Selling value is something inherently important to any top performing sales professional. Unfortunately, activity often takes the place of strategic focus in order to hit short term numbers. This results in a “race to the bottom” to close the deal. When your products and services become mere commodities, your value as a sales professional becomes nonexistent in your customer’s eyes. When this happens, you might as well get an application from the closest used car lot. That’s probably an accurate picture of how your customer sees you and how you probably feel.
Paradoxically, there are those who, no matter the circumstances, no matter the roadblocks or quota pressures, always seem to come out on top. They face the same challenges 95% of the sales force faces. Yet, year after year, they still win. What are they doing differently? They have a solid sales strategy and they consistently execute that strategy.
According to SBI’s (Sales Benchmark Index) 10th Annual Research Report a shockingly low 22% of sales teams have the right sales strategy. What does this 22% focus on? Sales strategies are rarely single-faceted and you will always need to account for multiple areas. When looking to keep a competitive advantage, selling value – as opposed to price – is one area that consistently delivers. No one wants to be the low price leader, so don’t let yourself stoop to fill this role! Stay at the top of your game by developing an appropriate sales plan.
Develop a thorough understanding of the customer’s business. You need to know your customer’s business better than anyone else. For example:
1. What challenges do they face? Example: Are funds available to support expansion?
2. What’s different about their future direction vs. where they’ve been previously? Example: What departments are growing?
3. What are the facts and figures around their goals for the upcoming year? Example: Is their customer market growing, shrinking, or changing?
If you find yourself unable to answer these three basic business questions, then you aren’t in a position to sell value. This results in just talking about products or selling price by default. Start practicing, “What’s it going to take to put you in this car today?”
Understand the true value of your product or services through the customer lens. On their own, products have no inherent value. They become valuable by how their features address customers’ needs. If you fail to align these, you might as well give away your product. Can you make a compelling case for the fit between your offering and your customer’s needs?
Create a strategy that separates you from the competition. One of the largest contributing factors to missing the number is having the wrong sales strategy. SBI’s Research indicates that these are the top reasons for holding a faulty sales strategy:
• Having no sales strategy
• Tactics masquerading as strategy
• Strategy is not aligned with buyer needs
• Strategy is the same as competitors
Having a sales strategy focused on value has proven time and time again to yield higher sales and profits. It is definitely worthwhile to make sure your sales team is using a value based approach. Of course, sales is a critical piece of the puzzle, however, you should make sure that the other parts of the company are effective. Is your business positioned to rock in 2017? Email me now at DanYoung@b2bcfo.com for a complimentary Business Check-up which will inform how the company is positioned in the areas of Planning, Sales & Profits, Finance and Operations.
Make it a great day!!