Different customers consume content in different ways. Some prefer videos, some prefer infographics, while some prefer well-written copy. And that’s why there’s no singular magic bullet-type of messaging that will have the same effect on all your customers.
The best sales processes use several stories and touch points for each account. These are designed using storyboards, taking into consideration various messaging themes, data points, and engagement mediums.
At Sales for Life, we recommend developing multiple storyboards for your account engagements, or sales plays. By applying a variety of themes, styles, engagement strategies, you’ll have more chances of providing value to your customers during the activation cycle.
Here are five sales plays you can try:
1. The Sphere of Influence connection
The Sphere of Influence is a process we use to determine social proximity.
It starts by identifying existing customers and advocates, thinking outwards from inside of your customer base to map the companies and people that have the highest social proximity to your best success stories. These people or companies could be past employees of your customers, former colleagues, vendors, partners, fellow alumni, or other key social connections to your best advocates.
A high social proximity implies a stronger relationship, increasing a seller’s chances of winning the account.
Deploying the Sphere of Influence Connection sales play accomplishes two things:
- It humanizes the seller and
- It demonstrates the high social proximity that you and the customer share.
It gives the illusion of familiarity, decreasing the prospect’s apprehension of an unsolicited engagement.
2. Stack-Ranking the Account Against its Peers
This sales play pits the account against its competitors to objectively highlight the target account’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, or threats.
One example of this is Gartner’s Magic Quadrant, which rates several vendors based on their completeness of vision and their ability to execute. A vendor’s score will determine its placement in one of four quadrants: Leaders, Visionaries, Niche Players, and Challengers.
Leaders have the highest total score for both completeness of vision and ability to execute, and they often dominate the market. Challengers have strong products and sizable market share, but they still lack the influence that Leaders possess.
Visionaries deliver innovative products, but haven’t quite captured the market yet or exhibited sustainable profitability. Niche Players are usually focused on specific verticals or markets, or are in the process of developing new or existing products for a new market.
By ranking an account against its competition, it will have a better idea of its current performance, as well as a clearer view of areas they should improve on.
3. Applying Market Intelligence and Trends
In this sales play, the seller assumes an advisory role to strengthen their relationship with the customer.
By providing industry secrets and relevant business advice, the seller becomes a trusted source of reliable, useful information.
4. Envision Success
One way to sway a customer’s decision is to help them visualize how successful they could be if they were to become your client.
Show them the results they can get in a quarter, in half a year, and one year later. You can accomplish this via case studies, white papers, and trial programs.
Think about how Dorothy was persuaded to go to Emerald City in The Wizard of Oz. She saw herself in Emerald City, and she got a glimpse of the flying monkeys and talking trees she would eventually see. By doing the same thing for your customer, you can reduce their apprehension over purchasing.
5. Focus on the People Instead of on the Account
Sometimes, even the best sellers forget that they’re not selling to companies, but to people—human beings with feelings and needs.
Always remember that you’re trying to win over accounts by winning the people within it.
Instead of focusing on account-centric messaging, think about how your product can benefit your prospect in their role. How can you help them, and what value can you offer?
Keep in mind that sincerity goes a long way. By exhibiting a genuine desire to help your prospects, you can create customers for life.
Read The Essentials of Account-Based Sales to learn more about what an account-based sales strategy can do for your business.