Creating an Unfair Advantage for Sales and Marketing

February 14, 2020  |  
By Majda Anwar
February 14, 2020
By Majda Anwar

Tom Hessen, CEO of 9Lenses, discusses how sales and marketing leaders can leverage interactive assessments to qualify leads more efficiently.

Please note, no turtles were harmed in the making of this blog 😉

Every marketing and sales leader is looking to create an unfair advantage that helps them differentiate and win, but it’s very difficult to do in practice.

In this post, I explain how to create this unfair advantage using a very effective capability: Interactive Assessments.

To be successful in today’s market, sales and marketing teams must consistently add value to the buyer starting from the first interaction. But neither team typically understands why buyers are interested in a piece of content or what their challenges are, making it very difficult to provide immediate meaningful, personalized value.

Interactive Assessments create an unfair advantage based on three (3) core principles:

  1. Provide instant, personal feedback to clients through assessment results. 
  2. Focus and tailor the conversation based on the results.
  3. Enable the rep to maximize the value provided in the conversation.

Let’s discuss these in more detail.

Provide instant, personal feedback to clients through assessment results.

The results must be VALUABLE and PERSONALIZED to the buyer with answers to questions like:

  • How am I doing in <insert business area>?
  • What do you recommend that I do to improve?
  • How do I compare to other clients or others in my industry?

This is the most important core principle. It’s where the value creation starts for the buyer!

Create an unfair advantage between marketing and sales by using a personal assessment, which The Pedowitz Group has done for clients through 9lenses

Focus and tailor the conversation based on the results.

The assessment results are a roadmap for how the salesperson should navigate the conversation with the customer, who is looking for insights and tailored recommendations about their business challenges. The results position the rep to be the subject matter expert (SME) and add tremendous value by having a ready-made roadmap to the conversation.

Once a customer has completed the assessment, the salesperson now has a clear opportunity to reach out.

Creating an "unfair" advantage between marketing and sales involves personal follow-up from a trained representative

Enable the rep to maximize the value provided in the conversation.

If you want a truly unfair advantage, then you must provide support and guidance to the rep to have each specific conversation based on the results.

Common sales enablement includes talking points, questions to ask, additional recommendations/solutions, case studies, etc. all based on the customer’s assessment results. It’s impossible for reps to know all things about all products, but with the proper support, they can have successful conversations using the roadmap provided by the assessment.

How does this create an unfair advantage between sales and marketing, and what does it look like in practice?

In this blog post called A Windstorm Shows Why Assessments are the future of B2B Sales, I share a personal story that provides a great example of a sales organization using assessments and the 3 principles above to create an advantage.

To summarize, a roofing consultant drove by my home and offered to assess wind damage on my roof following a major windstorm. He found substantial damage that I wasn’t trained to see or understand and changed my perspective in an instant which lead to him closing a sale!

He used his assessment to provide me with personalized insight into MY challenges, which gave him an advantage over all the other roofers that called and mailed me following the storm. Now, selling a new roof may not be B2B, but it is a complex sale that models many B2B purchases!

Using interactive assessments in the B2B marketing & sales process is not new, but has always been a challenge because they’ve been manual, slow, and limited. Using the 9Lenses cloud assessment platform, executives are able to provide assessments easily and touch thousands of buyers and enable sales teams to have better, value-adding conversations that lead to wins!

So, what next?

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