“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler” – Albert Einstein
B2B Sales Calls
If you’re searching for a successful strategy for complex B2B sales calls, keep this in mind: Your message should be simple, easy to understand, and compelling.
I’ve been thinking and acting in those terms since the 1990s, and still believe that this is how you achieve success on sales calls.
A simple message that the receiving end can grasp and understand is essential to the opening of a call.
Many times a caller will try to provide too much information at the beginning of a call. They will speak very quickly, hoping to convey all the things possible about the business solution they’re representing, and look to get positive reactions from the other end of the phone.
Too much information too quickly just cannot all be absorbed.
An opening message should be much shorter. Aim for 20 seconds and keep it clear and measured.
Speaking quickly and frantically to get out all of your information before the receiver can hang up is not a successful way of doing B2B sales. Doing so is more of a features and benefits presentation which very rarely leads to a conversation or meaningful interaction.
To learn more about why you should avoid a features and benefits presentation on a call, read 3 Ingredients of a Successful B2B Sales Call.
Easy to Understand
You’ve kept your message simple and to the point, now it has to be easy to understand.
Don’t try to dazzle with fancy language and marketing and product management speak. On a brochure that might be ok, but you want to speak in more conversational language.
Whatever value proposition you have in writing is not what you should be saying to someone over the phone. Mission statements or value propositions are most often a mouthful. Approach someone in straightforward terms with a simple message and avoid using too many industry terms.
And now the third element that’s the trick: compelling. Is it compelling enough for them to hang on with you for a little bit more?
Sometimes there’s some trial and error involved in this; there’s no magic formula that works across the board for everything. You have to know your audience, you have to know who you are speaking to, and their business level.
What’s compelling for a CFO might be quite different for the CIO or the IT director. You still want to stick with the theme: simple, easy to understand, and compelling, but the message might need to be adjusted for each of them.
For example, a message aimed at a CFO will be more compelling if you can make clear that making money or saving money is part of your business solution.
To a CIO or director of IT, the message may be the fact that your solution integrates easily with systems they are currently using.
If you’re speaking to the CMO or marketing manager: Will your solution increase sales leads and revenue?
Understand your audience and form your message to their particular area of business.
It’s possible that you can discuss the exact same business solution to different decision makers, but tailor your message to highlight and focus on the different elements of that solution that matters to them.
Revisit This Strategy Often
As you learn more about the solution, service, or product you are representing, you tend to want to pack more into your opening message. Resist doing this and remember to always keep it simple, easy to understand, and compelling.
Save the bulk of the information for when you have somebody engaged and they’re having a conversation with you and discussing a business pain.
What about you? Do you have a method for keeping complex business solutions simple, easy to understand, and compelling? Please leave me a note in the comments.