Many market research projects end up as expensive doorstops. A company commissions a project, collects some data, and moves on, largely ignoring what they learned. Because we are business people, not academics, we believe that this a tremendous waste of money, and more importantly, a waste of opportunity. So, we offer our clients support to implement what was learned in two ways: sales process development and marketing processes.
Sales process development:
When you apply customer intelligence to the sales process, your closing rate will increase, your market share will increase, discounting will be reduced and profits will rise. Our sales process development consists of the following activity:
We join your inside and/or outside sales force, generally in person ("ride-alongs"), but also on the phone when it is more effective. We observe how they act, how they deliver your value proposition, how they meet objections, how they upsell and how they close. We document our findings and together with the conclusions and recommendations of the market research portion of the project, we develop an all-custom-made sales training program and sales process development for your sales people. This training program consists of:
- One or several presentations where we
- Review the effective value drivers, decision drivers, perceptions and wiliness to pay of the marketplace
- Present a summary of our findings from the ride-alongs we conducted with the sales people and how their delivery of value proposition differs (it always does) from what the customers want to hear
- A review of the first and second level claims the company can make that resonate with customers
- How the sales people can control the sales conversation
- Opening gambits, questions and phrases to use that are specific to the company's circumstance and marketplace
- Stories to tell that deliver the value proposition credibly and convincingly
- Closing techniques
- Role play so that sales people becomes familiar and comfortable with these various aspects of the sales call
- A sales manual, which is a reference guide that includes all the elements of the presentation(s) along with resources such as scripts, sample letters, closing questions, data collection guides, etc.
- Ongoing coaching
- Sales management processes to insure ongoing consistency and improvement
Unique to our sales process development is that we also train the sales management and provide them resources to solidify the effects of the training:
- We develop for them a custom process to provide better visibility on sales activities and better hold sales people accountable, and we train sales management on the process
- We instruct sales management on how to better share information and experiences between sales people, and provide processes to capture stories from the marketplace and use them to deliver the value proposition
- Ongoing coaching
We examine the client's marketing material, e.g., website, SEO, advertising, white papers, brochures, flyers and other marketing material available in order to establish where there are opportunities to enhance the marketing message and marketing channels, along the lines of to what the marketplace is most responsive.
We present the customer intelligence to the marketing team - findings from the marketplace and our recommendations - together with the results of our examination of the marketing material. With the team, we work to generate an action plan, prioritize work, identify resources and responsibilities, and set deadlines. As the implementation of the enhanced messages progresses, we will conduct multiple review and status meetings to make sure implementation is executed accurately and on time.