Whether they're seasoned pros or fresh faces in the game, here's the catch – most of them get caught in the same old trap. They keep on pushing their products – focused on product-selling instead of transitioning and differentiating through value-selling.
AVOIDING THE TRAP
They perpetuate the mistaken belief that success hinges on their products and services alone. They become focused with the intricacies of their offerings, the latest features, or the most competitive pricing. In doing so, they risk losing sight of what truly matters — fundamentally understanding the value that they deliver to their ideal clients, and in ways that are better, different, or unique to the alternatives. More importantly, this value should be identified through the client’s lens, not theirs.
Another prevalent misstep they make is attempting to sell to a broad and weakly-defined audience. The notion that reaching more people will translate into increased sales can lead to a relentless pursuit of silver-bullet marketing strategies or excessive email campaigns. Most of which do not yield good enough results.
Whether your business operates as a marketplace, an e-commerce platform, or deals in pioneering healthcare solutions, next-gen financial instruments, or disruptive technologies, you need a sales process tailored to fit your circumstances, and how your customers buy and decide. After that, you can decide and shape how you respond and satisfy the needs and individual journeys of all relevant internal stakeholders in your Buyer’s organization at every touchpoint they have with your company.
ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL APPROACHES ARE INNAPROPRIATE
At the core of value-selling, you need to see beyond your customers’ needs. You must understand how your product or service ultimately helps them to solve pains or create gains.
In other words: the problems it eliminates, or risks it mitigates, what new opportunities it helps create, or new results it helps enjoy. I call these your Buyer’s P.R.R.Os.
People buy for their reasons, not yours. Getting to your Buyer’s PRROs is simple, yet extremely difficult. There are 2 main reasons why: first, your Buyer may not even know what they are. Two, they certainly don’t want to fix or enjoy every pain or gain. They live with the status-quo in many ways and so, it becomes harder to successfully diagnose and discover the PRRO’s your client can truly commit time, effort and investment into solving or pursuing.
You need to develop what I believe is the most critical hard-skill behind the ‘magic’ in selling – discovery. The ability to diagnose your client’s PRROs through intelligent questioning and active listening.
IN SELLING, SOFT SKILLS AND HARD SKILLS ARE INTRINSICALLY CONNECTED
The transition towards value-selling requires honing both of them. The practical aspects of sales, such as prospecting, discovery, presentation, and negotiation, underline your Go-To-Market approaches, productivity, structure, and strategy. However, it's the soft skills that drive behaviour and competence.
The ability to actively listen, empathize, build rapport, communicate effectively, and ask intelligent questions are the cornerstones of the value-selling transformation. It begins with every person’s mindset and permeates throughout every action and reaction.
Companies that are committed to innovating and modernising their sales team’s activity are integrating both perspectives into their commercial training programs are enjoying significant improvements all-round.
They are succeeding at transforming the element of ‘luck’ in closing new deals into a predictable revenue engine and commercial activity.
Leaders pioneering client-centric cultures are also re-structuring the organization itself, re-shaping commercial teams and developing more targeted tactics, eliminating the ‘spray-and-pray’ approach from their customer-facing teams, including sales, marketing and support.
They realise there are diminishing returns to simply ‘throwing’ technology to issues, and keep a firm focus on the basics, empowering their commercial teams to achieve behaviour-change through carefully designed sales training programs that employ a smart and tailored combination of hard and soft skills, to efficiently modernise their activity and approach.
TALKING A 'GOOD GAME' IS NOT ENOUGH
We live in the world of ‘show-me’, not ‘tell-me’.
Sellers must learn how to differentiate, and communicate, position, and deliver value in every interaction with their Buyer. Do this with behaviour as well as knowledge and competence, and you will win the highly sought-after business of your buyer.
Feel free to contact me for more insights. Always happy to discuss and brainstorm ideas that will help your organization transition its people, structure, strategy, and culture to value and client-centric selling.