If your prospect didn’t have a problem that they were trying to solve, they wouldn’t be in the market for a new product or service. This gives you the opportunity to help them understand why what you offer is the solution to the problem, but to do that, you must be able to clearly communicate its value – far beyond the price tag.
This is gold standard for your sales enablement strategy.
For any Partner organisation, winning new business can feel like a never-ending challenge.
Partners tell us daily that they’re wasting time on unqualified leads, that they’re relying on current customers for new opportunities, and as a result are getting distracted by the need to find new lead sources. What they’d rather is to spend time converting more qualified leads (not qualifying them from the first touch), and they want their sales generated from a mix of existing customers and new business.
Salespeople need the ability to spend time with their highest probability prospects, and this means there is an expectation that the marketing team hands over leads that are already qualified and ready to buy.
We know that this is much easier said than done. Creating a funnel that drives a competitive offer is no easy feat – and requires a specific approach to how you structure and deliver content through each stage of your funnel.
So, what comes after first uncovering your customer’s Market Insight?
Selling outcomes, not solutions
How many times have you been in a sales conversation has ended with your customer or prospect screwing down (or at least trying to screw down) the price?
Many partner organisations feel that the only way to be competitive in the market is to have competitive pricing – whether passed through the vendor, or simply reducing margins. Second to this is skills in the business that you believe stand out from the rest. We’re here to tell you that price and skills are not your differentiator, and if you’re using those factors to sell your deals – that’s probably why you’re here today reading this article.
Price can only go so low before it’s not worth you even having the next sales meeting. And skills can be bought or grown to match the next person, so what else must we consider when trying to stand out from the 100s of other proposals, tenders, or SOWs in the pile?
3 reasons why your offer is not competitive
1.You’re focused on communicating reasons why your product or service is the solution
When we focus on the product or solution alone, we will almost certainly lose the customer’s attention. Instead, we must keep the customer’s attention by communicating the outcome of what they will get or see after engaging with you.
2. Inconsistent positioning
When your sales conversations turn into a price conversation, or you’re putting prices on the skills (people) that you have in the business, you create inconsistencies in the way you’re presenting your business to your potential customers. Where the project is outcome-driven, your position stays the same, every time.
3. Uncomfortable conversations
The biggest problem with driving a sale through on price is that the further you drive the price down to ‘win’ the deal, the lower the confidence from the customer that you can deliver on what’s agreed – to the benefit of both parties.
But if we fix these three mistakes and communicate value more effectively and earlier on, we can get the customer's attention up-front. This means guiding the customer through the deal, owning the conversation and sharing value at every stage of the sales cycle.
How to create your Value Sell™
At Partner Elevate we have created a process for Partners to uncover their Value Sell™. By considering these 6 key factors, you can better understand the true value of the solutions or services that you offer – beyond the numbers on your invoice.
Work through the below 6 sections in order to uncover your Value Sell™.
1. Solutions you sell
Think about the solution that you sell most often. This is probably one of your go-to solutions or offers that you would sell consistently to customers. It might be security, remote desktop, or productivity for example.
Next, identify at least two benefits of your solution to your client. To help support your benefit statements, do you have data to support you that shows tangible benefits the customer can expect to see after engaging with you?
2. Outcomes customers buy
Outcomes are specific and measurable statements that let your customer know when they have reached their goals. They describe specific changes in your customer’s knowledge, attitudes, skills, or behaviors that they should expect to see as a result of the implementation of your solution.
When writing outcomes, we must use the language that customers use. The more technical jargon we include in our outcome statements, the more distracted and lost your customer will get during your pitch. Consider verbs to describe your outcomes, such as improve, reduce, enable, or remove.
3. Industry point of view
In this section, we explain how the solution has been used by another customer. We want about 30 words that articulate how a customer took your solution and applied it to their industry to get the outcome they needed.
4. Economic Lens
Here, we are becoming more specific about our value sell. So, thinking about the customer you’re focusing on, we need to establish a benefit around an economic lens. Questions to ask might be -have they reduced costs by using or implementing your solution or product? Have they improved efficiency?
Here, we are looking for a tangible way to connect the economic benefit of implementing the solutions so we can help the customer realise that they can’t look for alternative ways.
5. Alternative ways
This is where we need to call out the other options the customer has. What we know is that there are a few things that get in the way of customer’s realising benefits. There are priorities across the business such as resources to consider when starting a new project – both time and financial resources, as well as staff and skills considerations.
There might not be time to implement the whole solution, or they might not be the time to realize all the benefits. Regardless, we want to be clear about the options they have that will help them make progress. This means identify the alternative ways for them to achieve those outcomes.
6. Impact of doing nothing
Clearly outlining the impact of doing nothing can be more impactful in explaining your solution than talking about benefits or outcomes. Tapping into the fear that your customer inevitably feels will create urgency for them to take action.
This about whether there is a risk of not implementing the solution or solving the problem they have. Perhaps there is an opportunity they might miss and get left behind the competition? Or the market will simply become more competitive for them if they do nothing.
Things to remember
Having a price-based conversation will reduce your perceived value to the customer.
If you don’t lead with value up front, or early on in the sale cycle, your customer will almost always begin the conversation based on price alone. But, by answering the above six questions, and using the insights to create your offer, you will be 10 steps ahead of your competition.
Ready to get started creating your competitive offer today?