“One size NEVER fits all. One size fits one. Period.” This quote, from the highly respected author and management consultant, Tom Peters, perfectly captures my feelings about the sales enablement content given to B2B sellers today. My spider senses twitch particularly when we’re asked to create the sales presentation for an enterprise client. “THE sales deck?” I always think to myself. The one?

The hairs on my neck perk up because I’m always surprised how Enterprise Sales, with a variety of clients in different industries, can get by with a single-yet-modular presentation. “We need it to be modular, so a salesperson can customize it for every different conversation. It should have sections of slides for: different audience roles, different industries, different use cases, different corporate initiatives, and different products and solutions across the portfolio.” If this sounds familiar, then you’re in the right place.

Good intentions won’t pave the way to closed won

“The sales deck we get is nice, but I can’t use it in my conversation because it doesn’t help me get to closed won.”

“They’re often all about us and they aren’t targeted to what my customer wants to talk about.”

“I might pluck a few slides out, but often I’m building custom slides for each of my sales calls because I know what I’m going in there to talk about.”

Context is the key

It’s hard. I get it. But what’s happening is salespeople are spending a large part of their day building their own content for every call because the enablement content they’re getting doesn’t quite fit. Research from Gartner shows that buyers spend only 17% of the total purchase process talking to potential suppliers, because so much is available through independent research. Their research also showed that since the average B2B sale involves multiple suppliers, a sales rep gets roughly 5% of a customer’s total purchase time. (Source) Yet, even though salespeople are spending less time with buyers it was found that salespeople are spending approximately 30 hours each month either creating their own content or searching for content. (Source)

Sales teams have strong opinions about the content they get vs. what they need

Content isn’t helpful

  • May choose a few slides from the main deck, but still needs to create sales conversation content and decks from scratch for each meeting
  • Content feels generic; it generalizes roles, industries, and use cases to their lowest common denominator and doesn’t help close or win opportunities
  • Content doesn’t reflect customers’ buying contexts, sales plays, or the sales conversation dynamics salespeople are having

Content isn’t in context

  • The content we get from Product Marketing doesn’t help meet customers’ where they are in their buying journey or help them move through it
  • Sales decks often assume every buyer is net-new and/or knows nothing about us or our solutions
  • Doesn’t reflect the relationship orientation we already have with the customer

Content is inward-focused

  • Too much about “us” and not enough about “the customer”; content is often product-centric and not customer-centric
  • Content is too product-led and does not focus on the problems customers are trying to solve

Content is created in a vacuum

  • Content gets created without Sales’ input
  • The content wasn’t co-created/reviewed/approved with Sales’ input

Duarte has built its business around the belief that audience empathy is the way to win hearts and minds and influence people to act. This belief doesn’t exist for just mainstage, high stakes presentations. In fact, I’d go so far to say that audience empathy in a sales presentation is probably the place it’s needed most — when you are there face to face, trying to persuade others towards a decision in your favor.

4 tips for building situationally contextual sales presentations

Be in the room where it happens

Involve the right salespeople — not just any salespeople

Build sales decks that match selling situations

Questions to ask yourself

What is the buyer’s role? Identify a specific title, decision-making role, or persona. If this situation involves a buying center, identify all the roles involved.

What is the industry and subsegment? When you combine industry and subsegment you avoid over-generalizations. Healthcare Payers and Healthcare Providers are very different. A FinServ Stock Exchange and a FinServ Local Bank are also very different. The subsegment is so critical for relevance.

What is the nature of your relationship? Is the situation focused on net-new accounts or existing clients? This can help you assess how much or little they know about your brand, ways of working, past success, etc.

What is the buying context? It’s rare that a B2B seller walks into a sales conversation without any context to the ask. Identifying the nature of what this play is focused on, or the nature of the opportunity helps you laser in on what to share and what to avoid.

Think of it like an equation:
Sales Situation = (Role) + (Industry/SubSegment) + (BuyingContext) + (Relationship Status)

When you begin to inventory the selling situations in which your reps are hunting for opportunities, you can prioritize building sales content that matches the opportunities where your reps need the most help. Yes, it takes extra effort, but if you enable reps with decks that match their sales conversations, they will be better equipped to win.

If this all sounds like a step too far for your organization to rally around, at the very least, build sales decks that match sales plays. Sales playbooks often detail an opportunity matched with audience insights, likely use cases, industry insights, objection handling, and targeted solutions. Don’t build a master deck with sections that can be used for different plays, but rather take the time and bundle the right content to match that right sales play.

Mine your salespeople for the best stories

For sales enablement content creators who seek help uncovering winning stories and better connecting the message sellers deliver with the needs of the customer, Duarte has storytelling . But whatever you do, dig deeper to give Sales the right content to support their sales conversations and they’ll be more effective in meeting customers where they’re at to move them forward. Sales may still need to personalize content a bit more for the unique needs that only they know about. However, if you can get them 80–90% closer to the conversations they’re about to walk into — you’ve helped sellers focus on cultivating their deals and less time creating their decks.

The post Make storytelling the foundation of enterprise B2B sales enablement appeared first on Duarte.

This content was originally published here.



The best B2B Marketing, demand generation, sales enablement, social sales & SAAS marketing articles from influencers we love. Curated by https://metranomic.com

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James Sandberg

The best B2B Marketing, demand generation, sales enablement, social sales & SAAS marketing articles from influencers we love. Curated by https://metranomic.com