In 2020 and 2021, we gathered panels of top CROs and organizational leaders to discuss the current SaaS landscape and make industry-informed predictions about what is to come. One thing has been consistent—the sales landscape is always evolving and changing to optimize the customer and business experience. Our panel of influential leaders and visionaries are providing insights on value selling and customer lifetime value for the coming years. In comparing what we heard in 2020 and 2021, there are some strong consistencies, but an evolution is clearly in the works.
2020 TO 2022: KEEPING VALUE ALIVE IN AN EVERCHANGING MARKET
When we think back to 2020, the shift to remote interactions was not something anyone could have predicted, and yet, it had a seismic impact on SaaS sales interactions. Companies were forced to quickly transform and reposition their sales approach. Leveraging a Customer Value Management (CVM) platform was an invaluable asset that allowed organizations to continue building relationships even when without face-to-face connection. With remote all the rage (and the necessity), the digital user experience became increasingly crucial.
The pandemic put value front and center and today’s elevated expectations are keeping it there. As we move into 2022, our experts see value as an essential ingredient at every stage of the customer journey from pre-sale and initial engagement through to renewal, upselling and cross-selling. Over the past two years, reduced revenues and uncertainty resulting from the global pandemic forced organizations to be more cautious with their resources. Every investment had to be accounted for and justified, which has made clear value communication a critical way to differentiate and drive close rates.
That need for justification isn’t just part of initial adoption. Continuing to prove and demonstrate business value realization over time is now expected. Organizations that focus on and lead with value in every customer interaction have a clear advantage. This has made having a Customer Value Management platform that can provide quantifiable value metrics at scale operationally indispensable.
EMPOWERING MORE PEOPLE WITH VALUE
What 2020 and 2021 taught us, and what we are seeing as increasingly valuable going into 2022 is value selling’s expansion of customer touchpoints and the meaningfulness of insights shared at every interaction. With access to quantifiable value data, clients can share the benefits of a product or service with other stakeholders at any time. With proactive Customer Value Management, you are essentially empowering champions within your customers’ organization.
Likewise, Customer Value Management has proven itself as a way to up-level the impact of your entire sales team. Traditionally, 15-20% of sales professionals are top performers who consistently sell at higher levels by focusing on value (and doing all of the legwork). With a CVM platform in place, you can give your entire sales team this not-so-secret weapon. With value as their North Star, your team can elevate performance and sales success across a broader range of deal sizes. As the divide between top performers and the rest of the team disappears, sales success makes a dramatic leap. Customer Value Management is the game-changer.
VALUE AS A CHANGE AGENT
Over the past year, the “new normal” of hybrid work environments has evolved. As in-person interactions have slowly returned, our industry experts agree that value has continued to serve as a transformative opportunity. Alignment around value has ensured that everyone is using a common approach, language, and measures when communicating with customers. In fact, value puts the customer at the center of every interaction, which will be key to continued success in 2022.
The concept of customer lifetime value became a broad focus in 2021 and promises to anchor organizational alignment into 2022. Companies that have gone all-in on value and integrated it into their marketing, sales, and customer success methodologies have a decided advantage. Building customer lifetime value into your company’s culture means that closing the sale is no longer the measure of success. Customer lifetime value— from first engagement and acquisition to retention and expansion—becomes the broader objective. This means your relationship-building must be focused on earning credibility and creating partnerships and engagement for the long-term in a way that is beneficial to both parties. Sales leaders are capitalizing on this by placing talent in the right roles to trigger data-driven strategies and by encouraging their teams to fully dive in and use the metrics available to them from their value management platform.
SEGMENTATION AS A VALUE STRATEGY
In 2021, we saw organizations finding new ways to meet customers where they are by using segmentation. Instead of broadly applying businesses cases, sellers are uncovering customers’ pinch points and desired strategic outcomes. Simply concentrating on being the best is no longer enough. The aim now is to identify how a given product can be leveraged to solve customers’ specific real-world problems. Demonstrating how quickly buyers can get the promised benefits is key, which is wholly dependent on data from your CVM platform. More than just securing a customer, this demands a continuous focus on retaining them. By looking at broader issues, sellers can streamline processes for buyers, enable them to go to market faster, help them create efficiencies, and grow revenue faster. This kind of specificity and customer-centric care will be the winning strategy in 2022.
GET A GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTURE
At the beginning of a new year, every organization is asking themselves if they are ready for what is to come. Watch our panel discussion and gather more expert insights into the year ahead. When it comes to being customer-centric and aligning your team in support of your organizational goals, value is an essential ingredient. The trends continue…
GET TO KNOW OUR PANELISTS:
Head of GoValue Solutions at DecisionLink.
SVP, Customer Success, Services, & Support, Smartsheet
Head of Global Field Operations, BetterCloud
SVP, Sales (Americas), Accruent