By Mark Boundy
Don't Just Sell Value. Live It.https://c-suitenetwork.com/advisors/wp-content/themes/csadvisore/images/empty/thumbnail.jpg 150 150 Mark Boundy Mark Boundy https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/fda1708afcd4681826f4fb12f56401d9?s=96&d=mm&r=g
Selling value is more widespread than most think…and at the same time, more narrowly practiced than it should be.
“Selling Value” isn’t just the domain of sales methodologies with variations of that term in a sales training course title. Most selling methodologies I’ve ever come across implicitly sell value whether they use that term or not. All of those in the “needs satisfaction” family, and even some in the “tricky conversational box-building” school of selling, help sellers to connect aspects of their offer to a gap experienced by a customer. Full disclosure: I work with Miller Heiman Group, whose skills and methodology offerings build a value connection with a customer’s solution image extremely effectively throughout the selling process.
As pervasive as a seller-centric emphasis on value is, it falls short. I was exposed to the concept of creating customer value before I’d even heard before I started carrying a bag and was coached to “sell the value”. As a Product Manager, I developed new products to provide specific unique value to customers. I certainly collaborated with my company’s sales professionals. I, and everyone who contacted a customer — even many who didn’t –maintained our primary focus on what each customer valued, then worked hard to provide it.
Here’s the Mind Shift
When I say that selling value is almost always performed too narrowly, I mean:
Stop selling value only as a sales methodology
Especially in today’s complex B2B world, the arc of the customer experience is slivered into contacts with a multitude of organizations/roles in your company: Marketing, sales development, inside sales, outside sales, application engineering,/technical sales, underwriting, account management, implementation teams, customer success managers, account managers, customer service, technical support, billing/accounts receivable…and more, I’m sure. Every touchpoint with your customer represents a human connection with some aspect of customer value. As a sales performance professional, I can guarantee you that your sellers have only a tunnel-vision view into the full arc of customer value that your company creates with any customer.
Knowing this, how crazy is it to assume that the only group whose job it is to gather information on value..and then sell it.. is your sales force?
It gets worse. How crazy is it to use customer value only to sell? A huge resource goes untapped when (only) sales fails to carry value insights back to those in product/service design, product management, shipping, servicing, manufacturing, logistics, purchasing, scheduling, etc. I have lived a corporate culture where customer-perceived value is the pervasive mantra.