The Digital Selling Crash Course

Chapter 4: The Three Rules of Digital Selling

3 rules that will improve the relevance of your sales content when engaging a prospect
Maximize your sales engagements by developing relevant content that addresses your prospect’s problems and presents the right information at every stage of the sales cycle.

In the previous chapters, you mastered how to organize all of your existing sales content in a cloud based digital library and how to develop rich media sales collateral that can grab and retain your audience’s attention. With this knowledge, you are already more than halfway through your goal to maximize sales performance with Digital Selling.

The next important step we will take to increase your sales engagement and accelerate nurturing is to make sure that your sales content is relevant to your target customers. This is easier said than done.

The Content Gap

Most traditional sales content tends to be focused on showing off a business’s offering. As a result, the burden of explaining how this offering solves a customer problem falls on the sales person. Once again, we must remember that modern buyers prefer conducting their own discovery of the solutions to a problem before engaging your sales team. This creates a serious “content gap” that is hurting your sales performance.

To draw a comparison, when people get sick they used to first contact a medical expert to consult what they should do. Now, they are more likely to search their symptoms online (using tools like WebMD) to understand what they are experiencing and whether or not they need medical attention. In this comparison your salespeople are equivalent to medical professionals and your sales content is equivalent to that of the content a patient may seek online to solve their problem. Today, most traditional sales content does not address the problem (or symptoms) a prospect may be facing. This lack of awareness creates the “content gap” we mentioned above.

To overcome this sales challenge, you need to get a good grasp of two key elements:

  1. Target Customers
  2. Relevant Content

The next sections provide very simple but effective frameworks to develop these key elements of your Digital Selling strategy.

Target Customers That Match Your UVP

Traditional sales teams attempt to engage with a prospect because they “fit the profile” of users who can benefit from their offering. They build a target list and reach out to each person on the list, extolling the virtues of their offering. Such attempts are time consuming, expensive and fail miserably in engaging the target customers.

Unless a customer has a real problem, they are unlikely to engage with you. Once engaged, unless they clearly understand how specific features of your offering can solve their problem, they are unlikely to consider your offering. During the selection process, unless your offering is unique with respect to the customer’s requirements, your chances of getting selected are reduced and you will have to offer substantial discounts to acquire the customer.

To remember this, we have created three rules to Digital Selling. If you remember nothing else from this course, try to remember the three rules. Here is rule #1.

Digital Selling Rule #1

Sales engagement should always start with a focus on the customers’ problems instead of your solution(s).

Unique Value Propositions (UVPs) will make this task a lot easier. UVPs are designed to identify the right target customers and avoid the pitfalls described above.

Creating a Unique Value Proposition (UVP)

  1. List out the problem(s) your offering can solve
  2. For each problem, list the feature(s) of the offering that solves the problem.
  3. Brainstorm and list the key benefits of solving each problem. You may notice some benefits are stronger than others, that is expected.
  4. List competitors who offer solutions to the problem you are attempting to solve. Using your key feature list, identify your competitive differentiation
  5. Once 1-4 are complete, brainstorm a potential list of customer segments that satisfy the conditions above.
  6. Once 1-5 are complete, you are ready to construct your UVP statement. To construct your UVP, fill in the blanks in the following sentence from your answers to the above questions.

UVP: For [target customer], who [identify problem(s)], our [offering] includes [feature(s)] that deliver [benefit(s)] unlike [competitor 1, 2, & 3] who do not provide [certain features/benefits].

Sample UVP: for a business called GoHome that sells recreational vehicles (RVs) and luxury caravans:
For employees working remotely, who are tired of working from their cramped small city apartments, our 12 foot trailer includes 2 beds, 2 desks, a kitchen, fast wifi and a full bathroom that delivers a luxurious and connected living experience anywhere unlike existing trailer companies who do not provide luxury interior finishes and the latest networking technology to stay connected.

Defining your UVP should always be the first step when defining your target customers. Failure to correctly and completely define a UVP will result in waste of time and energy on prospects who are unlikely to engage with your sales team.

Digital Selling Rule #2

Only target people who have a problem they need to solve urgently, and who understand that your solution will uniquely solve their problem.

Now that you know how to identify target customers, let’s learn how to create content that will help your sales team engage with them.

Develop Relevant Content To Maximize Each Sales Engagement

Traditional sales organizations regularly fail to leverage content while engaging prospects. The following is a list of common traditional sales experiences where content was not properly leveraged:

  • Interacting with salespeople as the only method of engagement.
  • All the information about the offering is stored in the salesperson’s brain
  • The only way to receive information is through salespeople

The main reason for this behavior is the lack of relevant content. This brings us to Rule #3:

Digital Selling Rule #3

Use content to clearly articulate the problem you are solving. Then articulate how your offering solves the problem.

We refer to the content that satisfies Rule #3 as “relevant content”. Target customers willingly engage with your sales team when they receive relevant content.  With relevant content, you can focus more on training your sales team to know how and when to share content, rather than training them to become a walking encyclopedia about your offering.

Your relevant content answers the following questions about your target customer.

  1. What problem(s) is the target customer facing?
  2. How severe is the problem for them?
  3. How does your offering solve their problem?
  4. How can you help them make a purchase decision?

Given short attention spans, it is important to divide your relevant content into smaller chunks, each of which is relevant for a specific stage of customer journey. The role of each content item is to help your sales team progress the target customer from their current state to the next.

The table below summarizes the types of content items you should create for every customer stage in a sales cycle. The column on the left identifies the many stages every contact will go through during a sales process. The second column identifies the content type that should be shared with the contact, and the message that should be delivered (along with the format of the content). The third column lists the contact roles you should assign to the contact within fullfeel’s contact management system. The fourth and final column identifies the average attention the contact is willing to spend on your content.

The Content the Drives Each Stage of the Sales Cycle

Contact & Opportunity Stages Stage Jump
Content types
How to use them + format
Contact Roles Attention Span
Unaware Unaware to Aware
Hints at a problem a prospect might have. (format video, image, etc.)
Suspect 30 seconds or less
Aware Aware to Engaged
Create urgency to solve the problem. Provide a solution framework.(format overview presentation, video, webpage)
Prospects (aka Sales Qualified Lead) Up to 5 minutes
Engaged Engaged to Nurtured
Guided Tour(s)
Shows what your solution does and how you solve the prospects problem (videos, webpages)
Nurtured Nurtured to Evaluation
Buyer’s Guide & Loss and ROI calculators
If there are multiple stakeholders, this will help the champion convince others that it’s a problem worth solving immediately and the kind of solutions to look at. This will also provide cost estimate resources and organizational change management information. (PDFs, Webpages, Apps)
Champion – Exists when selling to an organization with multiple stakeholders No more than 15 minutes
Evaluation Evaluation to Selection
Case Studies & White Papers
Provides examples of how others are using the solution. Provides further implementation details and resources. (PDFs, blogs, videos)
Selection Selection to Conversion
Should include a summary of the entire customer journey (including problem, importance of solving it, criteria of selection, etc.) (PDFs)
Conversion N/A Customer N/A

Don’t worry if you do not have time or resources to build all of them. At the minimum, start with a teaser and an explainer. A teaser will enable your sales team to initiate conversations with target customers by leading with a problem that they may be experiencing. An explainer video engages the target customer, establishes their trust in your sales team and instills a sense of urgency to act. Once you create a teaser and explainer, gradually develop the rest of the content items in the table above. Each content item will help your sales team accelerate nurturing and lessen their burden to articulate your customer’s problem and how your solution solves their problem. This improved sales efficiency and effectiveness empowers them to close more deals, faster.

If you have reached this far then you are almost at the verge of maximizing your business’s sales performance. The next chapter describes a game changing innovation that will completely transform your sales engagement.

Three Rules of Digital Selling

try fullfeel

Create, organize, and share the most relevant content with your prospects today.

In the next chapter, get ready to learn about a new game changing sales engagement innovation!

Chapter 5 – Accelerating Sales Engagement with Digital Selling

Explore the Chapters…

Chapter 1: Digital Selling 101

What is it, and who needs it?
Learn what Digital Selling is, why it matters, and whether you are suffering from the adverse effects of outdated traditional selling practices.

Chapter 2: Getting Started in 30 Minutes

Let’s skip the theory and put Digital Selling techniques into practice.
Your time is valuable. We promise in 30 minutes you will know exactly what to do to start helping your business close more deals, faster.

Chapter 3: Creating Digital Sales Collateral

Transition from traditional sales collateral to digital sales collateral
Increase your sales performance by learning how to create immersive, engaging, and jaw dropping digital brochures, catalogs, lookbooks, and more.

Chapter 4: The Three Rules of Digital Selling

3 rules that will improve the relevance of your sales content when engaging a prospect
Maximize your sales engagements by developing relevant content that addresses your prospect’s problems and presents the right information at every stage of the sales cycle.

Chapter 5: Accelerating Sales Engagement with Digital Selling

Automate and accelerate your sales teams ability to engage
Learn how autonomous customer engagements and customer journey maps will enable your sales team to best utilize their time and energy.

Chapter 6: Making Digital Selling a Reality with fullfeel

The three phased approach to get your business to adopt Digital Selling
Transform how your business sells using the phased approach described in this chapter.