How to Develop an Effective Sales Proposition

Most organisations and business executives would love to find the magic bullet that teaches them how to improve sales. In truth, there is no such thing as one solution that fits all. The ways to improve sales are many and varied and there are huge numbers of routes to market and methods to deploy.

I spend most of my time helping companies to grow their business. Part of that involves pulling together a lead generation strategy. Within this, we generally spend time discussing the sales proposition and options when it comes to reaching out to new customers whilst retaining current clients and, at the same time, selling more to the existing customer database.

Sadly, very few companies have the correct understanding of what a sales proposition is and what it isn’t and, as a consequence, they fail to develop an effective message that engages with and is compelling for prospective customers.

When I ask a client what they do, all too often, they express their proposition in terms of what they actually ‘do’ or what they ‘offer’. Generally, they explain about all of the aspects of the service they deliver. And, regale me with an explanation of how it works. They wax lyrical about the benefits of using them whilst still not understanding that what they’re actually giving me is a list of features, not benefits.

The problem is,….. (How shall I put it politely?)… Nobody cares what you do!!

Every prospect I have ever met has only one question in the back (or front) of their mind. ‘What’s in it for me? ‘ Customers are concerned with what challenges them on a daily basis. They may have budget or strategic priorities that lead them towards the solutions that you and your competitors offer. But, there is a lot of noise out in the marketplace. There are tons of semingly indistinguishable service providers all offering the same services and, mostly, saying the same thing about what they offer. The result is that customers find it hard to differentiate. What marks your business out over everyone else?

The fact that you are a great accountant to deal with will rarely win out if they already have a friendly accountant. If you provide blinds for schools, how does that make the prospect take notice when they already have a supplier of blinds they’ve used for years? You may be a leading, globally known supplier of chemicals. But, if they have someone that offers them great prices and great service right now, where does that lead you?

However, if that supplier of blinds utilises new Nano Technology that means less maintenance and breakages or if the accountancy practice has an innovative approach to tax extraction within a partnership that maximises tax efficiency the prospect might sit up and take notice. If the supplier of chemicals has an innovative new product launch to deliver significant efficiencies over competitor brands, perhaps there is a reason for opening a dialogue with the target customer. If the company backs this up with great customer service and a money back guarantee then it could be game on.

Of course, in any blog that seeks to inform about how to improve sales, we mustn’t neglect the factors that go around the sales process. These include:

  • The quality of your website when prospective customers check you out
  • The credibility of your face to face and telephone sales team
  • The attractiveness and relevance of any sales literature and collateral
  • Your presence and credibility on social platforms when customers check you out as they increasingly do
  • The value of content on your website and social platforms

The above isn’t an exhaustive list but it does illustrate that generating sales isn’t simply related to just one asp[ect of selling. It isn’t just about having a great sales person or great products. Customers do still buy people but there are lots of other factors and, certainly, with larger budget allocations, committee decisions are common. Procurement comes into play too. But whilst price is generally a major factor, those specifying or using the service will want to ensure continuity of supply, good after sales service and products and services that do what they should.

The point is that no-one cares what you do. Prospects aren’t interested in what you offer. They are busy, time poor and only interested in how it helps them.

So, what is it that’s going to benefit them? It often sits under one or more of the following categories:

  • Maximise profit
  • Reduce risk
  • Improve productivity and efficiency
  • Lessen wear and tear
  • Save time/speed things up
  • Reduce cost
  • Make them look good to the board, shareholders, colleagues and even employees…

This latter consideration may not be articulated but it definitely helps if your direct contact can be shown to have done a good job by bringing you and your company on board.

There are other categories of course. However, the sooner you position your proposition in these terms and in terms of what genuinely benefits the customer, the sooner you will connect with prospects and the more you will sell.

So make sure you reflect this in:

  • Telemarketing Campaign scripts
  • Customer contact calls
  • Copy on your website
  • Blogs and articles
  • Brochures and other literature
  • Email communication
  • Other marketing and sales activity

If you do this, you’ll have more productive prospect interactions, improve your lead generation and ultimately this is how to improve sales and generate more business.

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Already doing telemarketing yourself but not getting the results you need? GSA can also provide telemarketing training for your existing staff, bringing them new skills, telemarketing tips, know-how or just a different approach. Also, check out our essential guide to telemarketing success.


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