It’s no secret that sales teams can’t rely on the outdated “used car sales” approach if they want to achieve high performance. Today’s customers in almost every market have access to more information, more choices, and more autonomy than ever before—and this requires better sales skills and more strategic thinking.
To succeed in this environment, sales leaders must help their teams embrace value-based selling techniques.
What Is Value-Based Selling?
Value-based selling, in short, is a sales approach that focuses on communicating and delivering value to prospects and customers throughout their decision-making process. It requires salespeople to develop consultative skills, so that they can help customers make purchasing decisions based on the genuine value your solution will provide.
Value-based selling improves close rates, decreases sales cycles, and reduces price pressure. Customers who understand the value of your solution are less likely to push back on the cost, and more likely to invest sooner and at a higher level.
Here are 7 tips to help your sales reps develop their value-based selling skills.
In order to provide value to prospects, your salespeople must be experts not only in your products and industry, but the industry and specific challenges of your prospective customers as well.
Teach salespeople to do the appropriate amount of investigating before every communication touch-point they have with prospects. Their pre-call planning process should be thorough and something that never gets skipped.
You should also hold your reps accountable to stay up to date on the latest industry news and research.
Value-based selling begins with active listening. When salespeople talk more than they listen, they deny themselves the opportunity to learn what the prospect needs and how they want to be served.
Teach your reps to ask probing questions to uncover buyer needs and then to listen actively to the response.
3. Identify Pain Points
Pain is a prime motivator to action. Unless a buyer recognizes pain, they likely won’t see value in changing the status quo.
Teach your people to work to uncover the buyer’s pain points. Once those pain points have been identified, salespeople should help the prospect quantify the emotional and financial cost of that pain, so that they can clearly understand the value of solving it.
Using a 3-deep questioning strategy, the conversation with a prospect might go something like this:
Sales Rep: So, you’re having quality issues with your current supplier. How does that translate to your business?
Prospect: It’s delaying our delivery to stores because we need to return the damaged signs to our vendor.
Sales Rep: What impact does that have on your efficiencies and bottom line?
Prospect: We spend a lot of time, energy, and money negotiating the returns and tracking down deliveries. It’s cutting into our profit margin substantially.
Sales Rep: What would it mean to you to have guaranteed quality signage delivered on time?
Prospect: We really want to partner with a high-quality company that can deliver on time, every time. We spent over $5,000 last year alone on issues relating to returns.
4. Clarify the Solution
After the pain points have been clearly identified and quantified, reps can begin to design the most appropriate solution.
Teach your reps to take a consultative approach, listening carefully to the buyer’s needs and communicating how the specific solution will benefit them.
5. Quantify Value
With the pain quantified and a solution designed, the next step is for salespeople to quantify the value of the solution to the buyer.
Teach your reps to look at both the emotional and the financial value of the solution as related to the buyer’s pain and business need, and then to communicate that clearly to the prospect.
6. Always Be Providing Value
Value-based selling doesn’t start with the solution or stop with the close. It’s an ongoing process that should be top of mind for your reps at all points of the sales process.
Teach them to go into every prospect interaction with the intent to provide value, and the skills to do it.
7. Identify Buyer Behavior Style
Every prospect has a unique buying behavior style that leads them to make purchasing decisions. When your salespeople identify and adapt their approach to the prospect’s preferred style, they not only build trust, but they can communicate the true value of the proposition more effectively.
Buyers have many options to choose from, and they can often view talking with salespeople as an interruption. But when your team uses a buyer-focused, value-based selling approach, they gain trust early on and position themselves as strategic advisors, rather than product pushers.
IMPACT Selling is a 6-step sales process that helps salespeople connect with prospects and customers, identify wants and needs, and effortlessly guide the buyer towards the best solution. The award-winning system is now available in an eLearning format, IMPACT-U®.