Sales agents play a vital role in a business’s success. After all, they serve as the frontline of your brand’s marketing and sales efforts.
It goes without saying that a sales agent is very familiar with the terms “features” and “benefits,” so much so that they’re probably saying and hearing them in their sleep.
Many, however, still confuse the two. Which is a big mistake since recognizing their subtle differences can spell the difference between a sales pitch that fails and one that converts.
To bring good ROI for your business, a business owner should make it a point to remind sales agents the difference between “features” and “benefits.”
Of course, it bears noting that while they are distinct from each other, however subtle, they also go hand in hand.
In fact, with better training, a sales agent can make either one strengthen the other.
Features vs. Benefits
To get started, let’s look into the definitions of both terms and discuss how a sales agent can use both concepts in ways that can convince leads to buy a product or service.
- Features are the characteristics of a product or service. Usually presented as a factual statement, a feature is something that your product is or has.
- A benefit, on the other hand, is the end-result of a feature, describing what that the product in question can do to improve users’ lives.
To get a better grasp of their differences, let’s state an example.
For example, when you mention that a laptop is equipped with an Intel Core i7 processor, what you’re doing is stating a feature.
When you tell someone that a laptop provides gamers a smoother gaming experience, you’re mentioning a benefit. Framed this way, you are telling a prospect how the laptop can improve their lives.
It’s important to note that mentioning both the features and the benefits are important, and using each of them to your advantage is a matter of determining the needs of your target audience.
How a Benefit-Driven Sales Pitch Drives Sales
The problem with a sales pitch that relies too much on mentioning features is that there’s a good chance the prospect won’t know what you’re talking about.
Imagine recommending a laptop unit to someone who lacks knowledge about computers by mentioning that it’s equipped with a Xeon processor, an Intel Iris Pro Graphics P580, has up to 1TB HDD storage…
Well, you get the picture.
This approach is bad because you’re putting the burden of understanding on the prospect.
Before you know it, the potential customer will look somewhere else to find the laptop he’s looking for because you were too busy talking in a language he doesn’t understand.
But if you tell that same person the laptop’s features as well as its benefits, then you are on the right track. Why? Because it answers the question, “If I buy that laptop, what’s in it for me?”
Features are static; Benefits can change
A product’s features are static and unchanging.They are just there.
A product’s benefits, on the other hand, can change depending on the specific needs of a prospect.
A laptop with a high-end processor, for example, allows a user who is fond of playing video games to have a smoother gaming experience.
For a graphic artist who has to upload high-quality images on the internet all the time, that same laptop will no doubt improve his working life immensely.
This is why it’s important for every sales agent to pay close attention to what a prospect is saying over the phone.
Having more knowledge about the caller helps a sales agent determine the benefits that will convince him to buy a product or service.
As a business owner, empathy is an asset you can’t afford to take for granted.
If you want better revenue for your sales campaign, your sales agents have to talk to potential clients in ways that address their needs.