Gary Hart’s post “Are Your Prospecting Results Disappointing” thoughtfully explains how customer-centric messaging attracts buyers to engage in sales conversations. Conversely, when results are disappointing, it’s often because calls and emails are, instead, product-centric.
In response, I commented that we’ve seen brief, customer-centric, easy to read messages get double or more the buyer traction of product-centric, lengthy emails that use a language only those with a graduate degree would understand. The details on this stat, and tools we use to diagnose messaging effectiveness, are explained in this presentation for InsideView’s Social Selling University. This stat of ours subsequently earned the ‘tag’ on twitter as “one change that can double your prospecting results”.
Will it? Not in my opinion. Customer-centric messaging is an important thing, but it’s not the ONE thing.
The ONE thing is more to the point that Gary made, with a slight twist. B2B sales productivity will grow most, and fastest, where the learning is greatest. Fast feedback on the buyer actions [if any] provoked by prospecting efforts is immensely important. It informs practice. It provokes learning.
Prospecting practices, as a whole, that are customer-centric matter. What matters even more is verifiable proof that your prospecting practices are SO customer-centric that buyers see value in having a [continued] conversation. Verifiable proof, in my view, arrives when based on buyer actions, not the enthusiasm in a buyer’s voice, nor impressions they’ve left with you.
It’s one thing for a buyer to ask for additional details, it’s quite another for them to read those details. It’s even another for them to do so within minutes of receipt. It’s one thing for a buyer to ask for an appointment, it’s quite another for them to actually show up.
Verifying the frequency and speed with which buyers open their doors to a sales conversation can have a profound impact on your sales productivity – the mystery of what’s working and what isn’t working quickly vaporizes. This isn’t to say that bad habits vaporize equally quickly, but at least there are fewer excuses for continuing to engage in practices that fail to engage buyers.
Want to out-perform your competitors via higher sales productivity? Out-learn them.