The Alphabet Article Series – The ABCs of Solving Sales Problems – The 3 “C’s”

Finding time to read something that will help to improve your company each and every week can be daunting. What to read? How much time to invest? Why one article or author over another? Who to believe? Let me commend and thank you for choosing to be here. You could be many places, so I’ll do my best to make this worthwhile.
So, here we go…

The 3 “C’s” are: Creativity     Consistency     Conversion

Creativity, Mike? This isn’t high-school art class! I need a sales boost.

Yes. Creativity. While it can seem like a very ambiguous concept, especially coming from a data-geek that beats the drum so loudly about measuring things, I assure you it is relevant long-term. What other word could you form with the first 4 letters of CREATIVITY? I’ll save you the suspense, it’s C.A.R.E. What’s the point? Well, it’s those 4 letters, that 1 word, that tends to flourish when creativity is accepted and celebrated. Your staff members will inherently care if they are given the autonomy to be creative in customizing solutions for clients. The same is true of your team when you ask them about deploying sales messaging and tactics for your company out in the marketplace. With a bit of latitude, you much can be accomplished. Now, obviously, you have to deploy a governor here. I’m not implying you let an “anything goes” frame of mind run amuck. It needs to be a guided and measured sense of creativity that lends itself to what is best for clients. Just be sure to allow room for it, you will be amazed at what your team can come up with if they are given the freedom to think creatively.

Consistency. This one factor can, quite literally, make or break your sales efforts. And there several places you need to be mindful of it.

First. There needs to be consistency in your messaging. That means in ALL CHANNELS – your website, your marketing collateral, your social posts, and in ANY interaction you might have with prospects and clients. It happens time and again, in large organizations and small, that the sales team is saying one thing, your marketing team another, and your OPS team still another. Nothing will undermine your credibility faster than mixed messages.

Second. There needs to be consistency in your expectations of your various teams – things like internal metrics, deliverables, and interactions between disciplines in your organization. It is also critical that the teams are aligned and there is accountability to the consistency and outcome company-wide. This will mean you need to align your teams and have them accountable to each other and the company.
That’s no easy task, Mike! All those personalities, all those moving parts, and you are asking for them all to be aligned.

Simple answer, YES.

A more complete answer reaches back a week into the “B’s”. Remember what I said about your attitude and the impact it has on belief? Well, it has impact here as you flush out the consistency in your company. You will need buy-in, especially from your producers – sales, marketing and even OPS to some extent. If you get the people in your company who are respected to respect one another across disciplines, you will have a much easier time getting the teams on the same page. But don’t forget, you need the buy-in all the way down to the grass roots folks. That’s the only way you will ensure this “C” happens regularly.

Conversion. I know that the first thing everyone thinks when the word conversion comes into the business discussion on conversion rate – how many sales came from what number of opportunities. I’d like to challenge the “norm” here and imply there is a different way to think about this concept that will ultimately boost the conversion rates.

What if I said to you it’s really about the conversion of your mindset on your value proposition?

What, Mike?!

It’s a fundamental concept that is almost always overlooked. Working in our world, we must get to know two things intimately. Our clients, sure. But more importantly, we have to know our clients’ prospects. We must know who they are, how they think, and what the value really is to them about what our clients are selling. So often at the beginning of a mission, we will ask our clients about their value proposition. We almost never get a response that starts with the prospect in mind. And so begins the sometimes long and arduous process of helping our clients transform their value proposition into something that actually resonates with their prospect population. It is absolutely mission critical that our messaging and methodologies all start with the prospect in mind.

By the way, I know what I am suggesting here may seem a little unorthodox. I am not suggesting you reinvent yourself or your value proposition as it relates to what you ultimately do to serve your clients. What I am suggesting, however, is that you take an honest and critical look at WHAT your messaging says, and equally important, HOW it is said. A simple litmus test we use with our clients, and with ourselves frankly, is “Have we answered the ‘so what?!’ question for our prospects?” In other words, have we demonstrated to them, in the initial part of our dialogues, why they should slow down and spend any time listening to us?

Simply put, if you spend time converting your teams, all of them – OPS, Sales & Marketing , to consider what you do only in the light of how it actually benefits your clients, that mental, cultural conversion will inherently bolster what we all care about, your conversion rates.

Put people first, use the 3 “C’s” as they can benefit you best, and know that I am here to help or just chat, should you ever want to discuss what’s best for your team.

To raising all ships!

P.S. Be sure to join us next week when we talk about the 3 D’s – Data, Discipline, Directives