It’s more important than ever to ensure your salespeople have the tools and training needed to focus on selling value over features. Today's buyers are better informed because their education process has changed. Buyers have more information at their disposal, and you aren't in control of everything published about your company and solution.
Customers are overwhelmed with choices, and the sales playing field is more complex. You need to help buyers understand the magnitude of their problems and how your specific solution fits their unique needs.
You must educate your sales representatives about the tools you have available to help them sell based on value. Teach them to build a business case using information from tools your buyers can access as well as tools they can use to complete the business case and seal the deal.
Today’s sales teams must:
- Understand the value proposition
- Defend the value dimensions, AND
- Build a winning business case.
Let's take a look at what each point means regarding sales performance.
1. Understand the Value Proposition
The first step in training sales people at any experience level is to teach them about the importance of the value proposition. They must understand that selling isn’t about talking, but about listening. The focus should be on understanding the customer’s business before speaking about your offerings.
Sales reps can learn how to:
- Build rapport
- Map out business problems
- Establish a customer dialogue around the business value of your solution
They don't need to be financial wizards, but they do need to learn to focus on business problems solved and value delivered and not features and functions.
2. Defend the Value Dimensions
One of the biggest challenges facing salespeople is the temptation to discount prices to win the sale. When the customer waves a competitor's lower prices in your rep's face, there's a tendency to back down on price as the only step for moving forward.
When sales teams understand value selling and use a TCO tool or ROI tool to enhance the customer’s understanding of their problem and the value of your solution, they have the best foundation for fending off demands for lower prices.
3. Build a Winning Business Case
Before any contact with a potential buyer, sales reps have information available to give them a head start on understanding the customer’s business problems and the type of solution buyers may be searching for.
- Assessment tools tell sales where the potential buyer has failed to meet benchmarks or performed poorly against industry norms.
- Value calculators provide a preliminary value estimate, which sales can use as a basis for a business case.
They should be trained to check for this information each and every time as part of their preparation for customer engagement. Customers will be impressed with how well you understand their businesses when they first meet with you.
Next, training should emphasize how to use the tools available so that sales reps can calculate the ROI and TCO during the middle and end phases of the sales cycle. They need to be trained how to use the tools and when to use them for greatest impact.
- TCO tools defend your solution against an alternative or competing solution.
- ROI tools underline the cost of doing business as usual and how quickly the customer’s investment in your solution will be returned.
Everything your salespeople can glean from these tools goes into developing a business case to present to every level of stakeholder: from operations to finance, from end users to the CFO.
Don’t just provide the tools; train your sales representatives on their use. Make value selling the foundation of your sales training.
Connect with David Svigel on LinkedIn.
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