How Messaging Differs for Sales vs. Marketing

Jun 13, 2022

Collin Stewart

Although outbound sales and marketing need to work together, how you approach the two should be vastly different.

Marketing casts a wide net to attract as many inbound leads as possible, while sales needs to be much more focused. Understanding this key difference and how it applies to your messaging can make or break your outbound sales success.

Solutions vs. Problems

Marketing is solutions-based; it focuses on the features and benefits of your offer. It may also include topics like your company history, values, and core differentiators. The goal of marketing is to educate your audience and build awareness of your solution. 

In contrast, sales focuses on the customer’s pain points. Sales messaging revolves around the customer and what’s most important to them–their goals, problems, and desired outcomes. The most successful outbound sales techniques focus on pain points and don’t introduce the solution until much later.

Unlike inbound leads, outbound prospects are not in a buying window. You are trying to catch their attention amidst their everyday responsibilities. The best way to do that is to align with their priorities and speak to a problem they need to be solved.

Pain-based outbound sales techniques

The customer’s pain should be at the forefront of all sales messaging. To find that message, try asking yourself some of the following questions:

  • What’s important to them?
  • How will our product get them promoted? 
  • How will it make them money?
  • What do they need to look good in their job?
  • What will happen if this pain doesn’t go away?

Instead of leading with the solution, start by trying to understand the pain. For example, “We find a lot of our customers have X problem. Is that something you’re dealing with as well?”

If you aren’t sure of your customer’s pain points or need help with your outbound messaging, click here to book a free assessment call with our coaches! 

Broad vs. Narrow messaging

Another key difference between marketing and outbound sales is marketing material needs to speak to a wide audience, while sales messages should be as focused as possible.

Every outbound sales message should be personalized and specific to the person who receives it. If you have multiple personas, use cases, or market segments, then each will require unique messaging. 

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Outbound sales techniques: Narrowing your focus

One way to simplify things is to group different segments into umbrella categories. For example, a director and vice president of technology could both be grouped under “technology leader”. These roles probably share similar pain points and could therefore benefit from the same messaging. 

Another way to group your personas is by industry. Personas across different industries may use completely different language to describe a similar problem. The key is matching your outbound sales message to each persona so that you can speak to each prospect as directly as possible.

Sales reps as subject matter experts

An added benefit of grouping your prospects into umbrella categories is that sales reps can become experts in that category. Rather than knowing every detail about every industry, reps can focus on knowing one or two areas inside out. 

Focused email subject lines

Like other outbound sales techniques, email subject lines should focus on the customer’s pain. Solutions-based subjects (“Our company does X”) are unlikely to be opened because they are obviously marketing material. Keep your subject lines short (ideally three words or less) and vague enough that it compels the recipient to open the message. 

When personalizing your cold email, go as narrow as possible by focusing on the individual rather than the company. For example, “Your post about X”. By mentioning a recent piece of content the prospect posted, it’s clear the message is meant for them and no one else.

Nailing your outbound sales message

Marketing and sales serve two different functions and therefore require different messaging. Marketing messages need to speak to a broad audience, while sales should be highly targeted to the individual. 

Sales messages also concentrate on pain points rather than solutions. By focusing outbound sales techniques on the customer’s pain, you’ll be able to craft a message that truly resonates.

While we always recommend that every sales tip, trick, or tactic be taken with a grain of salt and A/B tested against other methods, these cold calling scripts have stamps of approval from some of the most successful and reputable B2B sales leaders and practitioners in the sales development industry.

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