What is Value Selling? Best Practices to Gain Buyers’ Trust

What is value selling?

Value selling is a sales methodology that focuses on the buyer and the value they receive by doing business with you. To do this, salespeople must take their company’s value proposition – the general promise it makes to the market – and quantity it at the individual level. They must effectively demonstrate exactly how much value their business can bring the buyer on a professional and personal level. Moreover, that value must be enough to motivate the buyer to change.

Sales professionals who are successful at selling value have a deep understanding of the buyer’s needs, thorough knowledge of the products offered and adapt their sales process to fit the potential customer. Instead of pushing flashy new features, the salesperson caters their approach to solve the buyer’s biggest problems and acts as a resource for industry insights and trends.

With value selling, sales professionals are so invested in creating mutual value from the client relationship that they continue to find new opportunities to help a business grow or improve. While the goal is always to increase sales, this method produces long-term trusted partnerships between sales professionals and buyers.

To start, let’s go over the most important element of value-based selling: deliberate questions.

High-value questions to ask buyers

According to Zendesk, “Conversational selling—where reps chat with prospects, as opposed to pitching” is such a successful tactic that, “top-performing sales reps ‘pitch’ their offer only 7 percent of the time.”

How are successful salespeople spending 93% of the conversation if they aren’t pitching their product? Listening to buyers and asking the right questions.

In fact, our own research supports this. When we asked leaders what skills set their top-performers apart, the second most valued skill was the ability to ask relevant questions and actively listen and engage with the prospect.

Here are five high-value questions to ask your next potential buyer:

  1. What is your biggest challenge?

Hearing a customer describe their current challenges not only gives you insight into how you can potentially close the sale but shows you where you can provide value. For example, your buyer says cross-team communication is their biggest issue, but they also describe team siloing across their organization. Now, you have a better idea of how to tailor your touch points to address both problems.

  1. How is your current solution not meeting your needs?

This question is helpful to figure out if your solution can address bigger buyer concerns. Not only does this provide valuable competitor data, but it can help you as a sales professional distinguish between whether or not your solution is the right fit for the buyer. If your product offerings can’t meet their needs, move on to other, high-quality leads.

  1. What are your goals for this project/solution/purchase?

Ask about your buyer’s specific goals and when they would like to complete them. Maybe the buyer is focused on purchasing a specific solution, but when talking about their goals, you learn that a different solution in your catalog would help them achieve those goals faster. You can provide value by helping educate them on why the second solution is a better choice and simultaneously build rapport by saving them time and buyer’s remorse.

  1. How much money/time/resources is this problem costing your business and your team?

Since we are using these questions to quantify the value you can provide, asking about wasted money, time and resources helps you show the buyer exactly how much your solution could possibly save them. This is a great question to help foster transparency in the buying process and help the salesperson build trust when they deliver on the quantified value.

  1. What will happen if you don’t move forward with a new solution?

The ultimate goal of value selling is to show enough value that it motivates the buyer to change their circumstances. Oftentimes, buyers avoid making a decision to reduce risk. Asking this question can help the buyer understand the downsides to the status quo and gives the salesperson another opportunity to add value.

What is The ValueSelling Framework®?

There’s five foundational components to the ValueSelling Framework that enable sales professionals to avoid pushing products and start selling the full value of their solutions.

  1. The Value Buying Process

This process empowers salespeople to craft their sales technique to how modern buyers want to buy.

  1. The Qualified Prospect Formula®

This formula enables salespeople to efficiently review crucial components of deals and avoid wasting time on unqualified leads.

  1. The ValuePrompter

This tool helps professionals improve their sales calls, manage their leads more effectively and help predict and close more deals.

  1. The O-P-C Questioning Process

O-P-C stands for open, probe, and confirm. This process is arguably the catalyst for closing great opportunities. Since the ValueSelling framework focuses on engagement with your potential buyer, this is an essential step to learn how you can provide and sell value.

  1. The Opportunity Assessment Tool

This tool helps sales professionals better evaluate potential deals and any issues that could stop a deal from closing.

How Value Selling Improves Sales Metrics

While value selling can improve multiple metrics across your organization, let’s focus on what specific KPIs a value selling methodology can improve:

  • Increased revenue: When customers find true value in your solutions, expect to see an increase in revenue. Instead of competing with multiple other companies in your industry, adopting a value selling technique can quickly set you apart from the competition leading to increased long-term revenue.
  • Increased average order sizes: Value selling showcases your salesperson as a trusted advisor making it much easier for a salesperson to suggest or offer additional solutions that would help the buyer. As a salesperson masters The ValueSelling Framework, they should see increased order sizes.
  • Faster sales cycles: Part of the value selling technique is being able to quickly determine which opportunities are worth pursuing and predict what obstacles might stop a buyer from making a decision. With both of those skills, salespeople can immediately see a shorter sales cycle by eliminating unnecessary steps and adding more value to the conversation.
  • Increased customer acquisition and retention: Not only will your improved reputation in the industry bring in more customers, but a value selling technique will improve customer retention. Instead of losing contact after a product sale is finalized, the customer’s expectation is already set that their salesperson is a trusted resource they can rely on throughout their professional journey.
  • Decreased “no-decision” opportunities: Every salesperson wants to eliminate as many “no-decision” opportunities as they can to improve their sales cycle. The easiest way to do this is by using the value selling methodology to continually qualify prospects and eliminate “no-decision” opps from their pipeline.

Value selling is crucial to increase revenue, order size and customer retention while shortening sales cycles and decreasing unqualified opportunities. By asking the right questions to buyers, sales professionals can use value selling to motivate their buyer to change.

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