John and I talk about the pros and cons of Sales Enablement Tools, including a list of three that you MUST have in your wallet to win sales.
We’ve been hearing about sales training that involves “battle cards.”
Wow, what a great idea! And also, wow, what a terrible idea!
Reasons Battle Cards are Great Sales Tools, if Used Properly
We’re all in favor of sales enablement tools, which are references your salespeople use to get up to speed and use key information about your company, products, services, customers and competitors.
Great reasons to think of sales enablement tools as “battle cards:”
- Easy to understand
- Graphic & visual
After all, the more information they have, the better they will do, right?
Not so fast. . .
Caveat – Sales is Not A Game!
There are also good reasons sales enablement tools should not be thought of as “battle cards:”
- Sales is NOT a battle!
- You and the customer are ON THE SAME SIDE.
- Treating sales as a game could trivialize customer concerns or prevent careful listening.
Many salespeople also suffer from an “us versus them” mentality, and this analogy might actually contribute to that problem.
If you’ve ever watched kids playing with battle cards, they are slapping cards down as fast as they can do the calculations.
Unfortunately, (or fortunately!) aviation consumers don’t like games. They don’t like to be treated as opponents. And they’re sure not going to let some salesperson “win” a game they’re playing with their hard-earned money (or budget.)
No reference tool should ever be more important to the sales process than listening to, and truly understanding, the customer.
This is one great reason that new salespeople tend to do really well. If they don’t know much about the product or service, they spend MORE time and energy working really hard on customer research and make no assumption about what they think they know.
So, with that caveat, here are three “battle tools” that will improve the performance of your sales team:
Battle Card #1 – Key Statistics
Create an easy reference sheet that includes the basics about the company, the primary products, the ideal customers, the main competitors, and the expectations customers have about what the brand can do for them.
- Key statistics
- Success stories
Battle Card #2- Feature Comparison
Many of your customers will be doing their own comparison about how your products stack up against the competition. You can do this work for them and lay it out in a simple matrix.
- Key features
- Main competitors
- How they stack up
Battle Card #3 – Objection Analysis
Brainstorm the most common questions and objections your customers bring up in discussions, and spend some time writing out thoughtful answers.
- Top 5 or 10 objections
- A deep understanding of each objection
- Methods to counter it
Building (regularly reviewing and updating) these three battle cards with your sales team is a great way to ensure everyone is up to speed on important facts, and that your team is consistent in the information they’re communicating to prospective customers.
This is also a great vehicle to communicate changes. When you roll out a new product upgrade or acquire a new customer you can use as a reference, update and redistribute your Battle Cards and review them in your next sales meeting!