Value selling has quickly become one of the most powerful strategies for closing more deals and building long-lasting customer partnerships. For organizations that have already adopted value selling, it’s become a competitive advantage.
Meanwhile, organizations that haven’t adopted this mindset yet are now facing a different sales landscape, as value selling has reshaped customer expectations throughout the sales cycle and beyond. Here are 5 ways that value selling has changed customer expectations–and what you can do to meet their high standards.
Generic buyer personas and canned pitch decks are no longer enough to stand out from the sea of offerings in your space. The modern B2B buyer expects you to develop a nuanced understanding of their challenges, goals, and priorities–and tailor the experience to their specific needs. They also expect your value proposition to reflect that.
To meet their expectations, you need to have a clearly articulated customer value proposition and an understanding of your target customer’s value journey. Your customer value proposition clarifies the total value that your product or service will deliver in terms of the customer’s specific needs and challenges. See our recent blog post to learn how to create a customer value proposition that resonates with your customers.
To get to the point of having a powerful customer value proposition, you need to first understand the customer value journey. Also known as the customer outcome lifecycle, the customer value journey is the journey you take with your customers to help them discover, quantify, and track the value of your solution for their organization. To learn more, see Why You Should Care About the Customer Value Journey.
Thanks to value selling, customers expect more from sales representatives. Sales reps must now come to sales conversations prepared to provide expert guidance and education, as customers now expect their sales reps to be expert advisors within their niche. Your potential customer wants to feel like they are talking to someone who can be a trusted advisor–from their very first call.
To meet this expectation, sales reps should come to the table armed with educational resources and helpful insights. They should also be able to guide the conversation towards discovering the best approach to co-create value with the potential customer. To learn more, see how to master value-based selling.
To seal the deal, sales reps now need to co-create value alongside the prospective customer. Customers no longer respond positively to being “sold to” in the traditional sense: they’re looking for a long-term, trusted, and collaborative partnership that they feel confident will help them achieve their goals. Value selling starts building this relationship right away.
But how can you collaborate with customers so early? Think of it like this. You’re coming to the table with all of your resources, capabilities, and experience. Meanwhile your customer brings their desired outcomes, resources, and processes. The sales cycle starts to piece these together to build the right solution for the customer. It’s a great way to show the customer that you truly understand their needs and can tailor your offering to the things they value most.
To learn more, check out our recent whitepaper The Future of Value Selling: Value Co-Creation.
Customers have now come to expect their potential vendors to be able to share quantifiable results. Some of the most common ways to demonstrate quantifiable value is through tools like ROI and TCO calculators. However, these measures are often limited because value often isn’t just about dollars.
Instead, it’s important to have a holistic conversation around value with your customers and understand the metrics that really matter most to them. For example, factors like risk mitigation, compliance, reduced hassle, and scalability may be key performance indicators that don’t have an immediate or direct link to revenue, but may be more important to their decision making process than strict monetary value.
The key here is to tease out what elements of value are most important to the prospect, and be able to prove your solutions value against these KPIs with customer case studies. To learn more, see Beyond ROI Tools.
Finally, customers now expect the value sold to them during the sales cycle to continue seamlessly into their relationship post-sale. This means that every aspect of your business must be aligned around customer value and follow customer value best practices. Sales must be empowered to seamlessly hand over the account to the customer success team, who must be able to communicate how the actual results of the solution are delivering against the promised value. To learn more, see Customer Value Best Practices Throughout the Entire Customer Journey.
As value selling has exploded in popularity, it has led to some seismic shifts in the sales landscape, especially when it comes to your customer expectations. For more information on how to implement value selling in your organization, we invite you to contact our team of experts. We are here, ready to help.