When trying to communicate a complex product story, articulating your differentiation is key. But often times it’s just not enough. Here are five steps that will help your company explain its product story loud and clear.
1. Hands-on customer engagement
2. Visually showing how the product works
3. Non-linear personalization
4. Crib notes
5. Supersize it
Hands-on customer engagement
Did you know that interactivity can increase product knowledge retention by up to 75 percent? Giving prospects a hands-on sensory experience allows them to explore product features that are the most important to them in a way that they’ll remember.
That said, getting your products into the hands of your prospects is much easier said than done. Products (specifically in the telecom, medical or industrial industries) are often large, fragile, expensive, hard to obtain and difficult to ship. Even at trade shows, companies often bring just their flagship products and/or just a “shell” of their product to avoid damage during transport.
Consider using virtual 3D product models (that look and behave just like the actual products) on touch screens appliances at trade shows, or on mobile devices for remote sales meetings. This will ensure products are available at every sales encounter, and that customers can engage and navigate products as desired.
Visually showing how the product works
A lot of products look similar from the outside, but showing the uniqueness of what’s happening within your product and what makes it different from the competition is how you’ll win the deal.
Your brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text. So whether you have 60 seconds of your prospect’s attention in a trade show booth, or 30 minutes in an actual face-to-face sales meeting, visual representations of product workflow and network infrastructures will not only help overcome language barriers, but assist in quickly and effectively communicating how your product works. Oh, and don’t forget that over 65 percent of people are visual learners.
Personalization is paramount! There’s no substitute for being able to look someone in the eye, shake hands, and give a full presentation of any relevant aspect of your entire product portfolio at a moment’s notice.
To avoid “one-size-fits-all” marketing, you need to tailor product demonstrations to the needs and interests of each prospect, making their purchasing experience feel specific to their individual business challenges. By creating non-linear, user-driven product demonstrations, the prospect can control his own experience, exploring the product and messages in a sequence and level of detail that he feels are most appropriate to his needs.
Tools such as videos do the talking for you and put the sales demonstration on autopilot, thus creating a forgettable experience and inhibiting true conversation with your customer. Putting your customer in the driver’s seat better highlights their interests for your sales representative, enabling you to tailor the discussion to best solve the customer’s business challenges.
Crib notes aren’t for cheaters; they’re for those of us who just need a little extra help! Even the most knowledgeable sales reps need crib notes now and then.
As corporate strategies shift and organizations become acquired, the product marketing mix changes and sales people must quickly accommodate. The majority of sales reps no longer sell just one product to one audience, they sale numerous products to dozens of different recipients, within very complex buying cycles.
And here’s the rub: When several products are marketed by the same sales force, it becomes impossible and impractical for them to know the unique features and benefits of EVERY product within the portfolio. This results in a generalized selling pitch, making the sales pitch less than stellar.
Use small crib notes that will help your sales team navigate thought the demonstration like a product expert. Quick reference points like information hot spots on products, supporting marketing messages and videos, will help quickly and concisely communicate the differentiation of each product.
Similar to McDonalds, you want to give your prospects the ability to “Supersize” their orders. How many times have you heard a server ask, “would you like fries with that?” Having the sales and marketing tools to communicate the benefits of one product is good, but having the ability to clearly show and articulate the value of add-ons or multiple product configurations is even better!