10 Tips for Supporting the Sales Team in Today's Environment
3. Evaluate the competition
Take a good look at the competition, their product offerings and their value propositions to see how you stack up against them. Ensure you have clear differentiation from the other providers in the market. This is important ammunition for sales and there is so much you can find online. Social media is powerful because you can get great insight on how companies position themselves in blog posts and tweets.
We built a matrix of about 30 companies that provide marketing production solutions to the retail industry in a variety of categories including agencies, printers and technology vendors. This allowed us to make side-by-side comparisons on the size, technology, service offering and advantages of all. Once we had this detail, we could drill down to see what the true strengths of Affinity Express are and any gaps in our offering that needed to be addressed. We look closely at the marketing practices of our top competitors and check if they have blogs, issue press releases, attend industry events, develop white papers and more. We always want to know how visible and how effective they are.
4. Build value propositions
Once you have a target list, a basic understanding of the market and a handle on the competition, you are ready to craft effective value propositions. Our team likes to call these "elevator pitches" but I don't think we pitch in elevators all that often these days! In fact, 95% of the visitors to a website don't want to talk to a sales person, but 70% will eventually buy from that company or a competitor. Marketing has to work with sales to create compelling value propositions that can be featured both in sales meetings and online, as well as customized for specific prospects in presentations.