The seller who best clarifies the problem, earns the customer. The primary benefit of value-based selling, as opposed to product-focused selling, is the ability to solve customer problems without resorting to product commoditization.
If your sales process isn’t grounded in customer problems, your opportunities aren’t likely to capture the true value of the solution provided.
Here are five reasons why...
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1. Buyers Need Evidence Their Pain is Understood
In the sales process there should be a direct correlation between the buyer’s pain and a solution that it will address that pain. Without business pain, there is no business. Equally important, buyers who believe that their pain is clearly understood will be more willing to share critical information throughout the buying process and will work harder to understand the solution being presented.
2. There is Limited Access Within the Buyer’s Organization
Failure to fully understand how a buyer’s pain is directly related to needs higher in the organization can narrow a seller’s sphere of influence to a limited number of key stakeholders. If your salespeople can’t attach their solution to the largest business problem, it limits access to economic buyers who control discretionary funding, reducing support for the proposed solution.
3. The Solution is Perceived as Expensive
Focusing on a laundry list of irrelevant product features creates an impression that the solution is more than the buyer needs, and therefore, more expensive. Remember, the value of the solution is in the eyes of the buyer, not the seller.
4. The Customer Has Difficulty Differentiating Between Competitive Offerings
When customers can’t differentiate between multiple competitive offerings; they often assume that all of the solutions are similar in value. This perception reduces the decision to the lowest common denominator: price. Sellers who fail to introduce relevant differences early in the sales cycle miss a fleeting opportunity to influence the buying criteria.
5. The Value Proposition is Not Clearly Understood
This final challenge occurs when internal sales resources aren’t aligned around a common sales approach that clearly articulates and delivers the company’s value proposition. This lack of alignment leads to sales cycle inefficiencies, customer confusion, and brand dilution in the marketplace.
If your numbers are behind this quarter, your sales team could be struggling with optimizing value and differentiation throughout the sales process. Ensure your sales team has the ability to uncover customer needs, articulate value, and differentiate solutions in their sales conversations and throughout the buying process.
Rachel Clapp Miller is the Assistant Marketing Director at Force Management. Force Management specializes in sales transformations that help B2B sales organizations increase revenue, improve sales margins and gain market share. Follow them on Twitter: @ForceMGMT and on LinkedIn.