If you haven’t already transitioned from a traditional product pitch to value selling, you’re likely considering it. Research from Rain Group shows improving the ability to communicate value is a top priority for 70% of today’s sales organizations. And for good reason.
According to Forrester Consulting, only 10% of buyers report sales reps are value-focused, with most still using an ineffective product pitch.
To put it simply, in 2021, if you’re not value selling, you’re not winning deals.
What is Value Selling?
Value selling is a sales methodology that prioritizes quantifying and communicating the value of products and services to buyers over pitching product features or capabilities.
Sellers who adopt a value selling approach are more consultative, prescriptive, and by default, successful than traditional sellers.
They avoid pitching products and instead develop a challenge-based narrative that demonstrates they understand their buyer’s problem and communicates how their solution solves it.
How Do I Transition My Sales Team to Value Selling?
Just like teaching an old dog new tricks, shifting your sellers’ mindsets and reframing your sales approach in the name of value can be challenging. Fortunately, when sellers successfully adopt value selling frameworks and tools, the results are immediate.
Take software provider Egnyte, for example. After implementing a value selling program, Egnyte saw a 120% win rate increase. In addition to immediately increasing their win rate from 30 to 66% post-launch, the company also saw a more consistent win rate, often of much larger deals.
Are you wondering how to get started? We’ve compiled a checklist to help you develop your successful value selling strategy.
The Ultimate Value Selling Checklist
1. Adopt a Storytelling Framework
The first step to adopting a value selling approach is to ditch your traditional sales pitch.
Today’s buyers are more empowered, skeptical, and frugal than ever. They don’t care when you were founded, how many customers you have, how rapidly you’ve grown, or what product features you just launched.
They want to know exactly how you can help them solve their unique business challenges and the bottom-line impact you can deliver.
A storytelling framework like CLOSE can help you change the narrative.
What is the CLOSE methodology?
The CLOSE conversation guide is a storytelling framework with five sequential elements that help you formulate your value proposition with maximum impact:
Challenge – What challenges do you solve?
Loss – What is the challenge currently costing your prospect?
Opportunity – What is the value of addressing the challenge?
Solution – Which of your solutions can deliver these business benefits?
Evidence – How can you prove the proposed solution can deliver?
This framework combines the right balance of emotion, rationale, and evidence to help your sellers articulate your value story in a way that resonates with buyers. We dive deeper into this framework in Storytelling 101: A Guide for Modern B2B Sellers.
2. Communicate Value Across the Full Customer Lifecycle
In today’s challenging selling environment, sales reps aren’t the only ones influencing purchase decisions. Only 17% of the buyer journey is spent meeting with potential suppliers.
To win business, all revenue teams from marketing to sales to customer care must effectively communicate, quantify, and prove value at every touchpoint in every new, renewal, and expansion opportunity.
In addition to creating value-focused content, here are a few types of tools you can leverage to help you ensure that happens:
Self-service marketing tools including diagnostic assessments on your website help you:
- Introduce your unique value proposition earlier in the sales cycle
- Drive demand generation
- Capture more qualified leads
- Engage early-stage prospects with more targeted content
Business Value Tools and TCO calculators empower sales reps to:
- Effectively communicate business value benefits to buyers in real-time
- Estimate the return on investment (ROI) of your proposed solution
- Compare the total cost of ownership (TCO) of owning your product or service vs. a competitor’s
- Align your solutions to your buyers’ challenges
Realized Value Calculators enable customer care and account management teams to:
- Prove realized value from using your product or service
- Improve customer satisfaction and loyalty
- Drive upsell and cross-sell opportunities
- Increase renewal rates
If you’re only empowering your sales reps or dedicated value engineers with the tools required to successfully tell your value story, you’re missing a huge opportunity.
3. Forget about Spreadsheets
Many organizations develop spreadsheet-based ROI/TCO tools to help financially justify their solutions to frugal buyers. These spreadsheets are often developed by a field subject matter expert (SME) based on one or more client requests, and then shared and distributed to customers, sales professionals, and channel partners for use.
While spreadsheet-based ROI/TCO tools meet the need to help deliver formal business case justification to economic-focused buyers, its not the ideal format to support value marketing and selling efforts.
Here are a few of the most common issues we see with spreadsheet-based ROI/TCO tools:
- High development and maintenance costs
- Low adoption
- Limited version control and security
- Missed opportunity for customer intelligence
- Lack of integration with MAP & CRM
- Non-existent usage reporting
- Ineffective storytelling
- No third-party validation
We dive even deeper into these issues in our guide Why Spreadsheets Don’t Work.
4. Deploy Easy to Use Tools
Instead of relying on complex spreadsheets to help communicate value, adopt intuitive tools for marketers, sellers, and post-sale (e.g account management or customer success) teams.
The easier it is for revenue teams to capture buyer information in real-time or for buyers to guide themselves through a self-service calculator on your website, the better your customer experience will be.
And the easier the tools are to use, the more likely it is they’ll be adopted and produce results for your business.
When you’re selecting a value selling provider or creating a new tool, always remember to put user experience first. If you already have spreadsheet-based tools, we can help you easily convert them to sleek, easy-to use calculators.
5. Uplevel Your Reports
A data-driven approach can be overwhelming for buyers if not positioned and delivered effectively. Visualize the data to make it easier for buyers to consume.
The easier it is for buyers to read and understand the report output from your tool, the easier it will be for them to retell your value story and “sell” your solution to other key internal stakeholders.
Mediafly customers leverage interactive report templates to turn data-heavy reports into visually appealing business cases. They then deliver those reports via the Mediafly platform so they can add additional value with relevant content like case studies at the same time.
Best of all, using Mediafly to send and share reports allows them to track buyer engagement with the report. Who is viewing and sharing it? With who? How long are they reviewing specific pages and how often? Which brings me to my next point…
6. Measure Your Success…then Duplicate it
Before launching any value selling tools, it’s important to identify how you’ll measure success so you can continue to optimize and benefit from your value enablement program. We recommend tracking metrics across three categories: Usage, Scale, and Move the Needle.
Any value selling solution you select should have the ability to track all of these analytics.
Once you have a tool that produces positive results in each of these three areas, duplicate your success. Create additional tools using your success story as a template.
(Note: Mediafly’s Tool Builder offering includes self-authoring capabilities for marketing and sales teams to make this even easier.)
Value Selling is the Key to Sales Success in 2021
In 2021, 87% of high-growth companies take a value-based approach to sales. Are you one of them?
To learn more about value selling or get started today, download The Sales Leader’s Guide to Value Selling in 2021.