CROs, CSOs, Solution Consultants and Sales Ops leaders face myriad priorities in the best of times: hiring and retaining top talent, managing pipeline effectively, selecting the best sales tech stack and methodology, and engaging productively cross-functionally. In today’s landscape, marketing budgets and priorities are shifting dramatically, and remote hiring, on-ramping, and managing are new norms in a virtual environment, changing the stakes overnight. It’s more important than ever to enable critical sales skills for disruption and recovery.
There is good news though! Your team can access low hanging fruit that will quickly propel your sales and marketing teams’ ability to identify, advance, and close deals: a quality VALUE SELLING PLATFORM.
The merits of value selling are proven. It creates a mutual understanding of how your company can help solve prospects’ critical business problems. But actually implementing and consistently delivering a value selling approach requires technology that can bring it to life across the entire sales ecosystem to help the customer through that process.
An average of 11 individual stakeholders are involved in a B2B purchase, and that number can occasionally flex up to nearly 20. An influx of information to inform a purchase decision adds to its complexity.” Source: 2019 Gartner Buyer Survey
A value selling platform enables all your sellers to better discover, quantify, and present quantified customer outcomes. It offers intuitive collaboration tools and data capture that can integrate into your CRM and marketing automation systems. With the customer at the center, sellers collect prospect data, automate value presentations, and insert key problem/ solution or cost/ value insights into your branded marketing and sales materials, moving away from transactional B2B sales to true consultative, value-based selling..
Here are 3 strategic business imperatives a good Value Selling Platform can easily and quickly address right now that will positively affect your bottom line:
1) Superpower Your Current Sales Methodology:
Whether you invested in Challenger, Solution Selling, MEDDIC, NEAT or another sales methodology, you did so to grow revenue at scale. But without consistent use across the enterprise, the effectiveness of any sales methodology is diminished. Not everyone is great at the methodology, some use it more than others, some never use it.
According to a survey by MetaCX and Revenue Collective, “Value Engineering Teams Make a Big Difference in Sales Methodology Effectiveness.”
Value engineers create compelling logic that is hard to disagree with, using value calculations to engage prospects and customers in financial discussions around specific issues that drive business margin. Respondents of the MetaCX survey say these teams make a substantial difference in the perception of sales methodology impact, “with a 13-point difference in reported effectiveness when a formalized value engineering team exists.”
BUT value engineering teams are resource-intensive, and not everyone has the advantage of a formalized function in place. And if there is one, they often focus only on the bigger deals or are overstretched.
Enter the Value Selling Platform, which empowers existing sales, services, marketing, and customer success teams to anchor to a uniform set of logical questions and language about the financial and operational impact of your product or service to a customer’s specific business need. It also supercharges your value engineering efforts (if you have a person or team in place.)
An effective Value Selling Platform enables all sales reps to sell on value, versus price, and does so within the context of your existing sales methodology in a simple way.
2) Deliver Actual Personalized Buying Experiences and Win More Deals:
Cross functional teams interact with the same customer at various stages of the buying cycle. By nature, this makes delivering consistent, seamless, personalized buyer experiences a rare occurrence. You know this: B2B buyers want B2C experiences and they want to work with sales teams and organizations who really understand their business. The entire ecosystem must collaborate to win.
The Salesforce 3rd Annual State of Sales Report reveals, “To win at selling, sales professionals must help customers to win too, by fostering a discussion that uncovers their needs and then proposing solutions that best fit them.”
A good Value Selling Platform creates consistent experiences throughout each stage of the buyer journey by blending existing current sales methodology, sales workflows, and marketing content seamlessly into an elegant value script for everyone. Collaboration happens at each stage that includes the customer and unlocks siloed data across your systems of record. That ability to connect, update and access data across the entire customer journey is, in fact, what really drives the personalized, superior buyer experience:
“Putting the right data-driven tools in place helps sales capture a 360-degree view of your customers—and act fast and effectively on crucial opportunities. At the same time, these innovations can allow sales account teams and leadership to collaborate seamlessly together—and ultimately win.” COVID-19 The New B2B Sales Landscape – Accenture
The right Value Selling Platform is exactly that type of innovative data-driven tool to improve not only the buyer’s experience but your entire team’s ability to keep the conversation focused on customer outcomes, collaborate, and win deals.
3) Ground Customer Relationships in Value for Retention and Growth
Strong Value Selling Platforms help prospects mature in their understanding of how your services and offerings uniquely unlock value for their business as they go through the buying cycle. Accumulated quantitative and qualitative data, gathered and updated by sales teams in CRM systems as the buyer progresses, becomes a steady stream of “aha” moments the buyer not only participates in, but enriches. While the buying experience is made seamless via streamlined collaboration across functions, the customer’s understanding of specific use cases and financial impact to their business improves; giving them the ability to articulate rationale for purchasing. Now, your relationships begin and mature based on clear and aligned expected outcomes, and success is measured to that criteria. Additionally, your ability to pivot when needed increases so you can better retain and grow business.
With the right platform, sales teams automatically elevate discussions beyond features and benefits and can demonstrate your unique value proposition in a compelling way from the get-go. Value then directs everything – from pricing and implementation to service and relationship health and renewals.
When a business’ value proposition aligns with its customer, its closing rate speed increases up to 15% and its closing ratio improves by between 30% and 44%. Get it right and you’ll be converting value into compelling new reasons for your customer to buy from you.” Colleen Francis Owner, Engage Selling Solutions
Not all Value Selling Platforms are created equal. The key is to choose one that can simply and consistently connect the dots across your existing sales stack to communicate value. More important, it must be easy to adopt. You can pull together some data and value calculation formulas in a spreadsheet and try to do it yourself. But you still must train your sales teams how to use it, where to store inputs, and figure out how to integrate that into your sales methodology and into your systems of record. Even with a value team, this is ambitious and less likely to accelerate and close more deals for your day-to-day sales teams. In short, harder to scale.
What to look for:
A reputable Value Selling Platform provider works with you to “start from where you are,” whether that is a fully developed model and spreadsheet of data, a data point or two, ground zero, or somewhere in between. From there, they help you build out the entire model approach/calculations to fit your business, set up and deploy the applications and tools your sales and marketing teams will use, and then quickly enable. Then, all teams are prepared to ask the questions that drive value stories for your prospects and customers.
VisualizeROI, a groundbreaker in the Value Selling software platform space since 2012, has an impressive client list including Palo Alto Networks, TriNet, Verizon, Allstate, LaunchDarkly, Vivun, Tipalti, and more…. We recently shortlisted them for a leading SaaS company with an existing ROI model who needed a sophisticated, easy to use platform that could seamlessly integrate into multiple data sources and CRM platforms, and one that would strengthen solution selling performance.
We found some strong performers in our research. VisualizeROI stood out for their strength in enabling true 360-degree value selling and customer experience throughout every stage of the buyer journey::
- Dynamic and interactive lead gen, and nurturing through maturity tools in terms of output materials (pain calculators, ROI and TCO tools) – this helps simplify education for the prospects and buyers.
- Excellent prospecting workflows for automatic, compelling content that helps increase conversions.
- Aided discovery solution that ensures sales reps capture proper data during discovery and sync this to CRM systems.
- Collaboration tools to increase buyer “ownership” of the story with strong value messages and multi-year quantification.
- Channel collaboration capability with channel branded UI to enable scale via channel sales.
- Automated customer success tools for value realized to avoid churn and grow business.
- Robust self-service capabilities, enabling value practitioners to deploy models and rich PowerPoint or GoogleSlides presentations in their platform easily
- Impressive analytics
Across capability, integration, development, implementation, and ongoing administration, VisualizeROI demonstrated they could quickly stand up a platform that was unique to the business, which sells to multiple verticals, geographies, and personas. Backed by a team of value practitioners, product marketers, sales professionals, product managers, and technology architects from leading Fortune 500 software and consulting companies, their expertise and approach were impressive.
As you search for a Value Selling Platform, it is important to have a clear view of where your sales cycles are slowing down, where the gaps are in your ability to sell value and retain customers, and the available data you have with which to start value calculations. A platform like VisualizeROI will guide and help you build the right value selling tools to help ensure you hit the mark for better performance from your sales methodology, strengthen customer relationships, consistently demonstrate your unique value, and improve retention and growth.