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What is assignment selling: building trust and accelerating sales
Assignment selling is a sales technique where a salesperson assigns their prospect specific tasks to complete during the sales process.
As a marketing expert, you may have thought that consistently publishing content as part of your inbound marketing strategy would generate a flood of traffic, leads, and sales. Unfortunately, the reality is quite different. Businesses generally undergo a gradual increase in growth once publishing content, with occasional surges in traffic; however, the process of transforming that traffic into sales takes more time.
So how can you convert your content into revenue quickly? The answer is assignment selling.
What is assignment selling?
Assignment selling is a sales technique where a salesperson assigns their prospect specific tasks or actions through educational blog articles or videos during the sales process.
There are numerous stages in the sales cycle where assignment selling can come into play – before the first sales call, after the first sales call, before a deal is signed, and more.
Below we highlight the importance of assignment selling and how it can benefit both the salesperson and the customer.
Benefits of assignment selling
For your business, assignment selling offers several advantages:
- Well-informed leads: By guiding leads towards the most relevant content for their needs, assignment selling enables them to be better informed about your business, service, and what it entails.
- More effective sales conversations: As leads are already well-informed, sales conversations can concentrate on the prospect's particular requirements and challenges, without the need to cover general background information.
- Quicker sales process: Less time spent on educating leads means that the sales process can proceed more swiftly. Deals can close faster, while unsuitable leads can be disqualified promptly.
For the buyer, assignment selling offers the following advantages:
- Empowerment to conduct more research: Modern buyers prefer to own more of the buyer's journey. With assignment selling, they can investigate products and solutions independently without going through a salesperson.
- Ability to qualify or disqualify themselves: By providing educational content, buyers can more easily determine if your solution is what they truly need. If you create and distribute honest, high-quality content about what it's like working with you, they can assess for themselves if you can fulfil their needs and if they can afford your services.
- Reduced time wasted in sales meetings: When buyers can self-qualify or disqualify, they and your business save time by avoiding sales meetings that go nowhere. They also make sure that their time is spent on questions and solutions that are specific to their needs when they do contact sales.
How to implement assignment selling in your organisation in three steps
1. Figure out what content you need to create
To implement assignment selling in your organisation, it's important first to figure out what content you need to create.
Review all of the content on your website with these questions in mind:
- How much of your content focuses on educating your audience rather than promoting your business?
- How much of your content provides valuable assistance to consumers in their decision-making process?
Your content should be friendly, informative, comprehensive, and truthful to truly stand out. It should address the important questions that potential customers may have (or should have) before committing to a purchase.
2. Teach sales when to use the content created
Once you've created the right blog articles, it's time to equip your sales team with the valuable content. Your sales team has identified prospects' most pressing questions, and marketing has provided the answers through content.
By sharing this content with your sales team, they can save time and assist prospects in preparing for sales conversations or disqualifying them if necessary.
Marketing should educate sales reps on the different use cases for each piece they create and we suggest using a regular sales meeting (or another regularly scheduled meeting between sales and marketing) to keep sales up to date on what content has been created and explain how they can use it.
Examples of assignment selling
An example of assignment selling in practice might be useful after a prospect fills out a form on your website.
After someone fills out a demo request or sales call request form, you could simply send them an email introducing yourself and organising a date and time to meet.
With assignment selling in mind though, we'd suggest going the extra mile by sharing some resources to help prepare the prospect for the meeting. You might say:
"Hey Beth, I'm excited to meet with you on the 21st. To ensure we're on the same page and you have all your questions answered, I've attached a helpful guide for you to read beforehand. This way, we can focus on your specific needs during our meeting and make the most of our time together. If you need more time to review it, just let me know and we can reschedule. Can you confirm if you can review it before next week?"
3. Make the content easy to access
Make sure your website visitors and salespeople can easily find the answers they're looking for by ensuring that your content is easy to access on your website.
In most cases it's worth showing your sales team how to navigate your company's website and make sure your sales enablement content is readily available on your service pages or blog.
Start using assignment selling today
Now that you're equipped with the knowledge and tools to implement assignment selling, it's time to put it into action and start reaping the benefits.
Meet with your sales team and get their top list of most asked questions on a sales call and figure out if you already have these questions on your website. If you don't, add those questions to your content calendar as soon as possible.
Make a repository for sales so they can easily access links to the content, and educate them on how and when to use the resources.
It's important to periodically check in with your sales team to see how assignment selling is impacting their sales calls and if there are any new needs or improvements that can be made. Keep the lines of communication open and continue to collaborate to ensure the success of your inbound marketing strategy.