How to Monitor the Performance of your Sales Messaging
Sales messaging is crucial to your organization. It is used to convey your offering to prospects and walk them through the sales pipeline, whether helping to book that initial call or close a sale.
The purpose of your messaging is to clearly and accurately describe what your company does. More importantly, it should highlight how your company can solve a specific problem.
There is no one size fits all approach to sales messaging. In order to cut through the noise, you need to think carefully about how you frame your message, which parts of your company’s offering to emphasize, and how they align with the pain point of potential buyers.
It’s always best to assume that prospects will each have their own unique reaction when engaging with your messaging. With that said, it’s not possible to completely tailor your messaging for each and every person who may be interested in buying your product or service. You need to be clever, balancing the effort with the probability of sales success.
This blog will explain how to effectively monitor the performance of your sales messaging and why this is important to your organization. We’ll also discuss what techniques can be used to improve it and how live experimentation and testing can help.
But how do you effectively monitor the performance of sales messaging? More importantly, what steps can you take to improve it?
Why should I be monitoring performance?
Monitoring can equip sales reps and their leaders with a live feed of valuable insights.
In turn these can then be harnessed to improve and refocus your sales strategies. Monitoring allows you to make informed decisions based on data as opposed to steering your strategy based on assumptions from your own experience and bias.
Through a much broader lens, this process allows you to identify strengths and weaknesses, and see whether your sales team is working to help achieve the goals of your company. Monitoring performance allows you to establish KPIs, create benchmarks, and set goals for your sales team. Failing to accurately monitor this will prevent you from being able to forecast how well your team is doing or pinpoint areas where they could improve.
Sales messaging is just one part of your overarching sales strategy though, as we’ve already established, it has an important role to play. In competitive markets, you need to be able to clearly and quickly communicate how your company can solve a problem.
If your sales messaging is performing well, it will lead to more meetings and demos being booked, ultimately helping to drive customers through the funnel. Sales messaging that hasn’t been optimized can have the opposite effect, leading to lost opportunities that could eat into your revenue. Even if your solution is objectively better than those offered by your competitors, weak sales messaging can drive prospects to seek alternatives.
How to monitor sales messaging
The first thing we need to establish is how to tell what sales messaging has achieved good results and what hasn’t. Just because an email or call script reads well doesn’t mean that it will generate leads or help convert prospects. In order to get an idea of what good sales messaging looks like, we can look at the data your organization is already collecting.
In short, the best sales messaging is that which generates the most responses. This means we should be looking at the messaging used by reps who have the highest number of average sales within your organization. It may also be useful to collect data from underperforming reps as their sales messaging could be failing to engage prospects and progress them through the pipeline.
Look at key performance indicators such as:
- Open and response rates via emails
- Call-backs and the percentage of prospects that move to the next step via phone outreach
- InMail response and percentage of LinkedIn connections via social media
Of course, a rep’s overall success is influenced by numerous factors and not purely sales messaging. However, if your team is conducting the right quantity of outreach but it’s not delivering results, maybe your messaging isn’t clearly conveying the benefits of your offering or touching on the right value proposition.
Look at the best performing SDRs in your team and carefully analyze their sales messaging. See which emails, calls, videos, and direct messages led to successful engagements and produced the most opportunities. Did they use a case study or marketing collateral such as blogs? Do prospects with similar buyers respond to specific sales messaging in the same way? Look at the tone, length, structure, and degree of personalization and identify what these examples of good sales messaging have in common.
How to improve your sales messaging
When developing sales messaging it’s important to differentiate it from your marketing outreach.
With prospects progressing to the next stage in the pipeline, your messaging needs to reflect this, honing its focus and shedding buzzwords to become more specific and challenge-focused / gain-orientated instead of repeating the same messaging these leads have already been exposed to.
For inbound, make sure you check where the prospect came from. Did they download a specific guide or white paper? What content are they engaging with? What topics/areas are they searching for? These can provide valuable insights into potential challenges and pain points, once again demonstrating that you have awareness of what part of your offering they need.
Creating and sharing a strong Ideal Customer Profile will help you in being more personalized, speaking to specific personas and showing an awareness of their role’s objectives and trends within their industry. Templates are always useful though only give you the raw ingredients – great sales reps will know how to add personalization to better target their sales messaging.
A SalesLoft study shows that a little personalization can go a long way – for example, by personalizing 20% of the email content, the open rate increased to 33 percent. However, there’s always a line to be drawn. The same study indicates a drop off the more you personalize, only picking up slightly again when 80% of an email has been customized. Hitting that 80% can take considerable time and effort that might be better spent focused on other sales activities.
Another general tip is to avoid passive tone and vagueness in your messaging. Be black and white. Prove that your product or service is best by including testimonials and case studies. Buyer’s don’t want promises, they want a guarantee.
Live experimentation and testing
Once you have collected your data, you will have assumptions about how to go about improving your sales messaging. From here you’ll need to take your findings and then start to test the changes you want to make. For example, you might want to adjust your templates to better resemble the sales messaging of your top-performing sales reps.
As you carry out these tests you need to measure and track the data, comparing it to prove or disprove your initial assumptions. Live experimentation and testing should be an ongoing process and a fundamental part of improving your sales messaging and strategy, trying new techniques that you may not have considered, unlocking potential opportunities. This will require resources and a culture that promotes experimentation though you may find that these new techniques lead to more conversations, appointments, and conversions.
It’s important to remember that in order to be successful, you need to be monitoring the changes, measuring KPIs against previous benchmarks to determine what sales messaging is most effective. It’s also important to realize that this isn’t a one and done process – sales success is a moving goalpost so continual testing is required in order to optimize your sales messaging and adapt to new personas as they emerge.
Monitoring performance across all sales activities is crucial to the success of your organization. In this blog we’ve explored why sales messaging is important while offering ways to effectively monitor and improve its performance.
This process can be time consuming and comes with an element of risk, especially if you are a fast-growing company or startup that maybe doesn’t have a wealth of sales data to work with.
If you’re unsure what messaging will work best in helping to sell your products or services, InsideOut can help. We combine your success and learnings with our rich, expansive experience to design effective sales messaging for your teams. We also have the resources to effectively test and optimize this messaging internally before it’s deployed by your internal teams – meaning no reduction in pipeline or existing headcount.
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Stephen is InsideOut’s Director of Business Intelligence, bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge to our inside sales lab. It’s Stephen’s role to deliver smart, more impactful insights and performance metrics to our clients and management, driven by a belief that ideas + work = insights.