Master Value-Based Selling in 5 Simple Steps

Value-based selling has quickly become the go-to strategy to win your customers’ business and their long-term loyalty. To gain the benefits of value selling, you have to first transition your sales teams from a traditional sales approach to a value-based selling approach–a skill that can be mastered in just a few easy steps.

1. Reframe Sales Reps as Consultants

The first step to mastering value selling is to approach sales calls like a consultant. In a value-based selling relationship, the potential customer should feel like they are speaking to someone who is knowledgeable and a trusted advisor in their field–not a salesperson trying to achieve a quota. To accomplish this, sales reps must position themselves as experts in their field, armed with robust, informative materials as well as relevant information about your company’s product or service.

For example, traditionally, sales representatives come to sales calls with canned pitch decks focused on product features that often are not tailored to the specific customers’ needs, goals, and priorities. This makes it challenging to demonstrate the true value of the solution for this customer.

In contrast, value selling focuses on co-creating value with each potential customer. This means that the sales rep takes the time to understand what matters most to the customer and, from there, develops a compelling outcome-based proposal that is targeted to the customer’s specific goals and that contextualizes the deal in terms of what it means for them.  A collaborative value management platform like Ecosystems makes it easy for a salesperson to position herself as a trusted advisor, with tools and resources that help her deliver value at every step of the customer journey. 

2. Focus on Education, not Sales Pitches 

The next step to mastering value selling is to focus on customer education. This goes hand-in-hand with reframing yourself as a consultant instead of a salesperson. With this approach, the sales representative focuses on helping–rather than simply selling to–the customer. This typically involves providing high value educational materials that help the customer make informed decisions about your company’s product or service–all while further solidifying your sales representatives as experts your customers can trust.  

With the Ecosystems platform, salespeople have access to a wealth of intel at their fingertips, thanks to IDC intelligent defaults embedded in the platform.  This enables sellers to provide industry-trusted, robust information that is specific to the customer.  

3. Personalize the Customer Experience with Value Co-Creation

The key to mastering value-based selling comes down to truly personalizing the customer experience with value co-creation. Sales isn’t talking at or selling to the customer anymore; it’s creating a long-term, trusted, and collaborative partnership between you and your customers. Why? Because the co-creation of value leads to better outcomes for both parties. 

One way to think of co-creation is to look at it like building with Legos: both you and your customer come to the table with your own set of Legos. Your set consists of your resources, capabilities, and experience, while your customer brings their desired outcomes, resources, and processes. Together, you’re able to create something more powerful and effective than what you could have created with just one set of Legos alone.  When you collaborate with your customers in this way, you truly learn how they think about their business and tailor your offering to the things the customer values most.

To learn more, see our blog post Empathy: The Secret to Value Co-Creation

4. Nail Down Your Customer Value Proposition 

The reality is, even though you are leading with consultation and education, your sales reps still need to close the deal. As a result, sales teams need to be equipped with a clear, relevant, and differentiated customer value proposition (CVP). A CVP needs to have all of the following qualities to ensure that the statement will resonate with your target customer:

  • Clear: Your CVP must be clear, easy-to-understand, and collaboratively defined by you and your customer in her language. 
  • Relevant: Contextualize the CVP based on the customer’s situation, focusing on the specific outcomes they would like to achieve. 
  • Quantifiable: Include the KPIs that matter most to your customers, including both qualitative value and quantified metrics that are tied to your co-created outcomes. 
  • Differentiated: Articulate the incremental value of your solution versus your customers’ most likely alternative(s).
  • Linked to Decision Makers: Understand how your solution will provide value to each stakeholder and their personal, job, and company values.  

See more best practices to craft an effective value proposition.


5. Quantify Customer Value 

This brings us to the next step to master value-based selling: quantifying both monetary and non-monetary value. Your sales representatives must be able to clearly articulate the potential measurable impact of achieving the customer’s desired outcomes. Based on their conversations with the customer, sales reps should have a clear and nuanced understanding of the customer’s priorities and needs from a company, job, and even personal standpoint.  To learn how to speak to each of these interlocking aspects of value, see the Value Trinity model for value realization. At that point, it’s time to take that information and show the customer how your solution is going to deliver against those goals.

This step includes sharing specific, concrete examples of similar results that your solution has achieved for similar customers and highlighting the metrics you know your potential customer values most. For example, if the customer indicates the importance of zero downtime in their operations, your sales representatives should highlight how your solution has achieved that goal for similar customers.

To learn more about quantifying customer value, see our recent blog post Beyond ROI Tools.

Start value-based selling today

Interested in learning more about value-added selling? Check out our whitepaper, The Future of Value Selling: Value Co-Creation.

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