Sales Messaging: Why It Matters, What To Avoid & How To Get It Right


By Alex McNaughtan

As a founder or sales professional, it isn’t easy to create strong and succinct sales messaging that describes what it is you do or sell.

Having a really powerful story is imperative whether you are raising money, selling to customers or even trying to attract the best talent – people won’t give your company the time of day if you don’t have a simple, compelling story that you can articulate.

It is also crucial that your messaging is aligned across every touchpoint someone might have with your company.

This is important because throughout each and every interaction they have, they will be forming their opinion on you!

In this article you will find the two biggest mistakes to avoid when thinking about your sales messaging and the five key things to consider to ensure your company story is impactful and helps you to win more business!

Firstly here are two of the biggest mistakes to avoid with your sales messaging:

1.   As a founder who is very close to his/her creation, it is easy to fall in to the trap of assuming everyone else will understand what your product does and where it fits in to the market as much as you do. In reality, this is often not the case, particularly when a brand new product category has been created.

Time and effort needs to be spent educating the market on what you do, why it matters and how it can help and the appropriate language needs to be used so that everyone else can understand.

2.    Great messaging is not describing in intimate detail the incredible features or specifications of your product.

In New Zealand, founders of tech companies tend to be technically focused so this is a common mistake Kiwi companies make.

Buyers do not buy products because of specific features or specifications – they buy because they have a problem or need that your product can solve for them. Focus your messaging on the business impacts in order to resonate with buyers more closely.

Secondly, here are the five key things to think about when crafting your sales messaging and why it matters:

1.    Value Drivers: As mentioned above, buyers do not buy based on features alone. A buyer needs to feel that you understand their needs and your messaging should outline the key business impacts that your product will have for their business. Focus conversations around value to massively increase your win rate!

2.    How are you ‘Different’: You need to be able to articulate what makes you better or different to your competitors to avoid getting lost in the market. Ensure you define these properly so that you can stand out and avoid losing out to your competitors.

3.    Understand your customer’s pain: You need to be intimately aware of and be able to articulate back to your customer what their pain points are. This demonstrates to them that you understand their world and care about them. Typically this is found out during the discovery process of the sale where you ask a lot of questions. Once armed with this knowledge it is far easier to then align your product as the solution to their specific pain points!

4.    Proof Points: In order to guarantee you will win the deal a buyer needs to feel completely at ease and trust that your product can actually do all the things you claimed it can!

Ensure you have effective proof points such as powerful testimonials and case studies (that are also value driver focused) that you include throughout the sales journey to cement in your customer’s mind that they should trust you with their business.

5.    Alignment: Your sales messaging should be aligned throughout the organisation along the same value drivers. This involves collaboration and communication between different departments, particularly marketing and sales.

Finally, the onus is on the leadership team to reinforce the messaging, ensure that it is adopted organisation wide and use it themselves!

Take this in to consideration and your sales messaging will be far more powerful, impactful and you will find that you consistently win more business!

About Author: 

Alex McNaughten is passionate about the science of selling and accelerating the impact New Zealand tech companies make both locally and on the global stage! He set up Sales Leaders (formally – to improve NZ’s selling capability. Prior to starting Sales Leaders in 2018, Alex had a proven background in new business development, sales strategy, partner channel management, key account management and salesperson management within the SaaS, IaaS and tech infrastructure space.

(The article was first published on SalesLeaders.Tech.