Try this simple, first step toward increasing sales productivity

During this unusual economic situation, businesses are experiencing increased pressure to generate more productivity from all parts of their business—including the sales area. One piece of advice I give my clients is to think of their entire team as their sales organization. As simple as this seems, making this change can have a significant impact on the company’s productivity.

It is common in business to think of sales as a separate, specialized part of the organization.

In fact, in a small business everybody is really part of the sales team, since most employees will have some interaction with customers. Even those employees who do not have interaction with customers have an impact on how prospects and customers perceive the company and its products.

In this article, we’ll focus on how to equip the employees who interact with prospects, customers, and partners to effectively support the sales effort by building and implementing a basic elevator speech that is shared by everyone in the organization.

A basic elevator speech is a crisp, focused statement of your company’s story. It is also the best investment you can make toward getting all your people on the same page. We’re not talking about flowery promotional pitches here. What’s needed is a company-specific pitch which every member of your organization can deliver–comfortably–on a moment’s notice.

It will consist of four parts:

  1. Who you are …
    “My name is Rachel Thompson and I am president of Ajax Industries.”
    Even if your own experience enables you to deliver a more colorful introduction tread cautiously. Remember, you are crafting something for everybody to recite with comfort and confidence.
  2. What you do …
    “We are the Valley’s oldest manufacturer of counter sunk widgets.”
    A simple tag line here will help your people to differentiate your company and make them more memorable.
  3. Who you do it for …
    “We sell to high end spadel manufacturers all over the country.”
    It is really important to tell your listeners who your customers are! Though the odds of having a hot prospect in any single group are small, there could easily be an audience of ambassadors and referral sources.
  4. Why they are better off because they do business with you (otherwise known as the value you and your offering brings)!
    “They tell us we provide high quality at fair and reasonable prices!” “Our clients consistently show revenue improvements within 3 months of our engagement”.

This is the moment of memorability, the unique selling opportunity. It may take longer to craft than the first three bullets, but do it. The rewards will be great.

Remember that the more team members you can get involved in the development of this speech, the simpler and more seamless your implementation will be. Start with your senior managers and then get everyone involved in the process.

Implementation tips

  • Distribute printed copies of the final elevator speech in sizes that can easily fit in work areas and be read while using the telephone.
  • Incorporate the elevator speech into your standard email message templates for customer service, sales and marketing programs.
  • Practice is important. Encourage your managers to lead practice sessions with their teams until they can naturally deliver the elevator speech.
  • Role-playing is a very effective way to practice the speech.
  • Be open to feedback about how the employees feel and think about the elevator speech—you’ll gain valuable insight.

In addition to a fine marketing and selling tool, you may be surprised at the increased levels of understanding, engagement and esprit de corps that the work will produce.