From your prospecting email to closing the deal, effective communication plays a critical role at every step in the buyer’s journey. And not only between you and your prospect but also within your sales team and even with your marketing department.
In this article, you’ll find everything you need to be more effective in building and implementing a sales communication strategy. If you’re ready, let’s begin!
What is sales communication?
Let’s start with a definition. Sales communication is the process and messaging that keep sales teams informed, engaged, and productive while encouraging their feedback.
So, we’re not talking about what communication skills your sales team should have or how they can improve those skills. We’re talking about how to build a communication process within your sales organization. It’s all about editing and publishing all the messages that go to your sales reps.
Successful sales communication fits naturally into the workflow of your sales team to keep them well-prepared and informed without wasting their time.
In a larger organization, sales communication might be a separate function or a part of the sales enablement function, but typically in smaller organizations, it’s handled by the sales managers.
Why is sales communication important?
Your sales team’s success depends on its ability to communicate clearly, concisely, and openly while maintaining positive client relationships.
That means they have to improve their ability to engage in business conversations with customers at all levels, negotiate from a win-win stance, adapt their message to the needs of the customer, etc.
And that’s what sales communication does. It establishes guidelines to keep your sales reps informed of product changes, company news, or industry trends and saves them from wasting time sifting through internal resources or hunting down missing information.
What are the components of sales communication?
An effective sales communication strategy should define owners for different channels and set processes in place to collect and disseminate information from different sources. Here are the most important components that every communication request should contain:
- Source: Who is the creator and sender of the message? For example, the chief sales officer may initiate a communication, but first-line sales managers deliver it to reps during weekly meetings.
- Audience: Who is the target of this message? Some messages might target more than one role or department. You have to specify it clearly.
- Purpose: Why do you want to send this message? Communication should always meet a specific goal and contain a deadline if possible.
- Immediacy: The urgency of communication. Does the sales force need to know this information immediately, or can it wait?
What’s the cadence?
- Daily: Most organizations use email to provide reps with both core and non-core selling information, such as time-sensitive notification of a buyer’s trigger event or an invitation to next month’s company outing, etc.
- Weekly: The live all-sales meeting is the most popular weekly communication vehicle. They often include pipeline reviews, important industry or company news updates, and team-building and cheerleading content.
- Monthly: Sales training is typically delivered on a monthly basis and mostly from channels that allow for asynchronous engagement.
- Quarterly: Event-oriented messaging is typically delivered quarterly in the form of recorded videos or podcasts.
- Annual: Annual communication tends to focus on sales plan elements, including coverage models, quota assignments, and compensation plans.
What are the different channels?
Your sales communication strategy should provide a guideline on the channels for delivering information. Here are the most common channels:
- First-line managers: Sales managers can deliver information one-on-one or as part of regularly scheduled sales meetings.
- Electronic newsletter: Often delivered to sales reps at a set frequency, typically weekly or biweekly, on a particular day and time.
- Webinar: A regularly scheduled web conference can replace or complement the electronic newsletter. It should last less than an hour (30 minutes is ideal).
- Video & Audio: Short (15-30min) talk-show like video & audio recordings can be used to augment the newsletter or webinar. This allows reps to watch & listen on the go.
- Internal Social Platform: Tools like Chatter, Jive, Yammer, or Slack can be used to deliver specific types of information, such as competitive intelligence.
Why do you need a sales enablement platform?
Today most sales organizations prefer to use sales enablement software to implement their sales communication strategy more effectively. Because these tools:
- Deliver communications where sales reps spend most of their time without distracting from their sales workflows
- Provide analytics to measure engagement with sales communications to identify who is reading them and who is not
- Better align sales and marketing by enabling them to work together to manage content and collaborate on projects
- Offer the ability to communicate priority and urgency through dynamic layouts and eye-catching design that drives higher engagement rates
If it's your first time building a sales communication strategy, you might find it complicated but never forget that it’s an ongoing process. It always evolves to meet the changing needs of your sales team and your customers.
Be sure to regularly gather feedback from your sales reps, marketers, and other internal stakeholders. And continue improving it, leading to even better sales communications in the future.