By Ed Pierce, Founder, ITA Fleet Communications
Many companies think of the marketing message as solely a branding issue. This compartmentalization looks nice on an org chart; however, in a B2B environment, it is short-sighted.
The marketing message — the pillar for constructing the value driver — influences sales’ success in having effective meaningful and relevant conversations with prospective customers.
While companies build messages that produce a unique selling proposition, tagline, and boilerplate, few go the extra mile to produce a message that fosters customer engagement.
The best way to develop a customer-engaging message is to work together with sales on a one-pager that summarizes topics for use in a sales deck, follow-up emails, web pages and demand creation campaigns.
According to Four Quadrants LLC, there are eight message components:
1. Before Scenario – The business environment a sales rep encounters when they engage with a sales qualified opportunity, including the less-than-optimal accounts of people, process, and systems.
2. Negative Consequences – A quantified description of the business problem, pain or opportunity impacting revenues and expenses.
3. After Scenario – A summary of the company’s business situation once a solution has been implemented. The unique value proposition offered to each of those involved in the buying process.
4. Positive Business Outcomes – These quantify the positive impact the organization could derive from using the solution. These outcomes should include some or all of the promises made in the value drivers as well as the proof points offered during the sales process.
5. Requirements – Specifying the benefits and capabilities included in any successful solution is an opportunity to whet the appetite of a prospect.
6. Metrics – These must be completely agreed-upon and measurable for sales (and customer-facing employees) to retain credibility.
7. Proof Points – Anecdotes, customer testimonials, and third-party endorsements
8. Discovery Questions – These should be developed designed to qualify target prospects that will benefit from the relationship.
While traditional marketing messages designed to support the brand certainly have a trickle-down effect on sales, an integrated sales- and marketing-developed message can extend that promise — directly and immediately — to support sales.
I’d welcome your thoughts, and as always, if you have a specific marketing issue or question, contact me at ITA Fleet Communications, Phone: 610–585-0801, Email: EdPierce@ITAfleetcommunications.com.
With years of B2B sales and marketing success, Ed has served fleet product and service providers with strategic plan-related market research and integrated sales & marketing programs that significantly increased market penetration; brand management that markedly improved both awareness and positioning; and B2B sales support that helped sales exceed plan year in and year out.
Ed now leads ITA Fleet Communications – a fleet-focused consulting firm helping excellent product and service providers achieve excellent results through innovative and effective integrated sales and marketing.