Value based selling principles is where sales professionals focus on quality rather than quality when engaging with new sales prospects. If you use value based selling you focus on how the prospect wants to go about buying a product rather than sticking doggedly to your own plan. It’s a reflexive process that relies on the salesperson adopting a quality driven approach with a high degree of empathy for the customer.
Values based selling requires high quality training and a firm belief in the value of one’s product. As such it is best applied to premium quality products and services, although its principles can be used by any salesperson in any industry. That’s because the best practices can be used anytime, anywhere, by any business.
Applying values based selling principles usually occurs over five key stages. They all require emotional intelligence to be fully implemented. Throughout the sales process you must remember that you’re not just selling to a customer, you’re advising them of your company and product’s intangible value too.
Value driven sales questions – Define pain points (Stage 1)
In order to understand why your prospect needs a product, and how they want to go about buying it, you need to understand their pain points. Every salesperson has a repertoire of questions designed to reveal a prospect’s pain points but value based selling requires more. You need to exhibit a genuine interest in their decision making process.
Therefore, start with opening questions and statements that will build up rapport with your prospect like the following;
- ‘Tell me about the problems you’re having right now.’
- ‘What’s holding you back from meeting your goals?’
- ‘How would you describe your present priorities?’
Building rapport gives the prospect the feeling that they can control the flow of the sales process. You’ll come across as imparting value to the prospect rather than just trying to sell something to them for a quick sale. You’ll also learn information you can use to your advantage so you’ll be receiving something of value too.
Explore commitments and costs (Stage 2)
The next step is to identify your prospect’s budget and financial commitments. If they’re unable to provide an accurate estimate they’re not likely to be able to secure their company’s support for a deal, regardless of your enthusiasm. This helps ensure that you’re not wasting your time and it allows the prospect to realise the financial pain of maintaining the status quo to their detriment.
When the prospect realises the high cost of not using your product you then unleash questions that are designed to do two things. Firstly, draw their attention to parts of their pain they may not have realised existed without questions about their finances. Secondly, make sure you emphasise the value of your pain point cure by going into great detail about it’s fringe benefits like efficiency, ease of implementation etc. Don’t be afraid of pushing hard as a direct approach is often more effective than a subtle one.
Match solutions to pain points (Stage 3)
By the time you’ve identified your prospect’s pain points, as well as their financial needs and constraints, you then move on to identifying solutions to the pain points. It’s a good idea to plan this out in advance so that you can create a value oriented structure, which we’ll cover in a moment. There are two key aspects to this part of the process.
1) Create solution mapping – This is where you create a roadmap which shows how your product addresses each of the customer’s pain points. Go into detail as your methodology should not skip any details. Add things like training and discounts to ensure the prospect knows that their pain is valued.
2) Discern and extricate – When you’ve outlined your treatment for the pains then illustrate how your solution is better than your competitor’s. Then extricate your prospect from considering them. Focus on more than just the cost benefits of your product, emphasize your company’s value in areas like corporate environment, fringe benefits and philosophy.
Create a value orientated structure and methodology (Stage 4)
Value based selling principles depend on a well planned methodology and structure. Each stage of your pitch or sales process needs to map out the solutions for your prospects’ pain and how your product can provide them. Remember, you need to appreciate why your prospect needs the product.
Therefore your structure should have regular punctuation points where you stop and gauge where your prospect is at. You need to retain their attention and remind them of the value of your product and you can do that using the following techniques;
- Send multimedia content including statistics on your product.
- Breakdown your product’s key attributes.
- Ask them about training they’d be interested in participating in if it’s relevant to the product.
- Ask questions about a previous stage of the sales process to gauge their excitement.
The more excited the prospect is about the product the more they’ll remember from previous stages. Approach your pitch structure with creativity and you’ll inject tremendous value.
Instill value via positivity (Stage 5)
By this stage you have identified the prospect’s pain points, explored their commitments and constraints, identified how you’ll address said pain points and set up a structure that retains their interest. Now you continue the process by instilling positivity into your sales pipeline.
Regardless of the industry prospects may work in, almost all sales decisions are driven by emotion and not logic. Therefore it’s crucially important for you to ensure that your sales processes are driven by positivity, that they are enjoyable for all concerned. Levity does not distract from seriousness, far from it, it improves the efficacy of your pitch.
A positive attitude shows that you value your work, so make sure that during every stage of the process your approach is confident and friendly. Make jokes, ask personal questions about the prospect’s life, refer to films or television shows you might have in common. It’s remarkable just how big a contribution a healthy, positive attitude can make to sales.
Value based selling principles summed up
There are two different kinds of sales techniques at the end of the day. One based on quick transactions and limited follow up which require no great input on the salesperson’s part and valued based selling which requires strong principles on the part of the salesperson. This is because the value based selling process is so much more qualitative in nature.
When using valued based selling you need an overarching system that helps you control every aspect of the sales process. This system needs to be dedicated to customer engagement, able to control as many sales campaigns as required and have a proven track record of securing customers. If you’re looking for a sales process tool that matches these requirements you should invest in Revenue Engage.
Revenue Engage comes with an AI driven planning system to streamline the sales process and can be readily engaged with several other sales and inbox management systems created by the same company. With a rating of 4.8 on Appexchange, Revenue Engage is already becoming wildly popular with sales industry professionals and it’s easy to see why. It’s intuitive to use and will impart tremendous value into your sales process.
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