SPIF Tip #47: How Information Quality Impacts B2B Sales Performance
We know that poor quality
in the engineering or manufacturing process impacts production performance. The same principles apply in revenue production. Poor quality impacts performance.
One primary focus of sales quality should be the information the sales channel uses to close the sale. Like any other process, managing revenue production quality levels requires standards. Not following the standards results in defects which reduce conversion and cost sales and marketing dollars.
This SPIF Tip will cover two of these standards which are critical: The completeness and precision of sales information, and give you a link where you can learn more.
Completeness and precision of information provided to salespeople is critical:
Every claim, of advantage or value to the customer needs evidence (proof). Every offer needs an advantage it gives the customer. This is not a list of features. It is something that differentiates the offer because of what it enables them to do.
For example, instead of leading with the advantage and then proving it, the Hewlett Packard product manager in this recent video took more than two minutes to get to the point: His pump will not break down without warning someone first. (Most people won’t wait that long!)
For closing the sale the customer should be able to compare the specific claim with the competitor’s offer. Directional claims (words like “longer lasting,” or “easier to use”) are not sufficient for closing the sale.
In the above case, the Hewlett Packard sales engineer might have been able to say something like “More than fifty installations have been running for more than 100 thousand hours of operation each. There have been three instances where the system signaled a problem, each with plenty of lead time to get the issue solved. There have been zero instances of down time, so our customer’s mean-time-between failures have risen by 15%.”
You can get a list of the Top Ten Defects of the quality of Sales Information at the website of the CMO Council at their website:
What quality issues have you seen with the information provided to salespeople? Leave your comment below, and we’ll respond. If you’d like to discuss how to implement quality standards in your “go to market” process please feel free to email Bud.
By Bud Hyler and Michael Webb