Supporting Sales in their high-value pursuits helps everyone win.
We recently supported a healthcare client who was pitching a very large, critically important, deal. Before consulting with the Sales team, we thought that customizing their pitch deck for this particular pursuit would be sufficient. But we came to understand that the Sales team had a goal for the total prospect experience that transcended what the company had ever done. And so that simple pitch became a pitch deck and a tailored eBook take-away, and posters that reinforced the value propositions and dressed the room for maximum impact.
The case for tailored responses
While this was perceived as a heroic, out-of-the-ordinary response, should it be? We think that the potential impact of high-value deals deserves a highly tailored response. Especially when you consider how much energy has already gone into prepping the response, working out the numbers, building the demo, and flying in the pitch teams. And, in complex selling environments like healthcare where responses to proposals could be spreadsheets with thousands of cells, those responses do a lousy job of engaging the executive teams that typically gather for the final presentations.
Why isn’t Marketing doing this now?
Most Marketing departments don’t think they’re in the business of helping Sales create custom pursuit materials that help them close deals. It’s antithetical to old style mass marketing and it requires extremely agile and fast-moving response. But there is a powerful argument to do so: according to recent data from Marketo, Sales and Marketing alignment can help your company become 67% better at closing deals. So why would Marketing abandon Sales at this critical, high value moment?
3 tips to get started in delivering pitch support
- Bring Marketing talents where they are needed. Free up Sales to focus on the many last-minute things they should be attending to, like finalizing the pricing offer or getting the demo just right. Marketing can lend valuable expertise around messaging and merchandising so the meeting and materials are the best they can be. And giving Sales white glove treatment at a time that is especially tense for them, can go a long way in helping them be the best they can be in the situation.
- Know who’ll be at the table and target your message appropriately. Buying decisions are made by a broader range of executives, which means higher level, more targeted materials with clear benefit messages are necessary. Remember it’s not about you, it’s about them so stay focused on the outcomes you are promising rather than your functional capabilities. Plus, solid executive take-away materials let those in the room deliver your pitch later to those who will be brought into the final decision-making process.
- Establish your “white glove treatment” Marketing best practices. Will you arrange for printed pieces to be delivered to the rep’s hotel or the client site? Are you nimble enough to build customized presentation slides for Sales? Will you create posters? Leave behinds? Create a menu of options and allow Sales to decide what will work best for this unique prospect at this time.
By delivering this custom pursuit support, you’ll strengthen the bond between Sales and Marketing and greatly improve your prospect’s experience. Additionally, and importantly, this experience gives Marketing teams “live fire” feedback about how Sales views your messaging and how they tweak it to suit their situation. Plus, there’s nothing quite so exhilarating as delivering support to Sales when it’s all on the line. Are you up for the challenge?