I often struggle with the approaches of communicating value. I have seen really great examples of how value selling has changed a deal for the positive and I have seen examples where value selling has turned the deal on its side. In most cases, the reason for the conversation around value going sideways was because “the expert” wasn’t in the room and the sales team got out over their skis.
This can be for any number of reasons but the main reason I have seen is due to the model used to calculate value being too complex and hard to follow. Well if your sales team cannot communicate it, how on earth will the customer ever be able to take ownership of it and sell when you cannot be in the room? Let’s face it they can’t and herein lies the problem. As someone who spends every hour of the day helping companies move the ability to sell value into the sales team (and even the channel in many cases) I have spent many a sleepless night trying to come up with a solution to that specific problem.
SIMPLE, CONSISTENT, & TRANSPARENT
Regardless of the model, ROI Calculator, TCO Calculator, etc. If you do not keep the way you communicate value to the customer SIMPLE, CONSISTENT, AND TRANSPARENT, you run the risk of the having a sub-optimal outcome of all of your hard work. So how do we do this?
- Land on a consistent way of calculating value at a high level: Please comment and I would be happy to give you some thoughts on how I approach this part of the problem. If you can get to a point where anyone can understand you benefits, then you have accomplished the goal
- Stay the course: One of the biggest challenges to adoption is a moving target, especially when it comes to sales people. They do not have the time nor inclination to play “follow the bouncing ball” when it comes to their sales conversations
- No Black Box: I have seen this with many tools (home grown and commercial). The simple fact is if you cannot trace both the numbers and the rationale then you will never be able to survive without the “expert” to explain even the basics. That simply DOES NOT scale
If you do this correctly, you can have the experts focus on the truly challenging multi-million dollar or very strategic snowflake deals and transform you sales team into a force that can differentiate not just what they sell but how they sell it!
No Better Way To Impact Financial Performance…Sales Effectiveness + Value Selling
CSO Insights published a Sales Effectiveness eBook identifying some 30 technologies to consider for companies that want to impact Sales Effectiveness in a meaningful way. They categorized the technologies in four logical groups:
1 – Find More
2 – Win More
3 – Keep and Grow More
4 – Manage More
Most are well-known and easily recognized disciplines summarized in the following chart:
VALUE SELLING: IMPACT ON SALES EFFECTIVENESS
This is super-relevant for the Executive Suite and Board of Directors because there is no more significant way to impact an organization’s financial performance than by improving Sales Effectiveness. And there is no more significant way to impact Sales Effectiveness than by “Value Selling”.
While this list represents the 30 or so areas of Sales Effectiveness opportunity, the items with a check mark are directly impacted by the ability to consistently Sell Value. More specifically, the ability to Quantify, Articulate, Competitively Differentiate and Defend the value of the seller’s products, solutions and services.
If that is true, then clearly it is an imperative to Sell Value all the time.
One company put it this way, “We invested in the best of the best to enable our sales organization. Salesforce for CRM, Corporate Visions for messaging, Challenger for sales methodology and much more. But it was when we got value selling right that the efforts at sales effectiveness started really bearing fruit. Value Selling is the glue that pulled it all together and made our sales effectiveness efforts really work.”
Over the next several weeks, we will examine many of these technologies and discuss the ramifications and implications of Selling Value on each.
Sales effectiveness is a favorite buzz-word for today’s B2B sales
organizations. I looked at a chart recently of sales technologies,
methodologies and so forth, it looked like this. Photo To Right Opens.
Of course there is a whole different chart for “Inside Sales”, and don’t even go to the adjacent Marketing chart.
If you search for a while, you’ll see DecisionLink on the chart, one of hundreds of technologies available to clutter the landscape and hopefully impact sales productivity. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad we’re there along with several of our customers.
We all think we’re the end-all, panacea, stick that stirs the drink (with apologies to Reggie Jackson). We even used “silver bullet” in a recent messaging! Unfortunately, there’s a whole lot of capability expressed that is about bombarding buyers with more content faster while barely scratching the surface of “what’s in it for me”. “Me” being the buyer.
In this series, we’re going to focus on getting personalized and specific with buyer value, and
how doing so positively impacts virtually every other investment in sales enablement, sales effectiveness, sales whatever-you-want-to-call-it technologies.
We look forward to your input, feedback, critiques and more!