Sales adoption is a crucial challenge to rolling out a successful value-based selling program. Beyond providing ROI tools, companies must also help the sales team embrace a new way of selling. You can understand and overcome these challenges using best practices gleaned from our 20 years of experience.
Cultivate a Different Way of Selling
Value-based selling is very different from the way most sales executives sell. Although relationships and the technical aspects of your offering still matter, value-based selling focuses on understanding the economic impact of solving problems for your customer. It relies on financial modeling of the business performance that a customer can expect to receive. That is not necessarily comfortable for most sales teams.
Although a rapid and wholesale rollout of your value-selling program may be enticing, it is usually better to start small and grow as you show success. Start with a small core team that is vested in the success of the program. Then find a pilot-group of willing sales participants to use the tools in an actual selling situation. Work to build and showcase success stories with that pilot team, and use those successes to demonstrate to the broader team why this new approach is better.
Build Tools That Are Easier to Use
Companies often deploy value selling tools that are far too detailed and complex to use in a typical sales process. Given that this is already a different way of selling, you need to ensure that your team is armed with tools they feel confident using in front of a customer.
This can be accomplished using simple, yet thorough tools with transparent results. A critical success factor with any value-based sales program is the design of the tools and underlying analysis. If the tools are too complicated, require too many inputs, or don’t guide the user through the process, they will not be used. Follow our 10 Guiding Principles of a Successful Value Selling Tool when designing your tools.
Deliver Believable Results
Value selling tools estimate financial results that can sometimes make the sales team and prospective customers uncomfortable because of their large impact. Although these estimated results may be realistic and achievable, if they seem too high, the sales team will likely resist using the tools in front of a customer.
A high ROI is not bad, but the perception that it’s unbelievable can be a problem. Your best approach in these situations is make sure you are neither underpricing your solution nor overestimating the value of your solution’s benefits.
First check with the customer to make sure you understand the size of their problems and how much of that problem your solution can solve. Your value estimates need to be in the range of what your customer believes. Then evaluate your pricing against the customer’s alternatives to make sure you are not underpricing your offering, which will hurt your business in the long run.
Ensure Organizational Commitment
From the sales team to the leadership team, your value selling program needs champions throughout the organization to ensure its success. Simply training the sales team on how to use the tools is not enough. Because senior leaders expect the tools to be used, the broader team needs to support the sales team’s efforts as they begin to engage actual customers.
The most successful value-selling programs we have seen had an underlying expectation of success. Some companies even require attaching a business case to each opportunity as part of their sales process before advancing to the next step. This may be extreme and may not apply in all situations, but some form of expectation needs to be set to ensure adoption and usage.
Value-based selling programs can be an effective way to grow sales, but there are some critical aspects you must recognize and address to ensure success. Although it is tempting to deploy a new program rapidly, make sure you have the fundamentals down before rolling-out too broadly.
How Can ROI Selling Help?
Here’s how ROI Selling can help you launch and grow your value selling program.
- Provide consulting services to help refine your value proposition and validate your financial analysis
- Build ROI tools using best practices that will encourage adoption by your sales teams
- Deliver value selling training sessions and on-demand content
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