Remember when your company’s messaging was new and shiny? It was exciting to see it position your firm as a technology leader, an eager innovator, and deep thinker on the issues the industry faces, staffed by experts who trail fairy dust over clients’ projects.
Right now, however, you have a problem. Your external communications are mostly about sales wins, and the messaging that succinctly describes your company’s advantages are lost in the noise. Whilst the deal announcements are good for raising profile, they don’t answer the question of ‘why you, and not your competitors?’ – the one fundamentally at the heart of your sales team’s goal.
So how do you go about convincing the sales team that PR is worth their time and investment?
Let’s be clear on a couple of things: unlike sales, getting measurable, repeatable data on the outcomes from PR is fiendishly difficult, and requires such mind numbing heights of pedantry as to make it a practically worthless view. That doesn’t make PR some unfathomable “dark art”, however, as sound reasoning tells us independent endorsement has the power to influence decisions. But, you will not win the confidence of your sales team by asking them to record what each contact read before they first approached the business, to prove PR influenced their decision.
Purchase decisions are not made in information deserts – reminding your sales team that where buyers get information from is as important as the information itself – which is why PR becomes very powerful. In a competitive market with a diverse value chain, such as ours, sales teams can’t rely only on their black book, they need help filling the pipeline of enquiries. They face prospective clients that don’t understand why they need your products, or who have written off the business without knowing anything about it.
PR can help solve these problems by attracting potential customers towards your business, and your sales team. Be clear with your sales team that money spent on PR will do a lot of heavy lifting for them, to warm key targets towards your products and services and eventual sales approach. More than the website or marketing material, PR gives external audiences a real feel for your business, allows them to see inside the minds of your executives, and understand all the ways your products and services can be used to solve their problems.
It’s worth pointing out, though you know this, that what you say when you make a sale and what you subsequently deliver, need to be closely aligned, otherwise you end up not only with disappointed clients, but also with disappointed employees. In the final analysis, one of the key reasons you want your sales team to get on board with your PR efforts, is because once you have helped them fill their pipeline, you want them to close the deal. With disjointed messaging, between external communications and sales, this is going to be harder.
Ready for a chat?
If this has gotten you thinking – you have some questions – or you want to talk to us about what happens next, then please drop us a line. We’d love to hear from you.Get in touch