Value-based selling is when a salesperson provides value to the customer during the sales process itself, not just after the solution has been implemented. Most definitions of value-based selling or value selling emphasize that you must communicate value. However, it is not enough to simply communicate value during the sales cycle, a sales person has to create value for the prospect during the sales cycle.
For a true value-based selling approach, a salesperson does not tell the customer what they should value from their solution. Instead, the potential client must come to their own conclusion that the solution presented to them will solve their challenge, alleviate frustrations, or achieve their aspirations. A salesperson can help a customer conclude for themselves that their solution is valuable through discovery, attentive listening, and a buyer-centric selling approach.
Here are five value selling guidelines salespeople should adhere to during their sales interactions:
Another way to think about value-based selling is to ask this question: Would the potential client consider paying for the sales interactions alone?
This may sound like a ridiculous notion, but this is what it means to be a counselor or a decision coach. A decision coach will help their prospects find the solution that is best suited for the prospect’s company and help determine the buying process. In B2B or B2G sales, the prospects usually have to make a very complex decision. Not only is it difficult to understand the solution landscape, but it can be hard to even define the problem and the desired outcomes among the decision makers.
This is why a sales rep that is seeking to be a decision coach can provide tremendous value to the prospects during their sales interactions. Modern sales cycles are complicated for both the buyer and the seller. The salesperson that makes it the easiest to get to a good decision will be seen as a counselor and most likely win that deal.
Whenever someone is making a complicated decision, it is beneficial to consider the desired final outcomes and what success would look like. After all, how are you supposed to know the best solution to achieve your goals if you don’t have a clear idea of what your goals actually are?
Unfortunately, prospects don’t always do the due diligence needed to think about a successful outcome. Most will have a general idea, but a salesperson that is selling with a value-based approach will help their potential clients settle on what a successful outcome would be.
In this case, a sales rep adhering to value selling would do their best to understand the current circumstances at their prospect’s company. They would then share insights as to how other business leaders have defined their goals in similar initiatives. This can help prospects set both qualitative and quantitative goals to measure success from the initiative. It’s the sort of counseling during a sales interaction that a prospect might consider paying for.
Once a salesperson has a good understanding of their potential client’s circumstances and they have helped their prospects define success, it is time to decide if their company can deliver the value that the prospective customer is looking for.
This is a vital question that every sales rep must ask if they want to sell with a value-based approach. There are many reasons why your company’s solution may not be a good fit. After each sales interaction, the rep needs to consider whether or not they can still deliver what the prospects are expecting. If the answer is ever no, then it is important to walk away from that opportunity and focus on deals where the rep can help achieve the prospect’s desired outcome.
An ill-prepared sales rep can seldom provide value during a sales interaction. It doesn’t have to be a meticulous or detailed plan, but there are some general items that a seller should always be prepared with before a call. This will ensure that sales reps are providing value throughout the upcoming sales call.
Here are a few questions salespeople should always consider, responses of which can be used to prepare for the call:
If a sales rep at least thinks about these questions and plans for the sales call ahead of time, they will always share the right information exactly when it is relevant for the prospect. They will inevitably create value for the prospect during every sales call.
Modern sales cycles involve multiple decision makers. Each decision maker might have a different set of priorities. For example, a CEO might care most about the reporting functionality of a CRM, while a sales enablement professional would be concerned with the learning platform integrations.
Each stakeholder and decision maker has a different reason why they are interested in a solution. While they might have some common goals, it is possible for decision makers to also have different ideas of a successful outcome. These dynamics can make it very difficult for an organization to reach consensus on a decision.
This is where a value-based approach can really shine through. A sales rep adhering to value selling principles would work closely with each stakeholder to identify where each decision maker is in their own individual decision journey. It is the sales rep’s job to find out what is important to each stakeholder, and to present a solution that can satisfy all the competing priorities. Having the skills to build this sort of consensus would certainly help provide value during a sales call.
In summary, the way to create value during every sales interaction is to be consultative and turn into a decision coach for your prospects. This demands that salespeople place the customer at the center of all their decisions during the sales process. Find out what each decision maker cares about and aim to provide exactly what they are looking for at every step. This is the value-based selling approach that will help sales organizations perform at their highest level.
To implement a value-based selling approach, reach out to us at Funnel Clarity today for a free 30-minute sales funnel consultation.