Strategic revenue development is a function of assessing your company’s strengths and weaknesses; filling in the necessary gaps; and optimizing the alignment between core strengths, internal structures, people, products & services, and marketing strategy; followed by ongoing measurement and plan adjustments.
One of the 37 Foundational Questions (FQ) in our Revenue Development Action Plan, is:
“Describe what your company is in the business of:
Delivering… making… servicing… providing…”
In essence, we want to know there is clarity and alignment regarding products and services. In the B2B market, a sales team needs the support to ensure messages are aligned and services are delivered as promised. Though it may appear obvious, too often there are dozens of versions. Marketing takes the description one direction, sales another… and neither serve the customer well.
Every business owner and senior executive dreams about having a great company. And as an engineer, innovator, and business CEO Elon Musk said,
Great companies are built on great products.” (The same could be said about excellent services for service providers.)
Yet, there is something else that is essential to success, something that has a significant impact on revenue. That element is a great product or service description. A great product or service description is essential because every business must be able to articulate clearly and appealingly what it makes, delivers, services, or provides. Without that, how would a buyer find, understand, get excited about, or purchase what is being sold?
Why a Great Description is Important
A product or service description might be defined as the copy or content used to describe a value proposition to potential customers. It explains the features, characteristics, and benefits of the product or service in a way that informs customers and provides encouragement for them to make a purchase.
A clear and compelling description provides potential customers with details about features, problems that can be solved, and answers questions. It highlights the value, describes benefits, and showcases the unique selling points that make the product or service stand apart from competitors. It creates desire. There is no doubt that the quality of the description can make or break a sale.
Moreover, a great product or service description will help ensure that marketing and sales professionals are aligned, so messages and services are delivered that match the company’s mission without division, conflict, or confusion.
Here are the 12 Principles for Describing Your Company’s Product or Service:
The ultimate goal for a great product or service description is to achieve a sale by informing and inspiring a potential customer. In addition to that, it should strengthen their trust and increase ongoing interest in the company or brand.
A great product or service description will be created by following these 12 impact principles:
1. Know your ideal buyer,
the target audience—and focus on him/her. Analyze and determine who is going to buy this product or service—age, gender, life stage, etc.?
> Why would they be interested in it?
> How will they use it?
> What features or benefits would interest them the most?
> How would this person describe the product or service to a friend?
2. Dig deep into the product or service itself.
What are the product or service’s basic details? How does the product or service work? Where/when should the product or service be used?
> How will it make a buyer’s life better?
> What problems will it solve for them?
> Why is it more useful, better, or different from something similar offered by a competitor?
3. Distinctively present the product or service’s benefits.
Think beyond functional attributes to identify the real benefits of its features. For example, will it make a customer feel more productive, happier, healthier, more confident? How does it address their “pain points?” Do not be afraid to be unique.
4. Use an appealing writing style.
First, focus on the most critical elements, like a “headline’ in a news article. Or, as a journalist would say, “Don’t bury the lead.” Second, write in a natural language style, not like a robot. Does the description sound like something that could be communicated friend-to-friend?
5. Choose the right words.
Do not just fill available space or use generic words like “excellent product quality.”
> Do provide detail and be specific.
> Do use power words that sell.
> Do use sensory words (if they fit) because they engage more brain processing power.
> Do use superlatives if they fit. That is if you have the right to brag, then brag. (And if your product or service is the best, provide specific proof.)
6. Tell the full story.
Provide all the relevant details, convince the buyer of the product or service’s benefits, and then provide an emotional punch. If the product or service has essential technical elements, do not be reluctant to include those to prove expertise.
7. Make the information easy to read and easy to scan.
Short copy and to the point are far more influential and certainly easier and quicker to read than long, drawn-out copy. People typically have short attention spans and often read-only 16% of what is on a page. Make every word count, so people do not feel that they are wasting time sifting through burdensome information. The presentation can include short paragraphs made of a few short sentences, bullet points, different size fonts, and plenty of white space.
8. Optimize each description for persuasiveness.
Use the word “you.” Read the information from the point of a customer and ask, “does this make me want to buy?”
9. Optimize the copy for SEO purposes.
Use appropriate keywords in the descriptive copy and all applications of each description but make the keyword use feel natural and not “stuffed.”
10. Make the content attractively presented.
Text is not the only way to give a description; images can carry great weight and can have a significant memory impact. Additional approaches can include videos and graphics to make key points impactfully. An excellent description will appeal to the reader’s imagination and increase interest and desire. One way to cut through rational barriers is to create mini-stories. For example, how is a product made? Who is using the product? How was the product inspired, or how was it tested?
11. Carefully consider all the placement and usage needs for the description,
including website, marketing materials, social media, sales materials, etc. This will help make sure that the “voice” of the brand is communicated consistently.
12. Protect the brand.
Register or trademark names or service terms and use the appropriate marks consistently in all descriptive applications.
Product and Service Description Mistakes
Product and service descriptions are meant to attract, inform, and excite people about what is being sold. So, do not allow these mistakes to plague your descriptive efforts:
- Creating bland copy.
- Providing too little information.
- Not being specific.
- Missing critical details.
- Sloppy writing.
- Writing long paragraphs (longer than three to four sentences).
- Not providing a call to action.
- Writing like a robot.
- Using words that are too big.
The key is to put serious work into making a description easy and appealing for customers. Use all these principles to make a high impact on potential buyers and then reap the benefits of increased sales and enduring loyalty.
Describing what your company is in the business of is just one of the exercises in the Revenue Development Action Plan that can help your company achieve its B2B sales goals.