Joint experiment between Corporate Visions and Stanford Professor Zak Tormala shows clear advantage to insights-led selling approach
PLEASANTON, California, March 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Corporate Visions, Inc., the leading marketing and sales messaging, content and skills training company, announced results of an experiment that casts doubt on traditional sales training and coaching approaches. The study was conducted with Dr. Zakary Tormala, a social psychologist specializing in persuasion at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
The online experiment, involving 305 participants, aimed to measure the persuasive impact of three different sales messaging sequences that varied the presence and timing of insights and diagnostic questions. The study found that participants—by a statistically significant margin—were more positively influenced by a message when an insight came before diagnostic questions instead of after them.
Specifically, participants were more willing to admit a greater degree of "need" and were more open to possible new solutions. Additionally, the experiment found that switching the order and asking diagnostic questions before delivering an insight produced no more persuasive power than just sharing an insight and skipping such questions altogether.
"These results fly in the face of many sales training programs and most sales coaching advice that recommends reps open their conversations by asking diagnostic-type questions," said Tim Riesterer, chief strategy officer for Corporate Visions. "Our research confirms that sharing an insight first acts as an 'anchoring effect' that, in effect, gives the prospect permission to admit more pain and makes them more open to a persuasive message about a solution to that pain.
"You still need to ask questions to activate and engage the prospect in 'trying on' and taking ownership of the issue, but, the research clearly shows that these questions need to be asked after the insight is shared," Riesterer adds.
About Corporate Visions, Inc. Corporate Visions is a leading marketing and sales messaging, content, and skills training company that helps global B2B companies:
Develop compelling messages to break the status quo and differentiate their solution;
Deploy those messages in the field through demand generation and sales enablement content; and
Deliver sales skills that help salespeople confidently use the messages and content to create, elevate and capture more value in their customer conversations.
Corporate Visions helps B2B companies drive revenue by uniting marketing and sales with a repeatable approach for developing and delivering winning customer conversations. For more information about Corporate Visions, visit http://corporatevisions.com/ or call 415-464-4400 or 800-360-SELL.