Wait, don’t pick up that phone! At least don’t start dialing before considering who you’re calling and where they fall on the benefits pyramid. Knowing where a prospect fits on this pyramid can make all the difference as to whether or not you get your toe in the door.
One Size Does NOT Fit All for Best Results
The benefits pyramid is a model that was developed by Scott Baird, Chairman, Griffin Hill, a management consulting company, and is based on the Maslow hierarchy of needs. Scott applied this need hierarchy concept to the sales situation when he developed the pyramid we are talking about today. The pyramid relates a prime motivator defined at each level to a title or function within a company. Most every prospect falls under one of the levels. If a sales rep is able to place each person somewhere on the hierarchy, before they call, then a specific message or benefit can be crafted to meet the prime motivator related to that level. But before a script can be crafted, a thorough understanding of the benefit levels is helpful.
The 5 levels of the Benefits Pyramid:
- Level 1-Preservation: Starting at the bottom of the pyramid are your frontline people. Think sales reps or business development reps. This group is focused on one thing: survival or preservation of their job. They worry about performing well and providing value to their organization in order to advanced, or more basic, keep their job. If you are calling this individual, make sure to explain how your product will help them perform better and add value to their superiors and their organization.
- Level 2-Pain Avoidance: Up one level on the pyramid is pain avoidance. Manager titles are typically found at this level. They care most about performance and avoiding hassles and headaches. To meet their needs you would talk about how your product delivers reports that enables this person to track performance against targets and manage their people more effectively and efficiently.
- Level 3-Pleasure: You will typically find director titles at this level. This group is focused on achievement, hitting their goals, and convenience in getting there. Flexibility and convenience probably rank highest in terms of benefits to this group. When a sales rep contacts a level 3 professional, they should try and aim their story around how the product can be made to deliver functions this person needs – flexibility or customization. Reporting capabilities should also be highlighted for this person as well.
- Level 4- Prestige: Prospects at this level are usually VP of Sales. They are concerned with prestige, accomplishing something of great value, getting recognition for hitting quota and being first to adopt the new, cool technology. When contacting these executives, sales reps need to craft their pitch to show how their product will help the person accomplish their goals. If accurate, leverage your technology’s position as being first to market or creating a competitive advantage for those who use your product – which implies your prospect is among the first adopter wave.
- Level 5-Profits: This is what the owner or CEO cared about – the bottom line, the profits of the organization. When crafting a pitch to this level, show them how your product will save the company money, generate more revenue or deliver a high or quick return on investment.
So in order to apply this approach to your organization, first work with your sales team to list the key features of your product. Some of our coolest features are the rep can leave a voicemail with the click of a mouse, while he or she goes on to the next call and the system automatically plays the pre-recorded message. After you have called out your key features, then create a set of benefits for each feature that addresses the interests or needs at each level of the pyramid. Now your reps have the tools at hand to enable them to tailor their talk to the major concerns of the person on the other end of the line.
What has been your experience in determining how to address the various needs by title level in your sales strategy? Share a few stories from the field with us!
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