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Sell Your Salespeople First…Or Else

Imagine expending months of time and energy on a value-based initiative…only to see your efforts crash and burn within a matter of weeks after rolling it out to the field. Well, that’s exactly what happened to one high-tech manufacturer that failed to recognize the critical importance of making the very first value-based sales to their own salespeople.

This company’s product marketing team had seemingly done everything right from a value-based perspective. Over many months, they took steps to gain an in-depth understanding of their differential value, along a number of important dimensions. And after understanding their differential value, they even created a variety of tools to help communicate that value to prospects and customers.

But they neglected to consider their salespeople as a primary audience…one that needed to be convinced in advance of prospects and customers.

As a result of this oversight, when the value-based tools and messages were rolled-out to the worldwide sales team, adoption and utilization in the field were almost nonexistent. Even worse, the salespeople actually viewed all of the value-based materials and messaging as just being “marketing puffery” that was designed to trick and confuse their customers into buying.

Nearly eighteen months of concerted effort went down the drain…all because the “messengers” didn’t understand, or even believe, the value-based messages they were ultimately charged with delivering.

As you strive to achieve the value-based ideal, it’s important to remember this crucial lesson: For salespeople to sell on value, they first have to believe in the value.

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