By Dan Corcoran, Chief Technology Officer, VP Sales Enablement at Mainstay
As a sales professional, one of the most important skills you can develop is the ability to communicate the value of your products or services to potential customers. Selling based on the value of your solutions, not just the price, will often yield more sales and better business results. But how do you go about doing this? And how can you position yourself as a trusted advisor to your customers?
In this article, we’ll explore five strategies for communicating business value in a way that is simple and effective, even if you’re not well-versed in value selling.
- Understand your customer’s needs
This time-tested strategy never goes out of date. The best way to sell your products and services is to get to know your customers. What are their pain points? What problems are they trying to solve? These are the fundamental issues you should discover right at the start of your relationship.
Be sure to find out their goals and objectives – that is, what business outcomes are most compelling to your prospect. For example, are they trying to control their capital expenses? Or perhaps they have a more specific aims, like reducing Mean Time to Resolution for IT tickets. Use this knowledge to position your product or service as a solution to their problems.
- Focus on outcomes, not features
It’s easy to tout the cool features and functions of our products, but most customers are looking for something that moves the needle on the business. You’ll get more traction by focusing on the outcomes that your solution enables, rather than just the features that help enable those outcomes.
Describe the benefits of the solution in terms that tie back to the pain points or problems you’ve identified in your initial discussions with the customer. That way, you will talk about the value of the solution in the context of your prospect’s pain. For example, instead of talking about the features of your software, talk about how it can save your customer time, increase their productivity, and improve their bottom line.
- Use stories and examples
Humans are wired for storytelling, so using stories and examples is a powerful way to communicate the value of your product or service. Share success stories of how your product or service has helped other customers achieve their goals. Use case studies and testimonials to demonstrate the value of your offering in a tangible way. Showing prospects how companies like themselves are successfully using your solution can often tip the balance in your favor.
- Objectively quantify your value proposition
Quantifying value makes it measurable and adds credibility to your narrative. This also allows you to position yourself as a trusted advisor to your customer, and thus better communicate the value of your product or service.
To quantify your value proposition, you’ll need to take the time to understand your customer’s needs, offering unbiased advice, and helping them make informed decisions. It also means being transparent and honest in the way you quantify value. Make sure customers understand any assumptions you’ve made on their behalf and how these assumptions impact the value you’ve calculated.
The more you can engage your client and get them to participate in collecting the underlying assumptions and data used to quantify your value proposition, the more you will position yourself as a trusted advisor – and the closer you’ll be to your next sale.
- Empower your client
Salespeople won’t always have access to all of the decision makers in an organization. You need to make sure that your messaging is delivered to the right audience in the right way. Involve your direct prospect in the creation of your business case or value proposition in a way that gives them greater ownership of the assumptions and benefits used to justify value.
Finally, be sure to arm your prospect with a business case that includes all of the quantifiable justification and narrative context of your value proposition in one concise document. Don’t rely on your prospect to communicate for you.
Selling with value
Using these simple but powerful strategies can help you get better at communicating value to your customer so you can close more deals faster. Even better is having a powerful tool to help you build credible business cases and ROI calculations quickly and efficiently, allowing you to arm for your entire sales organization for success.
Mainstay’s cloud-based Advisor platform delivers value tools and calculators that bolster your business case and help you build executive summaries that communicate your value proposition for your prospects and their stakeholders. To learn more, or to try our new Advisor value calculator, click here or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.