Book – Customer Message Management

CMMThought this is not the book to read for pleasure on Sunday afternoon, the information contained in the volume is very valuable for marketers and sales.

The main idea that made the most impression on me is the change in the marketplace and recommendation how to handle the change.  In any market, 2-3 top similar products are rather similar.  To avoid commodization and to sell based on value the product brings rather than on the features it has, a company should adopt different selling approach.  The company needs to identify the pains that the prospect has and demonstrate how its products can help the prospect to alleviate the situation.

The methodology prepares messaging that can be used later by sales people of the organization to sell products based on value rather than a set of features.

Interesting points:

  • 90% of content created for sales support is not used by the field
  • interesting point on automation (and well-deserved 😉  ) – automating ineffective content will not increase the quality of the content “automated chaos is still chaos”
  • Salespeople are opportunity-specific, just-in-time learners.  If messaging and training are not in the context of the sales process, then sales will not see the content – or the marketers who created it – as relevant to the way they sell solutions.

CMM Principle 1 – Integrate marketing and sales processes

Provides common approach and language for creating and delivering content and support that helps facilitate the customer buying process

CMM Principle #2 – Create customer-relevant messaging

Puts messaging in customer context based on who they are, and what they are trying to achieve

CMM Principle #3 – Sales cycle-relevant collateral

Customer messaging is relevant and useful across the sales cycle in critical moments of truth and for advancing a deal toward close

CMM Principle #4 – Centralized online accessibility

A single, centralized online repository of your best selling messages makes it easier for marketing to manage and sales to use

Sales often create clandestine collateral; marketers should pay attention to this activity as it can illustrate what is missing.  Oh – every marketer probably discovered some of these materials at one point or another 😉