As a sales manager, ensuring that your team's communication with prospects is tight and effective is in your best interest. You want to put out cohesive messages, in keeping with your organization's values and goals. That process — making sure your team's communications aren't erratic — is most commonly referred to as implementing consistent sales messaging.
It's an essential task that isn't always intuitive, so to help you navigate that challenge, we reached out to some experts for their takes on how to nail it.
Let's jump in.
What is sales messaging?
Sales messaging is a relatively fluid term that generally refers to the communication strategies, talking points, stories, and other conversational elements that serve as a baseline for how an organization's reps communicate with prospects.
It's worth noting that sales messaging and marketing messaging aren't the same. Marketing messaging is broader — it covers the more general features and benefits a product or service has to offer. It might sound like, "Our product can cut the length of your systems development lifecycle in half without sacrificing quality."
Sales messaging essentially takes marketing messaging, refines it, and primes it to suit individual prospects. For instance, it could be something to the effect of, "[A well-known business of similar scale with similar needs] saw an average 54% decrease in the length of every stage of its system's development lifecycle without sacrificing the quality of deployment."
In short, marketing messaging should set a solid backdrop for a company's communication efforts, and sales messaging should add a degree of precision to it without sacrificing consistency.
Elements of Successfully Implementing Consistent Sales Messaging
Maintaining a level of synchronicity in messaging across a sales team is essential to conducting effective sales efforts. Let's take a look at some pro-tips on how to make sure your sales reps can do just that.
1. Keep it customer-centric and accessible.
According to HubSpot Sales Director Dan Tyre, successful sales messaging is customer-centered. It needs to be accessible — any prospect listening has to be able to catch on quickly and reliably.
That's why Tyre recommends ditching technical talk in favor of easy-to-digest "sound bites" — which he describes as "concise ways of saying something, using common terms and language as opposed to jargon."
According to him, salespeople have a tendency to become "ingrained in their space" to the point that they assume prospects already know certain acronyms and definitions, specific to their industry — terms that can wind up reading as intimidating or confusing.
Ultimately, Tyre advises sales teams to make their messaging simple, straightforward, and approachable — or as he puts it, "explained in a way a nine-year-old would understand."
2. Make sure it aligns with marketing — to an extent
Jen Spencer, Chief Revenue Officer at SmartBug Media, stresses the importance of companies having sales messaging that's consistent with — albeit not identical to — their businesses' marketing messaging.
According to her, "Every marketing campaign needs a sales messaging layer. When our marketing team is preparing to launch a new campaign, they also arm our sales team with templates or snippets in HubSpot Sales that align with the campaign messaging."
She emphasizes the value of that kind of alignment and suggests that companies "use that kind of content in parallel with marketing content and messaging."
That said, she also advises against overly aligning sales and marketing messaging. By her account, "[her business] aims to harmonize those messages — as opposed to just copying and pasting from marketing to sales."
3. Managers have to be closely involved.
According to Datasocial Founder Ana Aldea "The salesperson is almost always the gateway to meeting new customers and is responsible for giving a good image."
That's why it's vital that sales teams have the right information when it comes to messaging, but that doesn't always happen — and she cites two primary reasons as to why: insufficient training and a lack of communication between salespeople and their managers.
Implementing consistent sales messaging takes guidance — it's relatively non-intuitive for salespeople. So it falls on management to be active and involved while facilitating the process.
Aldea offers two strategies her organization leverages — using live messaging with reps to help them adapt to new messaging in real-time and conducting weekly meetings to promote consistency and alignment with marketing.
4. It can be guided by example.
We also reached out to HubSpot Sales Manager Mike Noonan for this article, and he offered us this story about an exemplary manager who helped implement consistent messaging on his team:
"Morgan Jacobson — Director of HubSpot's Sales, Productivity, and Enablement team — was known internally as providing some of the best demos of HubSpot. The combination of his business acumen, product knowledge, and overall friendly-natured calls helped solidify this title.
His department — SP&E — helps reps sell better. As part of those efforts, Morgan runs a popular ongoing training series called 'Demo like a Pro' in which he covers new HubSpot features, products, or strategies.
He explains the use case behind what we built and why it helps businesses. Then, he demos the product himself. It’s a super helpful way for both new and tenured reps to learn how to demo all of HubSpot, and the series’ popularity helps keep messaging consistent across the sales org.
For some reps, they copy 90% of what Morgan says. Others who are more comfortable coming up with their own stories take snippets from Morgan. But overall this is a foundation or baseline for a lot of reps across all tenures."
5. Leverage practical, relevant tech.
A couple of the experts we reached out to mention the value of technology in the context of implementing consistent sales messaging. One tool that came up was HubSpot's Playbooks — a resource for creating and storing sales enablement content, including materials like call scripts for reps to reference.
Another type of tool that came up was conversational intelligence platforms, like Gong, to be used as a means of tracking specific topics and helping inform more effective one-on-one coaching between reps and managers.
Implementing consistent sales messaging on your team is a process that can be every bit as frustrating as it is necessary. But with the proper guidance, enthusiasm, alignment with marketing, and technology behind you, it's far from impossible.
Originally published Apr 12, 2021 8:30:00 AM, updated April 12 2021