Even if you’ve never watched a wrestling match in your life, you might have an idea of how a tag team works. It’s where wrestlers work in pairs, and one cannot enter the ring until the other has left. The idea is to meet tough competitors by switching from strength to strength as required.
Sales professionals may work in tag teams occasionally too, where a more junior rep kicks off a customer meeting before passing it over the more senior rep to close the deal, for instance. Whether you’re working with a partner or on your own, though, there is another set of tools available that haven’t always been considered a tag team: the customer’s “hot button” issues and your product or service’s major benefits.
This may all sound a little too obvious at first. Just use hot buttons -- the pain points that scare your customer or things that inspire them -- to get their attention, then position your product’s major benefits as the solution that meets their need. If it were that easy, sales pros would be crushing their number every single quarter.
But it’s not that easy. Here’s why:
This doesn’t mean you should move away from using hot buttons or talking up your products and services’ major benefits. Instead, sales teams should think about the data they’re getting from CRM like Sales Cloud and being a little sophisticated about using hot buttons and major benefits to wrestle their way through challenging customer conversations.
While a rep may be selling something that will be paid for and used across an entire company, the way into that sale is through a person or group of people. So even though there’s a single “customer,” there is more than one audience, in a sense. This needs to influence everything you say in a customer meeting.
Let’s start with hot buttons. These are the things that speak to the customer’s heart -- usually the things that are most personal to their sense of success in their role. They can be barriers to achieving the results upon which their performance is measured, how their role is perceived in the organization, or (more often than not) what will impress or rile their boss.
Besides the buyer (or buyers’) personal interests, there are those things that could have an impact that align with the overall objectives or mission of the organization. Think of this as the “head” -- the area of reason and logic. The major benefits of your products and services may directly address those needs.
As a sales person, you want to listen for cues that tell you which tag team member to bring into the ring. If the conversation is focused at a high level on what the organization is struggling with, focusing on major benefits may make the most sense. If they drop a personal detail -- say, that they’ve recently endured a failed project -- you’ll know that their professional credibility is a hot button.
This is where you bring it together. The complete, holistic sales pitch should not only prove that the major benefits of your product represent a rational, logical choice for the company. It should also suggest -- in an encouraging, inspirational way -- that the decision-maker build a strategy around the major benefits will address the hot-button issue of restoring their boss’s trust.
The data you enter and analyze through CRM will ensure the major benefits are a fit with your customer’s organizational needs, while also tracking anecdotal details about the hot buttons of various buying team members.
Be sure to pay attention to how these hot buttons differ from one buying team member to the next, and where they intersect. For instance, one buying team member may be interested in saving money because they want to fund a pet project. Another, more senior member of the team might want demonstrate their leadership capability as they move up the corporate hierarchy.
The sales pitch, in that case, might demonstrate how working with your firm will free up financial resources that let the first buying team member pursue their innovative idea while also giving the more senior member an opportunity to mentor their coworker and empower them to be successful. Weaving in how the major benefits of the product support the organizational goals (something they already know) will reinforce what they feel: that the major benefits are addressing their hot buttons.
CRM is more powerful the more often it’s used, particularly when you couple it with artificial intelligence like Salesforce Einstein. With the right data, Einstein can look at what kind of pitches tend to win based on the use of major benefits during an initial call, the first customer meeting or in the close. AI can also detect patterns and trends into what tend to be the hot buttons for those in a particular industry sector, company size, role or other factor. They can make your tag team increasingly effective during every single sale.
The only time hot buttons and major benefits fall short in sales is when they become cliched and generic. CRM and AI allow reps to go beyond a scripted approach and deliver a level of personalization that, ideally, should match what they’ve already been experiencing from your marketing department.
And of course, unlike tag teams in wrestling, sales people aren’t trying to fight their customers and prospects with hot buttons and major benefits. They’re simply being strategic about how they play to their strengths -- and leave their customer relationships even stronger after their next deal has been closed.