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Can Your Sales Team Tell the Company’s Story?

Curt Monhart's picture
President E3 Prime Environments

E3 Prime Environments’ focus is on commercial, industrial, multi-family and non-profit buildings, as well as agricultural applications. Our project development work includes identifying...

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  • Feb 15, 2022

Can Your Sales Team Tell the Company’s Story?

February 15, 2022 by Curt Monhart

The story I’m talking about is not telling your company’s history. It’s not reciting your product’s features and benefits. It’s not your mission statement or vision. And it’s certainly not claiming you always exceed customers’ expectations…whatever they may be. 

The story I’m talking about is defining what sets you apart from the competition that provides the greatest customer value.

This is crucial to increasing your project conversion rate and profitability and achieving sustainable, long-term success.

It’s All About Messaging

If your sales team can’t tell this story, it’s going to be tough escaping “pricing purgatory.” In this case, your success in winning projects will be driven by having the lowest price, or at least one very close to the lowest. Unless you’re running an especially lean business, this is not a strategy for long-term success.

In a recent article, we cited a McKinsey study of 2,400 companies which found 1% more price yields an 11% increase in operating income.  This is huge, and it’s only a 1% higher price. Consider the impact this would have on your business. This could provide the financial wherewithal to bring on new products or services…expand into new markets…hire additional talent…or sharply increase the bottom line.

If you’re to achieve a price premium, the sales team must be able to quickly and concisely state what sets your company apart from the competition that adds the most value to potential clients. Your proposals should include the same information.

The Potential Value of Energy Efficiency Upgrades

In addition to lower utility costs, the value of energy efficiency upgrades often includes:

  • Increased occupancy and lease rates
  • Improved employee health and productivity
  • Reduced maintenance and repair costs
  • Higher property value and sales prices

Your Differentiators

The resultant monetary value of the upgrades covers a broad spectrum.  The levels achieved will be heavily influenced by what sets your company apart from the competition. These are your “differentiators.” Some of the more important ones are:

The know-how and skill set of your employees

  • How many years of experience do they have?
  • Are they sufficiently familiar with older equipment to know when they can effectively be brought up to date versus only proposing a totally new system? It’s always a good practice to provide your customer with options.
  • What record of professional accomplishment…certifications recognition…awards?
  • How are they kept abreast of the latest technology?

Your work processes

  • What special practices do you follow? Are you ISO certified? Adhere to all OSHA safety guidelines?
  • What methodology underlies your approach?
  • Can you do the work outside a customer’s business hours to minimize disruption?
  • Are you an end-to-end provider of most products and services the project requires?

How you manage projects

Poor project management – the leading cause of failure in technical projects

  • Do you provide a comprehensive timeline so your customer knows what to expect and when?
  • Emphasize the value-added components of your management approach. Do you have regular site visits to ensure all work is code compliant and quality standards are being met?
  • How will you handle change orders…cost overruns?

Any specialized tools or equipment that sets you apart from the competition. 

  • Smartphone access
  • Open architecture for controls
  • Customization tools
  • Infrared cameras for detecting heat loss

These are your differentiators that maximize the value customers realize from your energy efficiency upgrades. This is the “story” your sales team must be able to tell.

Curt Monhart, President E3 Prime Environments
(414) 788-0844

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Thank Curt for the Post!
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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Feb 15, 2022

What do you think the best way is for these reps to make sure what they're saying is being believed for the truth they're sharing rather than having it come across as another sales pitch? 

Curt Monhart's picture
Curt Monhart on Feb 17, 2022

The credibility, and effectiveness, of this approach will be evidenced by an increase in the profitability and conversion rate of the sales team's proposals. It will be easy to compare the results before, and after, taking this approach. What's especially attractive about this initiative is its implementation doesn't require an  investment in high-priced consultants or programs. It can be easily be done by getting the sales and proposal writing teams together, and using the article as a template, define the company's differentiators that result in greater customer value.

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