Value-Based Selling: Increase Deal Velocity and Win Rates with the CLOSE Sales Methodology

By Mediafly | February 29, 2024

We’ll just say it: being a B2B seller today is hard. Budgets are tight, buying committees are getting larger and more deals are going in front of the C-suite. Today’s buyers are more risk-averse and looking for any excuse to walk away which is why we’re seeing more deals stalling out or getting lost to dreaded “no decision.” 

Research from Harvard Business Review shows that today’s consumers will no longer be convinced by cheaper prices and solution-focused pitches. They want products and services that offer real tangible value, help them achieve goals and drive strategic business initiatives forward. 

As a result of this shift, value-based selling has become the new key to closing deals. Sellers who can communicate the value of their solutions and highlight how they address a buyer’s unique business problems will be the ones who win the day.

Focus on Value-Based Selling to Improve Win Rates

According to Forrester Consulting, only 10% of buyers report that sales reps are value-focused, with most still using the traditional, one-size-fits-all “product pitch.” This approach inevitably leads to a disconnect between buyer’s expectations and the actual delivery of the product or service because buyers don’t know exactly what the solution can do for them. They’re left to discover the value for themselves, and most buyers won’t try to find it. They’ll simply move on to the next option instead.

The solution? Do the work for them. Focus on each buyer’s individual pain points and figure out how you can uniquely solve them. It’s not about you, your company, and your solutions. It’s about making your prospect the hero in their story by giving them the tools to overcome the business challenges they’re facing. And it’s about arming them with the insights to champion your solution internally. 

The most successful sales reps “pitch” their offer only 7% of the time. They spend the remainder of the time engaging the prospect as an advisor and showing the value their product or service can bring them. Creating heroes in your sales story allows you to successfully transition from the typical product pitch to a value-based sales experience that drives deals forward in a more collaborative, engaging fashion.

The CLOSE Conversation Guide: Make Your Customer the Hero with Sales Storytelling

The CLOSE Conversation Guide is a storytelling framework designed to help you articulate value and improve sales effectiveness. CLOSE puts your prospect at the heart of the story. It removes the focus from what benefits you can provide and instead centers on the buyer and their pain points. The CLOSE methodology enables you to identify and understand the unique challenges a prospect faces before offering up a solution.

The 5 key elements of CLOSE storytelling are:

What Does CLOSE Empower Sellers To Do?

Tell a Cohesive and Compelling Value-Based Selling Story

It’s one thing to tell a story; it’s another to make it memorable. Sellers often struggle to figure out how to weave their stories in a way that influences buyers to make actual change, but the key to crafting a complete and compelling story has been around since ancient times. Aristotle shared the secret to storytelling more than 2,300 years ago, and it all starts with Pathos, Logos, and Ethos.

Pathos – Appeal to emotions. Communicate your value in a story and utilize visuals and interactive content to make the story more memorable. Paint a picture that demonstrates the contrast between the current status quo and the proposed improvement.

Logos – Appeal to logic and reason. Quantify the pains and risks associated with the current status quo. What is the cost of “doing nothing”? Address the potential strategic and financial benefits within reach, including ROI, key performance metrics, and quantified improvements. Provide financial justification for the purchase, and make it personal, relevant, and specific.

Ethos – Appeal to credibility. Offer up evidence to prove that the projected benefits are tangible and achievable. Include third-party validation such as video testimonials, case studies, and data output from ROI/TCO calculators. Document financial benefits, ROI, and realized value achieved by similar customers.

With the right balance of emotion, rationale, and evidence (in that order), you can pinpoint the conversational elements that will articulate your value story in a way that resonates with buyers.

Create Urgency: Drive sales forward by demonstrating the cost of inaction

One-size-fits-all sales messaging isn’t enough to push buyers to take action. Sellers need to show buyers exactly what they could stand to lose by failing to act and solve their problems now. Quantifying the cost of inaction that each buyer faces in their own unique situation creates a sense of urgency that drives the sale forward. Sellers should then demonstrate a deep, empathetic understanding of these risks while painting a clear picture of how your solution helps buyers actively avoid potential losses.

It helps to categorize your benefits in customer-centric terms that center on the challenges they wish to solve. In most cases, you can group benefits into four categories:

  1. Cost Savings/Avoidance: How your solution can help reduce specific capital or operating expenses or potentially avoid future purchases (excluding labor and process-related expenses)
  2. Productivity/Process Improvements: How your solution can improve the productivity of specific workers or scale and streamline a process workflow
  3. Risk Avoidance: Reducing or avoiding business risks and reducing costs should the risk be realized
  4. Revenue Growth: Capturing revenue opportunities or avoiding potential revenue losses/challenges

Facilitate the Buyer’s Journey: Improve Win Rates and Shorten Sales Cycles

Buying processes have slowed with 55% of buyers indicating that the length of their buying journey has increased either “somewhat or significantly” to the tune of six to nine months. Even worse, on average, 4 out of 10 B2B purchase attempts end in “no-decision.” In these trying times, your sales champions face an uphill battle to drive a positive purchase decision.

Sellers have an opportunity to make the buyer’s journey easier. By sequentially delivering the right messaging, insights, financial justification, and differentiation, they can help their increasingly large buying committees reach a consensus faster and motivate prospects to say, “Yes!” With value messaging, tools, and training, your revenue teams can ensure that they engage in conversations at each stage of the buyer’s journey that will drive the deal in the right direction.

From Pitch to Purpose: Switch From Product-Led Sales Decks to Value-Based Stories

Research shows that effectively evolving your customer conversations from pitching products to selling with value leads to better differentiation and improved competitive win rates. Implementing the CLOSE methodology helps your sellers engage earlier with a more distinguished, value-led approach, ensuring they use the right content to have the right conversation with the right buyer at the right time. Moving beyond a traditional product pitch means leveraging your technology investments to improve value storytelling, demonstrate the cost of inaction, speed up sales cycles, and ultimately, win more deals.

See how you can instill and scale value-based storytelling across your sales team, and talk to one of our value experts today


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