Sales Training – Are You Selling Value or a Commodity?

January 25, 2014
Sales Training – Are You Selling Value or a Commodity?

Price is what you pay, Value is what you get – (Warren Buffett).

Hi and welcome back to my blog.

I am sorry for the late posting of this Blog. I was traveling to Almaty, Kazakhstan to facilitate a workshop for Samsung Electronics. The workshop is on Selling Value and how to develop a stronger value proposition. This is the top of this week’s Blog.

When interacting with your customers, are you selling a product, or are you selling what that product will do to make their lives easier? In other words, are you providing value?

The competitive environment for virtually all products now stretches to the far corners of the globe. Increasingly, companies that have enjoyed market dominance are experiencing the commoditisation of their offerings and find they are competing primarily on price.

This is particularly prevalent in the IT market, a server is a server is a server!!!. Some customers make their choice based on the lowest price, but what would happen if you transformed your sales approach from commodity-based to value-based. Here are some key lessons and recommendations for making the transformation happen.

at2Step 1: Identify key levers to impact the customer’s business.

Before going to sell a product, consider why your customers have to have it.

Step 2: Change the customer conversation.

Bringing a new insight to customers only matters if you and your salespeople can clearly articulate your offering’s value. In other words, why should your customers associate your product with their most pressing needs?

Step 3:  Commit to execution.

Of course, communicating value is very different than straight product sales, and it may initially be out of your sale teams comfort zone. That’s why reinforcement is critical. Ensure that the team doesn’t revert to the old and less effective techniques of selling on price. Have verifiable outcomes for salespeople, which are quality assessed by the manager.

Step 4: Measure, measure, measure.

Any radical transformation requires solid metrics that demonstrate success, so make sure that your team can measure why your business is better off because of value-selling.

Look at multiple business metrics, including concrete behaviour change in customer interactions, impact on the sales pipeline, and impact on the business as a whole.

Finally, once you have those stats on paper, don’t forget to share them. When leadership changes and/or new salespeople arrive, you will have to continually demonstrate why selling value is the right decision for your business.

Til’ the next time…. Andrew

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