3 Fundamentals to Build a Successful Value Selling Program

Posted by Darrin Fleming on Jan 8, 2020 11:30:00 AM
Darrin Fleming

3 Fundamentals to Build Value Selling Program

I am always happy to provide value-selling training, but I hesitate when the organization hasn’t already invested in value selling tools or integrated value selling into its overall sales process. Why? Because in my experience, three critical components must be present to ensure a successful value-selling initiative: people, process, and technology.

PEOPLE: Make Value Selling Happen

Value selling is very different than most other sales methodologies, so training your people to understand its principles and practices is essential. Many methodologies focus on the product you offer along with some understanding of the customer’s problem. In contrast, value selling focuses primarily on the customer’s problem, drills down into its economic impact on the business, and quantifies that impact in dollars and cents.

Value selling helps your sales team move beyond the emotional and functional aspects of the sale. And while both aspects are critically important, they are often not sufficient to gain the CFO’s approval of the investment. Learning to quantify the economic impact of a solution requires a deep understanding of how your customer makes money and the ability to point to the solution’s benefit on an income statement.

Effectively training your sales team in value selling teaches that business acumen, but sales skills alone cannot effect real and significant change. That’s where process comes in.

PROCESS: Makes Sales Success Repeatable

For value selling to have a positive and lasting impact on your business, it should also include changes to your sales process. That means you should evaluate everything from compensation structures to triggers that move deals to the next step in your selling process.

Some of our customers that see the most dramatic results from value selling go so far as to require a business case as part of their process. This helps the opportunity move from one step to the next, such as demonstrating the product or generating a proposal. I am not advocating that level of rigor in all cases, but you should at least have a step in your sales process to evaluate whether a quantified business case is needed to justify the investment and close the deal.

Whenever you make such a significant process change, you need to provide the tools and technology that fully enable the team to execute on the change.

TECHNOLOGY: Makes Value Selling Easy

Most sales teams are very adept at managing customer relationships and communicating the ins and outs of how their product works. The challenge arises when you start talking about calculating ROI, NPV, IRR, or any other financial metric necessary to cost justify an investment.

It is surprisingly rare to find business leaders who can articulate the difference between ROI and IRR, let alone calculate them. Even if an account manager knows the difference and can handle the calculations, do you really want them spending their time building spreadsheets? Wouldn’t you rather they spend their time in front of prospective customers?

Provide your team with tools like value calculators and ROI tools to increase their productivity, enhance the credibility of their business cases, and enable higher close rates.

Conclusion

For a value-selling initiative to be successful, you need to provide your sales team with tools and training, at a minimum. Even without changes to your sales process, some will quickly grasp how they can sell more with a business case. If you really want to have a dramatic and lasting impact from value selling, you need to change your sales process, provide value selling tools to support the new process, and train your sales team with the requisite skills and business acumen to maximize their effectiveness.

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Resources

Connect with Darrin Fleming on LinkedIn.

Join the Value Selling for B2B Marketing and Sales Leaders LinkedIn Group.

Visit the ROI Selling Resource Center.

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Topics: B2B Selling, value selling