One of the biggest challenges many companies face is how to effectively connect their marketing plan to their sales process. Too many times the groups operate as totally separate units without finding ways to work together.
A few years ago I worked with a head of sales that was a big proponent of a sales process called PPVVC. Developed by sales consultants Sales Performance International, it is a variation of BANT (budget, authority, needs, timing). As a marketer, I found PPVVC to be one of the best sales strategies because I knew exactly where we could plug in and help.
The definition of the sales process PPVVC
Pain x Power x Vision x Value x Control = $
The essential idea is that the sales process operates like an algebraic formula. If any of the factors is a 0 then the result was no sale.
The building blocks of this strategy:
Pain – the principle “no pain, no change” speaks volumes about why this element is so critical to the successful sales formula. High priority pain, which also includes potential missed opportunities, helps answer the question “Is the customer likely to take action?”
Power – simply defined, the person within the buying organization with the ability to make or influence the purchasing decision is power for this opportunity. The questions to ask about power are: “Do we know who Power is?” and “Are we aligned with the Power people?”
Vision – the prospective buyer must understand what your offering will allow them to do, but also be able to visualize themselves doing something different in the future. The question to answer here is: “Does the buyer have a clear vision of how they can solve their problem with our solution?”
Value – buyers must grasp the quantifiable value they’ll be receiving by making an investment in your offering. The question to answer here is: “Can the customer articulate the value they will receive from our solution?”
The term Control might sound a bit heavy-handed, but it is really about guiding your buyer to a good decision, not manipulating them. The question to answer here is: “Can we influence the buying process?”
Sales Performance International that originally developed this strategy also has a great sales blog that is well worth reading.
Connecting your marketing plan to the sales process
So we have an established sales strategy, how do we connect this to the marketing process? Start by looking at each step in the process.
Pain – for marketing, this is about helping develop the buyer’s understanding of their need through content marketing that shows there’s a better way to solve their challenge.
Power – the ability to leverage lead generation to identify the best candidate and whether they have the authority to either make the decision to refer you to the decision maker it key.
Vision – as buyers move down the buyer’s cycle they transition from basic information needs to wanting more specifics on how your company is positioned to best solve their needs. This is a role for Whitepapers, Case Studies, and eBooks.
Value – while not always sexy, sales tools still are very valuable in an effective sales process. Marketing has a role in creating positioning statement, collateral, and competitive review documents.
Control – of all the steps in the sales process, marketing can make the most impact by using Lead Nurturing effectively. The ability to keep prospects engaged while waiting for their timing or budget to be ready is powerful. It can have a real impact on sales conversion and untimely the bottom-line.
The goals of sales and marketing should always be the same. Finding a way to connect the marketing plan and sales process on every level will result in greater success for the entire organization.