying pitch, and could tailor their presentation to each specific prospect? This encourages sales reps to think on their feet, do their homework and work to understand his or her needs. Your reps will be more knowledgeable, more strategic, and increase their win rates. Prospects will be impressed that your reps actually listened and tailored a solution just for them. Having a customizable presentation deck allows reps to hone in on one prospect’s priorities and pain points rather than assuming what the customer wants.
This “unfair advantage” is probably much easier to implement than you expected. All it takes is a concerted effort to meet a customer’s specific needs and the means to do so with customizable presentation materials. You’ll be closing deals—and pleasing your new customers—in no time.