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Toward a Selling Architecture

Sales-Ready Messaging, as we’ve already noted, means empowering salespeople to have meaningful conversations with decision makers and decision influencers about how they can achieve a goal, solve a problem, or satisfy a need through the use of the offering. Sales-Ready Messaging also empowers Web visitors to understand how they can achieve a goal, solve a problem, or satisfy a need through the use of the offering. When you combine this effective core content with sales process, you gain the capability of codifying, or architecting, sales conversations and sales cycles.

As we’ve already seen, many organizations are currently struggling to implement customer relationship management (CRM) systems. With Sales and Marketing integrated at the salesperson level, the desired return on a company’s CRM investment now becomes achievable. But in real life, most CRM systems are failing because the sales force automation (SFA) component is failing. We believe that by integrating product usage messaging with defined sales processes, the manual sales productivity system can now be automated. We have developed “best practice” sales processes for multiple industries. With the SFA component enhanced with sales process and just-in-time Sales-Ready Messaging, CRM systems can begin to produce tangible, measurable results.

And this is a big deal. The CRM business is in trouble. There is a huge amount of CRM “shelfware” out there. CRM software companies are being forced by their market to become CRM solution companies. Recognizing this gap, at least two CRM vendors (Siebel Systems and Onyx Software) acquired sales training companies in the late 1990s. If sales processes can be integrated with marketing processes, which include Sales-Ready Messaging, CEOs can gain control over generating top-line revenue, and organizations can improve their relationships with their customers.

In subsequent chapters, we’ll describe the components of a sales process that allows sharing of best sales practices, defines the relationship between Sales and Marketing, facilitates creation of Sales-Ready Messaging, allows managers to ensure pipeline quality while assessing and developing their direct reports, and ultimately results in an improved ability to forecast revenue at the opportunity level.


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