To some sales and marketing professionals, Value Selling means “ROI Selling”—in other words, it means presenting the financial return of their solution to their customers.
However, when executives make investment decisions, ROI is just seen as a threshold. ROI— whether it is IRR, payback, NPV, EVA, or just simple ROI—is used as an indicator by financial executives to determine if an investment passes the minimum financial requirements of a corporation or institution; and if a solution would become a profitable investment for their company. But at the end of the day, and in most situations, the individuals that make investments decisions are business or technology executives—operational managers and executives that need to know more than the ROI of your solution.
Another misconception is that presenting the economic value of a solution is just one more tactic that can be used at the end of the sales process; and only if the customer needs help with the financial justification.
Value Selling— A Strategic or Tactical Practice?
Presenting the ROI of your solution can be a tactic to convince a CFO that your solution meets their financial requirements; however, value selling is more than an ROI calculation. Value Selling must be a process, and not just a report. In other words, Value selling is both—strategic and tactical.
Strategic Value Selling
A Value Selling Strategy for an opportunity must be part of a complete strategic sales plan. When your strategic sales plan identifies who is the key buyer (the person that will have the final decision for the particular solution that you are trying to sell to that account), your strategy must determine how you will reach and meet that person; as well as what type of value he/she is looking for (the ‘what’s-in-it-for-me); so you can prepare and be ready with the right value discussion and content. For example, you will need to be prepared with the right value creation content if that final decision-maker is the President of a company, versus a Facilities Manager. Your sales strategy and value selling effort for a new opportunity must be defined early in the sales process, in order to prepare the right solution value content, and be able to convince that final decision maker that your solution will create the type of value that he/she is looking for his/her company.
Additionally, if you sell complex technological solutions, you (jointly with your customer) must clearly identify your customer’s enterprise needs, before you determine the best solution scope. In other words, determining which of the products and services that your company offers will best meet the customer’s business needs; and what would be the best scope and implementation strategy for your customers, and for your company (i.e., a solution that is architected with the scope that is profitable to both, the vendor and the buyer).
Tactical Value Selling
Properly building a compelling business case—one that is built jointly with the customer—can be used to advance each and “all” stages of the sales process. Sales professionals need to be taught how each component or section of an effective Business Case can be used to maximize the chances of closing an order— from the beginning of the sales cycle, to present strategic value and alignment; to the closing stage, to convince the customer to move forward NOW!
…and remember: “Companies don’t buy —people buy”. And value means different things to different people.
The EVC framework from Glomark-Governan can be adopted and adapted by technology and service providers to implement (or enhance) an effective “strategic, as well as tactical” enterprise-level Value Selling practice. A practice that can help you achieve the maximum utilization of your existing ROI tools, and your existing sales methodology and training approach. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a demonstration on how we can assist you enhance and maximize your sales effectiveness; to meet your sales quota, and satisfy and retain your existing customers.