The best way to understand the threat of message dilution within your organization is to picture a glass filled with your favorite drink. This drink’s flavor has been brewed to perfection. Its notes will sing the moment they hit your tongue. Now add ice and give it time. The melting cubes start to alter the taste. And 99.99% of the time, that change will be for the worse.
At a B2B selling organization, your value messaging is your flavor — while your buyer-facing professionals take the role of melting ice cubes. A powerful value message diminishes from one person to the next. A website page leads with one message while a salesperson sings a different tune on a sales call. A buyer may expect one “flavor” of your company they “tasted” on one platform, to be shocked by the “flavor” they find elsewhere. Confusion abounds.
While messaging consistency is common sense to all, it is not common practice. One industry survey found that 70% of sales and marketing leaders believe their salespeople stray from the organization’s message. A CSO Insights study, too, found that almost 60% of companies say their brand message is diluted before reaching the buyer. This leads to a number of buyer and organizational issues alike.
In terms of dollars:
- Half of companies state they lost $6 million+
- 28% said they lost more than $10 million
In terms of the buyer experience:
- 53% reported that diluted messages created unmet expectations
- 51% stated message dilution caused customer confusion
- 49% indicated dilution encouraged customers to consider a competitor
With this many “melting ice cubes” in an organization, many leaders will be tempted to ignore this issue as status quo. Yet your message integrity need not be diluted across your marketing interactions and sales conversation. At Mereo, we have a proven process to align buyer-facing professionals and enable them to expertly connect with buyers with consistency and value.
CREATE YOUR CORE MESSAGE PLAYBOOK
When it comes to buyer-facing tools and messaging, there are many creators within your organization. Marketing builds out digital platforms and other advertising collateral. Sales teams create their own tools and messaging too, often wasting upwards of two days a week doing so. By the time your buyer engages with your organization, the message might resemble something that results from a game of telephone.
There is no way to limit the number of people involved with sharing your solution messaging. There is a way to arm them with a core solution messaging guide your leadership team has carefully crafted and approved. At Mereo, we call this the Value Message Power Play™ Book. In your organization’s playbook, consider who your buyers are and the differentiated value proposition that will engage each audience. Take it a step further with value messaging buckets that your marketing and sales alike can reference and pull from to tailor content to different buyer personas. After all, your value messaging need not — and should not — be a script but rather a tool that can be customized for specific buyers and situations.
ENABLE AND REINFORCE YOUR CORE MESSAGE
Your leadership team is not done at crafting a Value Message Power Play Book. It is just as important to arm your salesforce on this vital sales enablement tool. Do not trust they will grasp your messaging from a virtual training session alone. Take a sales kickoff or a sales training meeting to introduce the tool, and set aside plenty of time for practice in using it: in role-plays, ride-along sessions, and one-on-one and group exercises. Provide a diversity of scenarios to show buyer-facing professionals what is appropriate to tailor for a specific buyer — and what turns the waters murky with message dilution.
After your initial training and enablement program, continue to reinforce the key points of your solution’s and company’s value messaging. Learning does not happen overnight. Monitor and hold your teams accountable to maintaining the integrity of your message.
These efforts will pay off: When company messages remain consistent, 62% of companies reported that their annual benefit was $10 million+. Likewise, when sellers provided their sales force with value messages tailored to buyer roles, they achieved 8.9% higher win rates than those who let their team wing it.
AVOID MESSAGE DILUTION FOR SUSTAINABLE REVENUE PERFORMANCE
Message consistency can be hard to master across companies and industries. Adstream leadership in fact struggled with market confusion and growth. Its leadership partnered with Mereo to fix their fractured messaging. They left with differentiated value messaging playbooks and playsheets that shifted the corporate culture to buyer-focused. In turn, these efforts improved demand generation results and win rates for a stream of sustainable revenue performance — and ultimately a rewarding acquisition. If you are interested in reading more, it can be found here.