Without a consistent message, your business can’t succeed. But how do you ensure that you have a consistent message that your team can adapt to a prospect’s situation. You need a common language and a consistent culture of communication so sellers can sell. Learning how to do it is key!
Success comes down to the people, product, and process. The same goes for the way the business communicates — it’s not just about what you say but also how you say it.
Principles for a Common Language and a Consistent Culture
We all need effective communication to get work done. We need to communicate internally, externally, to prospects, clients and each other. To create this, you must first establish a common language.
Below we’ll discuss five principles for creating a common language and consistent culture of communication in your organization. Think of these principles as creative constraints to guide sales and marketing leaders toward hitting their goals. These five guidelines will help you develop a framework to drive consistency and quality in messaging across your team’s culture.
Focus on improving efficiency
Establishing a routine when it comes to selling is key to increasing your team’s efficiency. The thing that makes routines so powerful is that they make your processes repeatable — and therefore more efficient over time. A great sales process can be executed the same way, every single time, across your entire sales team without confusion or mix-ups.
Put the customer first
Selling happens in largely virtual or hybrid settings where customers look for the best experience, not necessarily the best price. Today, every touchpoint is part of this all-important customer or client experience. That’s why having a good customer-centric communications strategy throughout your sales process is critical. It will lead to increased revenue by helping you close more deals, and that means more growth for your company — and who doesn’t love that?
Ensure that you’re building a communications framework that can grow as your team grows. In other words, think ahead! When your sales team is handling twice the number of calls, leads, or customer engagements than they are today, you need a common framework to fall back on and share with new hires.
Your communications strategy needs to be flexible enough to nail the marketing message but also adapt itself to the personalized needs of sales prospects.
Flexibility means being able to pivot to meet audience needs at a moment’s notice. As a result, you need to know your story backward and forward. This allows you to anticipate your audience’s questions and needs so you’re ready to address them when they come up.
Finally, remember to keep your processes simple. After all, the human mind can only handle so much information at once. But not only that, consider the importance of plain language, a central strategy for effective professional communications. Plain language increases readability and comprehension, but it also drives sales and reduces costs.
Aside from plain language, find other ways to embrace simplicity. A lot of sales communications training programs talk about a “12-step plan” or ask you to go through some other complex processes to achieve success. Often these programs are just too complicated to become part of your organizational culture. Maybe one or two people could become experts at implementing the 12-step plan, but certainly not every seller in your organization.
Embracing Hybrid Doesn’t Have to Be Hard
In business communication, an effective strategy is focusing on the most important parts of your process. In doing so, you can create a more consistent communication culture over time because these kinds of processes are repeatable and easy for everyone to adopt. That’s why the best sales-focused communications training is simple. It should only require a few steps, and those steps should be familiar to our innate inclination toward storytelling — which we’ll discuss in the next section.
The Best Communication Tells a Timeless Story
So, we’re searching for a communication strategy that will help sellers sell. What aspects of communication have continued to prove themselves effective, tested over generations? Stories! That’s why storytelling is timeless… the ability to tell a story that resonates with audience members, helping them remember what you have to say and driving them to take action.
With storytelling, we have the opportunity to leverage the most potent form of communication. For that reason, when you create a communications framework for your organization, remember to employ a business storytelling framework, which includes a story’s:
- Setting: A single place, circumstance, or time. Its main purpose is to establish context for the story you’re telling.
- Characters: Those who are affected by the current situation being described in your story. With business storytelling, this is usually your customers, employees, or team.
- Conflict: The tension that gives your audience a reason to care about your story, as well as motivation to see it resolved
- BIG Idea: What is the most important piece of information or concept that you want your audience to understand? That’s your BIG Idea. This will be the common theme that runs through your entire presentation, email, report, or other communication. Every fact or piece of data you include should support your BIG Idea.
- Resolution: This is your recommendation for resolving the conflict. Usually, this is your product, or other solution you offer clients.
A Storytelling Culture Can Work Wonders When Paired With Other Sales Strategies
Building a culture of storytelling can transform your sales team into one that takes typically-mundane communications and turns them into compelling stories that spur action.
Storytelling can help salespeople address one of their most common challenges, failing to make an effective argument because they talk about their resolution too early in the conversation. Salespeople often jump into describing their product features and benefits without setting up the context of why the potential buyer should care. With a business storytelling framework, you can be sure that your BIG Idea and resolution will be well-received because you’ve given your audience a reason to care.
Consider, too, how storytelling can integrate with other common sales techniques like the Challenger Sale or how to navigate the customer journey. By combining these strategies, your teams will create a consistent and effective method of communication that can transform your business.
Keep the Conversation Going
To ensure your organization successfully adopts a communication culture that embraces storytelling, remember that leaders need to be on board. Leaders can do this by demonstrating best practices, thus cementing your organization’s desired cultural norms. All leaders can accomplish this by leading by example, while others can reinforce your communications framework through coaching. Whatever methods your leaders employ, their actions should work to weave your communications strategy into the fabric of how your organization operates.