Do you have a value proposition that you consistently use? What about an elevator pitch? While these two professionally crafted messages are important, they aren’t used nearly as often as companies expect.
Among the approximately 180 questions that Objective Management Group (OMG) asks salespeople as part of a sales evaluation, we ask them to provide their value proposition and elevator pitch. Our primary finding from this has always been to show the degree of consistency or inconsistency of the company’s messaging within the sales organization, but not much more than that.
On May 1 we began taking our analysis of messaging to another level as we move to video collection of those messages. As the transcribed videos are analyzed we’ll be able to show the relative effectiveness of a salesperson’s delivery of those messages.
One of our best practices is to look for correlation to sales percentile.
Usually, the competency or attribute we are correlating contributes either directly or indirectly to sales percentile, so it doesn’t surprise us when there is correlation. Messaging has never been scored and has never been used as a finding, so it has no impact on sales percentile. Guess what? As with all of our other competencies and attributes, it correlates perfectly.
Please see the table below.
The table indicates that the length of the value proposition and the length of the elevator pitch show a direct correlation with sales percentile. Specifically, elite salespeople have a value proposition that is 33% longer than and an elevator pitch that is 31% longer than weak salespeople.
Is longer better?
Prior to this analysis, I didn’t think so but since I still have questions about that, not necessarily.
Historically, we know that the right message will have the greatest impact. But the data suggests that it’s more about the length than the quality. To be sure, the best salespeople use more words than the weakest salespeople.
Are the weak salespeople looking for shortcuts, doing as little as possible, lacking commitment, or the more obvious conclusion, that they don’t recognize the importance of getting their company message, right?
I wonder how many of the weak salespeople typed in, “N/A”, or “?”, or “Not sure”, or “Don’t Know.”
While that would surely account for weaker salespeople having shorter messages, it doesn’t explain serviceable salespeople – those in the 51-79 percentile – having fairly short messages as well.
The reality is that the best salespeople take their messaging seriously, make sure that they include everything that should be included, and deliver those messages to the right people, at the right time, and for the right reasons.
This question as to longer or better runs parallel to prospecting messages.
Which works better? The salesperson with mediocre scripting who attempts 60 dials per day and manages 6 conversations and books 1 meeting; or the salesperson with great scripting who occasionally makes a few calls and books very few new meetings?
Effort beats messaging until you compare two salespeople with the same effort. Then, messaging always wins.
If effort beats skill, then why do we place so much importance on training and coaching?
It’s because anyone who works hard enough can get a meeting scheduled. Proof of this comes from the many companies who use young, inexperienced BDR’s at the top of the funnel to schedule meetings. After the meeting has been scheduled, added to CRM and is now visible, that’s when skills matter. Which skills?
The ability to build a case – through a consultative, value-based approach – to create urgency, thoroughly qualify, and recommend a customized needs and cost-appropriate solution.
Effort simply isn’t enough here. Those salespeople in the effort-first group turn into follow-up pests while those in the skills group continue to have value-added conversations with their prospects.
This article is not the last you’ll read about the debate over length versus quality of the messaging, but it gets the conversation started.