Two years ago, I heard a “value nugget” that has influenced how I help organizations define their value proposition and distill it down to three words or less. It came from John Chambers, former Chairman of Cisco Systems, who grew Cisco’s annual revenue from $70 million to $47 billion.
Here’s what I’ve discovered after working with thousands of sellers around the globe for over 20 years: a very small number of sales reps conduct business value conversations with their buyers. This is despite the reality that value selling improves margins, close rates, and customer satisfaction better than any sales strategy out there.
Upselling and cross-selling are strategic sales processes that can increase revenue and market penetration. Once a prospect or customer is “sold” on your product, you have a unique opportunity to provide additional value with enhanced and complementary products, if you fully understand your B2B customers’ needs. Building a solid business case for these opportunities is just as critical as it was for the initial sale.
Much is written these days about the changing nature of B2B marketing. The internet and marketing automation are changing how companies engage customers. Social media is playing a prominent role in shaping customer choices and influencing new trends. Some call these changes “consumerization” of B2B marketing, a potentially game-changing environment for some B2B marketers.
Managed services is today’s second most popular business model. Yet despite that popularity, it can still be challenging to market these services in ways that demonstrate the strategic value and benefits to drive business growth. This post addresses how managed services is perceived and valued by different IT buyers, and offers insights into overcoming objections and successfully changing limiting mindsets.
A compelling value proposition is critical to sales success. It can, without a doubt, make or “brake” a sale and is often the root cause when new products or solutions fail to reach their destination. Without a clear value map or an understanding of “what’s in it for them,” prospects have little reason to invest in your offering.
I don’t know how many times this has been said in the past, but it’s worth saying again: Buyers will go through the first half or more of their journey without you.
According to the latest research from Forrester, 67% of a buyer’s learning is made before engaging with a member of your sales team.
What does that mean? That you can’t wait until the customer has asked for a visit from a sales representative to start selling. You need to act before that and in a way that will bring value by teaching something the buyer didn’t know before.
Whenever I hear someone talk about finding his or her unique selling point, the hair on the back of my neck stands on end. If you are in complex B2B selling, you should not waste your time looking for a unique selling point.
Instead, you need to know your value proposition, which includes all the unique things you do.
As you build your approach to a particular potential buyer, you will use the unique thing you do that appeals to that particular buyer to build your value proposition. For another buyer, a different unique offering may be more suitable; you would then build your value proposition for this new buyer with a different unique offering.