Over the last 12 to 18 months, shaky economic conditions have created a market fraught with hesitancy. What’s more, buyers are experiencing paralysis by analysis due to countless options and huge quantities of information.
Deals are stalling at best and falling through at worst: 56% of prospective customers who initially expressed interest in making a purchase say they hit a wall due to indecision. Buyers are being subject to an immense amount of scrutiny for every new purchase — in some cases, approvals are being escalated all the way up to the C-suite.
Value Is The New Currency
When purse strings are tight, approvers only speak one language: value. Any new tool must be proven to drive outcomes — better yet, they should be outcomes that are both calculated and defined. The economic outlook on 2024 is still foggy, and while there’s hope for inflation to cool, caution is still the norm — and sellers need to act accordingly.
Instead of presenting buyers with a laundry list of features and benefits – which quickly becomes overwhelming – value must be at the forefront. Sellers must weave a value story. demonstrating everything that potential customers have to gain and helping them envision their future success.
Fool’s Gold: Where Value Programs Fall Short
While many sales leaders tout the promise of value selling, too few are able to enact change within their teams. A mere nod to value selling isn’t enough to win over hearts and minds; this approach needs to be intrinsically woven into your sales strategy and the ways your sellers collaborate with buyers. Here are a few tell-tale signs that your value selling program is only scratching the surface and not adequately equipping your sellers to move the needle on buyer sentiment:
- You have only one slide dedicated to value in the sales pitch deck
Just one slide isn’t enough to effectively communicate the nuanced and specific ways in which the product or service adds value to the customer’s business.
- Your value tools live in spreadsheets … that aren’t adopted by sellers
Raise your hand if you love spreadsheets. Yeah, I didn’t think so. Complicated spreadsheets are overwhelming and (let’s just say it) ugly. To put it simply, spreadsheets undermine your value selling strategy. They make it difficult for buyers to grasp the key benefits and therefore dampen the effectiveness of the value assessment.
- Your sellers are overly reliant on value engineers
Value engineers play an important role in closing deals, but if sellers lean on value resources too much there’s a high likelihood they can’t articulate the value themselves. Every seller must be able to connect the dots and tell a value-centric story.
What High Performers Do Differently
In the current economic environment, it seems like buyers are looking for any excuse to walk away from deals. To overcome this, you have to instill confidence. Confident sellers beget confident buyers, and one of the best ways to instill that confidence is to arm them with content and tools that place value front and center.
The proof is in the pudding: according to our research, high-performing organizations are 19% more likely to adopt value selling strategies compared to low performers and 38% more likely to incorporate business value assessments into their sales cycle. What’s more, according to Gartner, the top-ranked confidence boosters among buyers are value assessments and business cases.
Demonstrating value is what instills confidence. It’s what combats buyers’ remorse. It’s what gets the C-suite to “yes.” It’s how the Databricks team increased their win rate by 6X. With a consumption-based pricing model, Databricks sellers have to be able to clearly articulate the value of their solutions with a highly technical buyer. Using Mediafly’s value tools, they’ve been able to equip sellers with tools to accomplish just that and saw their win rates skyrocket as a result.
Uplevel Your Value Selling Strategy
As you consider how to refine your sales strategy to align with current market needs and deepen your focus on value, here are a few key points to keep in mind.
Place value at the heart of your process
In today’s economy, the best products pitched by the best sellers aren’t necessarily a guaranteed win. With finance and procurement being roped into buying decisions early and often, sellers must be able to articulate clear justification – financial and otherwise – to support the purchase.
Underpin value with content management
The most effective value selling strategies are coupled with smart content management. A unified platform puts tools for success at sellers’ fingertips, and gives organizations the ability to track how value tools are being used by both your sellers and their buyers.
Take a programmatic approach.
Like any business initiative, value selling requires ongoing analysis, optimization, and enhancement. Leverage analytics to ensure adoption, pinpoint successful tactics, and coach your teams on how to use value tools to win more and often.
This is the fourth installment in our series breaking down the research and insights from our State of Revenue Enablement report. Stay tuned for our next post which will explore the revenue tech stack, or check out our previous posts: