It’s so obviously useful, but most companies do not provide their teams with a sales and marketing quick reference card to guide conversations with prospects and customers. A Sales & Marketing Quick Reference Card (QRC) is a one-pager that summarizes the company’s unique selling proposition, the solution’s positioning, the target opportunity areas, discovery questions and objection handling.
The QRC is not designed as an all-encompassing document that must include every response to every permutation of every possible question–that requires a messaging framework and documenting some fundamental go-to-market building blocks. The document IS designed as a one-pager to be leveraged by:
- Inside Sales Reps, Sales Development Reps and Business Development Reps – i.e. the folks that make outbound calls and receive inbound calls. The QRC is not a complete call script but it serves to get everyone on the same page by providing consistent messaging that supports the brand, the value proposition and the core differentiation of the solution.
- The Demand Generation and Demand Management Teams – they should use the QRC as the “source code” for targeting and messaging in all lead generation programs and lead follow-up initiatives. For instance, Ideal Contacts will drive list buys, Ideal project Scenarios, the benefits delivered and discovery questions are copy that can be used on the website, in emails, landing pages and some of the topics could support a whitepaper, webinar or blog posts.
Sales and Marketing Quick Reference Card – Positioning
Here, the value proposition and business benefits are simply stated. The first paragraph should describe what the organization provides, why it’s important and how the company and/product are different (a sentence for each). It’s important to communicate this in the words of the target audience versus the words on the internal employees. If you have completed a messaging and positioning workshop this information can be easily lifted from that exercise. If you have the cycles to spend on developing a unique selling proposition, it’s beneficial to start with a template specifically designed for that purpose.
The “What’s our Value” section attempts to provide that one sentence, strategic insight and the impact on business outcomes—it’s meant for the prospect to make eye contact. This will be the most difficult and important sentence that your organization will create and it is imperative that every customer facing employee can not only recite this message but understand it as well.
Next, three to five high level benefits cascade down from the value section. These benefits should be topical but there needs to be a way to dovetail into the solution and most of all the story has to be defendable.
This is where the QRC identifies appropriate projects, departments and contact roles/titles.
The project scenarios are the specific business use cases that exist within a prospect’s organization (business problems that possess negative financial consequences for the business). Ideal Projects Scenarios not only meet this criteria but they must also align to the benefits and capabilities of the solution–there is no point in identifying business problems that your solution will not provide value to the customer when implemented.
In addition, the titles of the target employees inside a project organization should be summarized – “where to hunt”. These should correlate back to the key roles in the decision making process and personas should be developed for each so that it is clear how to engage, where to engage and what content is relevant and meaningful to them at each phase of the customer buying process.
Sales and Marketing Quick Reference Card – Discovery Questions
These are the fundamental questions that sales and marketing should ask of prospects to qualify opportunities in a systemic approach. The responses will provide insights about the prospect, the business environment and the existing or potential financial impact on the business.
These questions should be reversed-engineered from the value proposition and from the core differentiation of the solution. Only questions that can help disqualify or qualify prospects should be asked as those are actionable. The goal is to determine whether the value that your solution provides will be perceived in the manner that you desire or not.
Sales & Marketing Quick Reference Card – Objection Handling
In this last section, the top three questions that an Inside Sales, Sales Development Rep or Business Development Rep should expect (those that are asked most frequently) should be documented and responses scripted. It’s essential to collaborate with the internal subject matter experts to be able to put the organization’s best foot forward when prospects raise questions that could end the sales cycle before it starts.
The best responses will provide some insight to the prospect by providing a new angle or twist to the way they are currently thinking. Most importantly, the responses need to be genuine, accurate, defendable and relevant to the audience. For example, if the person receiving the message is a business person the response should not be technical.
A Sales & Marketing Quick Reference Card is a relatively quick and easy deliverable to create and the corresponding positive impact that it delivers is well worth the time and effort to create it. If you want to take it one step further, create a sales messaging framework to support customer conversations.