How is your marketing department doing with that updated corporate pitch that’s set to be released at the beginning of the year? What’s the plan to roll it out? How are you going to get everyone aligned on the latest messaging? Getting teams on message with new corporate messages and presentations is a hard problem to solve that’s hugely inefficient and ineffective. Video based training and knowledge sharing isn’t quite mainstream yet. We know that messaging alignment is key to hyper-growth. We did it with a lot of resources and expense during my time at Salesforce. We all know too well the way corporate messaging certifications go down. A new corporate presentation is published, maybe with video (usually not) and maybe with speaker notes. They we hope and pray for the best. Then, we have three common scenarios: Fly around the world and have reps present pitches in local offices – > Result: Reps feel inspected. Experience isn’t positive. Cost is high. Have reps present pitch to sales manager – > Result: After a few slides, many sales managers will say “you got it, let’s look at your forecast” and the certification isn’t completed. Have reps upload their pitches to a central content library – > Result: No one watches the pitches. They just sit in a folder collecting dust. The bigger consequence of these scenarios is our teams miss the benefits of watching each other pitch. It’s proven – reps will see a productivity lift after integrating their peer best practices with their own style. There is a direct correlation between video watching time of peer pitches and performance. Many leading technology companies today like Alteryx, Apttus, Docusign, Host Analytics, InsideSales and Zuora do messaging certification in a fun, engaging way that delivers revenue results in days and weeks. It’s how the best companies differentiate and increase win-rates. It’s how teams share best practices and ramp faster. It’s how we win. Here are five strategies to get our teams on message faster using next-generation messaging alignment:
Make your messaging certifications smaller and more frequent. Embrace the idea of micro-certifications. Rather than doing a single certification once a year for twenty to thirty slides, do a certification a month. It’s much better to do twelve, two to three minute certifications versus one big thirty minute certification once a year.
Get Every Employee On Message
Corporate messaging alignment is an all company activity. Be sure to create versions of your company messaging certification for all employees. Every employee should at least be able to deliver the ninety second elevator pitch.
Make It Social
The magic to rolling out a company messaging certification is to openly and in a fun, engaging way make it possible for everyone to see each other’s presentations. It’s proven. People will practice their pitches and presentation at least five times, peer review at least ten times and watch twenty. There is no other way to quickly get complete alignment and best practice sharing.
Go With Managers First
When rolling out a messaging certification, start with managers. There is a direct correlation between teams that complete their certifications and managers that complete their certification first. We’ve seen that salespeople want to see their manager “pitch” first before they practice and do their own.
Normalize Expectations With Scorecards
The way to get everyone on message is to clearly communicate a scorecard that sets expectations around the content that is being communicated and tested. For example, an elevator pitch scorecard criteria may include:
- Starts with a big problem and/or eye opening statistic
- Have a clear, concise value statement
- Highlight unique differentiators
- Provide proof points
- Share customer examples and successes
- Close the pitch with an open-ended question
By following these suggestions you can expect high engagement and dramatic improvements in time to revenue, time to first deal and win rates.