You can’t offer your prospective customers a gold watch or a Lamborghini, but you can offer them something else valuable. Most prospects don’t really care about your company or your product, but they do care if you can help solve their problems and bring measurable value to their business. Unfortunately, too many reps start off conversations by talking about themselves – their company, their product, their features. This doesn’t work.
Reps need to think about offering real value to customers by solving pressing business problems in every conversation. Great sales reps focus on four ways to show customers the value they offer: Business, Financial, User, and Solution Value.
1. Business Value
The first step for sales reps is discovering what business problems are troubling customers, and offering them sound advice. The best sales reps are always helpful. Instead of pushing customers to buy, they offer advice and best practices for a customer’s business in their area of expertise. By showing how valuable their knowledge can be for the business, prospects will trust reps as a resource they can turn to.
Reps should zero in on a specific business challenge facing customers that their product can address, and offer a solution to it. You have to really demonstrate that you understand the customer’s problems, and prove that other companies successfully overcame similar situations thanks to your product. This is where you can show off your product’s capabilities, and the business value it can provide to the customer.
2. Financial Value
Sales reps must have a clear and detailed understanding of the financial benefits their product offers to customers. In other words, it’s all about the ROI and the literal, financial value – in dollars – your product provides to a business. Even if you have the best product on the market with great features and exciting functionality, if your pricing is awful you won’t close the deal. Leadership will never approve the spend unless they can see concrete proof of the ROI in the short term and the long term.
This requires that reps think like a CEO or CFO, looking at why anyone would want to invest in their specific product. Whether your company can offer reduced costs or increased productivity from employees, you need to identify your strong suits and justify the expense. Sales reps have to prove that for every dollar spent, their product will be worth it ten times over in concrete, financial value.
3. User Value
Even though they may not be signing the purchasing agreement, reps still want to get lower-level employees’ and end-users’ support for a new product. This means that reps don’t just have to appeal to CFOs and CEOs, they also need to think like managers and line-of-business users. How will your product benefit them?
If your product will make work easier, simpler, or faster for end-users, this is a great thing to emphasize to lower-level contacts. Though it’s not as vital to the deal as the ROI or business value, it does matter. Many leaders don’t want to purchase a new product without broad-based support across the organization. If end users love your product, they can push for the purchase internally and help you close the deal.
4. Solution Value
Once you have shown the customer that your product can solve a serious business challenge and is worth the money, you have to prove that you’re offering the best option on the market. Most companies are competing with others in the same industry or space, so they key is to identify a strong and convincing key differentiator. What does your product do better than anyone else that the customer just can’t live without?
Sales reps should look at the business closely and see how their product offers a solution to specific needs that no one else can meet. This requires deep knowledge of the competitive marketplace, and real analysis of your company’s solutions as well. Hopefully, you can show how you provide a greater solution value better than any other competitor and win the deal.
Once a potential customer can see the business value of a product, understands that your solution is the best option, and sees the ROI, you’ve overcome the biggest barriers to a sale. Your customer will be ready to sign the paperwork once you’ve fully shown them the sales value you bring to the table.