What is sales messaging? 6 steps to create your own and make it shine
You could be selling the cure for hair loss to bald men, but if your sales messaging isn’t clear or compelling, you won’t earn a dime.
Which sounds more compelling:
“We sell an all-in-one sales CRM for SMBs.”
“Replace that endless Excel with a CRM that enters the data for you, automatically.”
If you chose the second one, you’ve just experienced the power of sales messaging that resonates with an audience.
But, what is sales messaging? How does it differ from brand messaging? And how can you set up a sales messaging framework that can guide your team to greater revenue?
Let’s find out.
What is sales messaging?
As Michael Halper, founder of sales messaging consultancy SalesScripter, puts it: “Creating a sales message is organizing the most important, attention-grabbing things that the company should be saying.”
Setting up a message that resonates with your audience means truly getting to know them, understanding what’s important to them, and adapting how you describe your product or service to fit their needs.
Sales messaging vs brand messaging: what’s the difference?
While these two terms may seem interchangeable, they’re not: here’s why.
Brand messaging is a broad message to a larger audience that describes what your company does and what it stands for. This is how you describe your product to a more top-of-the-funnel audience and could be used in marketing communications like promotional emails, ads, or landing page copy. In most cases, a brand message follows a storytelling format that evokes emotions and drives how people feel about and talk about your business.
Sales messaging is meant for an audience that’s closer to a purchase. It’s intended for direct sales contact with a purchase-ready prospect, including cold call scripts, sales email sequences, and other outreach methods. A sales message is the basis for your sales pitch, and you might even create more than one sales message depending on the target audience.
Both of these types of messaging are important for a company, and many times the sales messaging will draw on what’s already been established in the brand message. But today, let’s focus on how to develop your own sales message.
6 steps to develop your own sales messaging framework
There is no shortcut to building a sales messaging framework. It will take some time to develop, and you’ll need to review it often to make sure the message still resonates with your prospects. Building this framework will guide your sales team to higher-quality deals and greater revenue.
1. Build an ideal customer profile
An ideal customer profile is your guide to truly understanding your customers. Analyze the customers that see the most success with your product, and build a profile that includes data such as:
- Business type and size
- Industry or niche
- Relevant department size
- Main goal or purpose for using your solution
- Roles or titles that champion your product
- Seasonal influences on the business
- Other technology they’re using
- Main pain points being solved with your product
When you understand how this data relates to your best customers, you’ll know the type of customers that you really want in the future. Building an ideal customer profile is really key to developing higher-quality deals and maximizing your pipeline.
Psst… don’t have an ICP yet? Download our Ideal Customer Profile Kit to get started:
But, why is this such an important step when it comes to sales messaging?
Here’s how sales consultant Jake Dunlap of Skaled describes it: “There are a million things that we could do, but what are the things we want to be world-class at? The more focused you get, it helps the business focus, the message focus, and ultimately helps your people focus because they know what they’re supposed to be doing.”
2. Gain a deep understanding of your audience’s pain points
Yes, pain points are a part of your ICP. However, it’s time to dig beyond the data.
To get real insights into what’s actually paining your customers right now, you’ll need to actually talk to them.
Sales metrics and B2B data are great, but they don’t tell you everything. Having real conversations with customers will tell you more about the challenges they’re facing, the options they’re considering, as well as how these issues affect them personally and as a team.
You can also gather insights by:
- Leaning into customer support and success teams
- Collecting feedback with surveys
- Monitoring social mentions of your company
When you have deep customer intimacy and understand what their day-to-day life is like, you’ll have a much stronger basis to build a sales message.
3. Segment your audience
At this point, you’re starting to have a clearer direction for your sales messaging. But you may also realize that one sales message isn’t quite enough—to truly resonate with your target audience, you’ll need more than one message to hit more than one target market.
For example, let’s say you’re selling a project management tool, and some of your best customers are a mix of engineering teams and marketing teams. Of course, the way you sell your product to these different audiences will be much different.
So, look through the data you’ve collected through your ICPs and customer interviews. Segment your main audiences by:
- Buyer type
- Team or department
- Or anything else that makes sense for your business
Now, you’re ready to start building sales messaging.
4. Create your sales messaging document
Get out the Google Doc—it’s officially time to write stuff down.
Start by creating a separate document for each segment you’ve chosen. At this point, don’t create more than two: you can always create more down the road if needed.
At the top of each document, include the date as well as who’s helping prepare the messaging.
Next, pull information from your ICP research and write down some of those key pain points that are troubling your prospects. Take direct customer quotes from your feedback surveys and interviews that resonate most with the message you want to convey.
With all of this information gathered, you can start building a clear message to describe your product. Limit this to three sentences maximum.
After that product description, move on to other pieces of your messaging, such as:
- How you describe specific features of your product
- Quick sentences that explain how you compare to main competitors
- Proof that your product solves the main pain points your audience faces
- Demonstration of the value of your product for companies already using it
- Responses to common objections
Finally, include any resources that are relevant, such as case studies or testimonials that prove the worth of your product.
Last but not least, save this document in a place where everyone can access it. This is the basis for your sales messaging framework and will be continuously used and updated, so your whole sales team should have access to it.
5. Develop sales enablement content based on your messaging
Sales enablement content is separated into two formats: customer-facing and internal content.
Let’s start with customer-facing content. Using the messaging you’ve developed, start creating:
- Cold email templates
- Email sequences for inbound and outbound leads
These templates will help your reps by giving consistent, clear messaging across the board.
Next, work on your internal sales content. This might include:
Remember that you don’t need to have everything all at once. If this is your first time developing any kind of sales messaging framework for your business, start with the minimum viable documentation, and work on expanding that over time.
6. Give reps easy access to the sales messaging framework
Don’t waste your efforts by hiding away this great sales messaging framework and enablement content in some Dropbox folder that no one else will ever find.
Instead, make sure that each piece of the puzzle you’ve created is easily accessible to your reps.
How? First, let them know that this is created. Add your sales messaging into the onboarding tasks for new sales hires so they have access to it right off the bat. Load templates and scripts into your sales outreach tool, or use a sales enablement tool to store it all in one place (we'll talk about a few of those below).
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide how this will work best for your team. Understand the tools they live in during the workday and how they prefer to work, and you’ll know where to deliver this messaging framework so they can use it effectively.
How to make your sales messaging stand out from the crowd
Now you’ve started to create your sales messaging: how can you make sure it’s different from the next guy’s?
Focus on value for the customer
The main message inside your sales messaging should be customer-centric. Focus on what your product does for them, not just on what it does.
Put business pains into numbers
“Project managers waste a lot of time keeping track of what their team is doing. Buy our software to save time.”
Not very compelling, right? How about this:
“On average, project managers using our software save 10 hours per week on task updates and check-ins. With the average salary for project managers hitting close to $80k, this could save your business $4,500+ per year just in time saved.”
When you put pain into numbers, the benefits are much clearer. So, include real numbers in your sales messaging.
Build clear CTAs into your messaging framework
Where do you want prospects to go next? When you’ve already built out a clear sales process, it’ll be easier to bake in clear CTAs to your messaging.
For example, if the sales messaging is directed at a type of customer that normally purchases your software via self-service, build in a CTA to sign up for a free trial rather than talk to a salesperson.
With a singular, clear CTA as part of your sales message, both reps and prospects will have a clear view of where the conversation is supposed to go next. The result: shorter sales cycles and frictionless purchasing.
Tools that will help you build a better sales messaging strategy
The right tools can make all the difference when it comes to building your own sales messaging strategy. You’ll need tools that:
- Give reps easy access to your sales messaging framework
- Make it easy to share the right message with prospects
- Save your team time while ensuring they always have the right words to say
Here are five tools that can help:
This sales enablement tool includes both content management and sales training features and uses AI to recommend the right content to sellers based on their usage and closed deals.
For sales messaging, this tool works as a home base by collecting and organizing your sales messaging content. The platform will also notify your team when there are any updates to content and will surface the content they need at the moment they need it.
Primarily a knowledge base tool, Guru is another great option for collecting, organizing, and sharing your sales messaging with the team and with prospects. Plus, it integrates with tools like Gmail, Slack, Demodesk, Salesforce, and more to give your reps the right messaging no matter where they are.
This tool allows you to build keyboard shortcuts that expand into full messages. Start by preparing sales messaging for different situations in your team’s snippet library, and then your whole team can use the shortcuts to respond to common questions in email, send a quick social reply, or follow up after a meeting.
If your team is using videos as part of your sales messaging, Vidyard is a great option to store and share those videos with prospects. Whether your team is using prospecting videos for cold outreach or sending video messages along the sales pipeline, they can record, store, and share their videos multiple times from Vidyard. That way, the team saves time and the message stays on-point.
This tool works as a template management tool and offers quick document creation based on previously approved templates. It’s especially useful for external sales messaging content, such as proposals, contracts, pitch decks, and more.
Start using your own sales messaging framework for more targeted sales
Whether your reps are sending a cold email, responding to an objection on Twitter, chatting with a product champion via SMS, or leading a product demo, having a consistent sales message will keep them on track to better deals.
But sometimes, creating your own sales messaging framework can feel daunting.
If you’re looking at the steps we’ve discussed above and feeling a bit overwhelmed, it may be time to look into a sales messaging consultancy to help you build and solidify the message you want to present to your prospects and customers.
That’s why we created the Sales Consultants Directory, a place you can search for the right consultancy to help you in your sales journey.
Get the help you need now: