Everyday, each of us receives a sales email or phone call that goes like this: “Hey <you>, I want to tell you more about <vendor’s value proposition> that solves your <problem 1>, <problem 2>, … and delivers <benefit1>, <benefit2>, … blah, blah. When can we talk?”
So what’s wrong with this? Well, almost everything!
First of all, it is not clear why this vendor’s value proposition is important enough for you to be interrupted in the middle of your day.
Second, it assumes that you have all of these problems.
Most importantly, it assumes that your problems are the same as everyone else’s and that you will accrue all the benefits they promise.
The overall tone implies that the salesperson is the all-knowing expert and you have no role to play in describing your problems or designing the solution that is most suitable to your unique business situation.
No wonder you immediately delete such voicemails and emails (or mark them as spam).
First impressions are important.
That salesperson lost an opportunity to differentiate themselves and establish their relevance. What was intended as a conversation starter died on arrival.
This is why the right conversation starters, or Teasers, are one of the most important pieces of sales enablement content in your toolkit.
Getting them right will greatly increase your sales team’s confidence when they reach out to new prospects.
What is a Teaser?
A Teaser is the first piece of communication that a salesperson uses to initiate a conversation with the prospect.
It is an inquiry to determine if a specific problem has been experienced by the recipient and whether they would be interested in further investigating the problem and possibly explore solutions to that problem.
It is the first step in the journey to establish your relevance and value as a trusted partner to the prospect.
A Teaser consists of well-researched material that is succinctly articulated using infographics or videos.
It also includes communications pieces that establish context and a personalizable wrapper that makes the whole piece relevant to the intended audience.
The recipient should be able to consume the content in the Teaser in about 2 minutes. The recipient must have either experienced the problem or know of a colleague who has.
It should convince the recipient that it will be worth following up and discussing further. We will look at this in greater detail below.
Given that your sales cycle involves multiple stakeholders on the prospect’s side and your offering provides solutions for multiple problems, it is very likely that you will need to equip your sales team with a collection of Teasers.
When do you use a Teaser?
You use a Teaser when you are first approaching a new prospect, responding to an inquiry (for example, a marketing lead), or upselling or cross-selling to an existing customer.
In all of these scenarios, you would first have conducted your initial discovery of the prospect and built an assumption of what their problem might be.
Your goal is not to inform but to start a conversation and establish the relevance of your value.
Hold off on the temptation to bombard the prospect with your features and benefits just because they approached you in response to your marketing.
Even when a part of the customer organization is using your product and everyone is aware of your offering, do not assume that they know how your solution relates to their problems.
These are the false starts that a Teaser is intended to avoid and instead start the engagement with the prospect on the right path.
Key components of a Teaser
A Teaser consists of up to 3 components. It should not take more than 2 minutes for the recipient to consume the message.
- An introductory email / phone script It is a short and structured template that enables the salesperson to insert relevant context and inquire about a specific problem that the recipient may be experiencing.
This is the minimum content required for a Teaser.
- A 30-90 second video or infographics that clearly articulates a problem that the recipient may be experiencing as well as the potential adverse consequences of such a problem.
This component can be either linked directly in an email or wrapped in a mini-deck (described below).
- A 2-3 slide deck template that includes the 30-90 second video or infographics.
The template enables the salesperson to insert relevant research pointing to the possible existence of the problem. It also suggests the next steps.
The links below provide sample templates and guidelines that will help you produce the Teasers for your sales teams.
Teaser Best Practices
- A Teaser focuses on establishing value and relevance. It does NOT talk about your offerings or capabilities.
- A Teaser is conversational in style. It invites the recipient to partner with you on a journey to define the problem and explore the relevant solution.
- A Teaser does not take more than 2 minutes to deliver its message. This encourages the recipient to view it right away as well as share it with relevant colleagues.
- A Teaser should include two next steps:
- Offer to contact your salesperson to learn more and collaborate
- Enable the prospect to continue on their own with a deeper dive into the explanation of the problem, its consequences and alternative solutions that will help them overcome the business problem (known as Explainers). It is perfectly okay if the recipient chooses this path. They have indirectly acknowledged that they are interested in solving this problem. It improves the salesperson’s effectiveness and efficiency every time an Engagement Object continues to engage and nurture the prospect.
A Teaser is successful when the recipient sees your salesperson and your organization as a potential business partner, expresses willingness to embark on a journey to understand their problem, and identifies internal stakeholders who would influence the decision on the solution.
To learn more about other engagement objects, please see "9 Engagement Objects that fuel B2B Sales Enablement".