In markets where the products are pretty much homogenous, selling on value is recognised as the key differentiator between the winners and the losers.
“Value has to be actively sold to create the perception it exists as value can’t experience it until the product, service or solution is bought”
‘Perception is reality’ by Jan Hall
Value creation starts with marketing
Marketing deliver value by pretty much wrapping up a product or service with a business theme to create a value proposition, and the sales enablement tools and collateral to support each proposition. (more about whether these are really value propositions in future blogs)
When you get into sales, the sharp end of customer value creation, the focus on actual customer value creation can get lost in chasing down opportunities.
The simple answer is that sales is a short-term game.
However selling short-term usually means selling on price, which is an ever decreasing spiral down to low margins and little customer loyalty.
A salesperson is only assessed on their sales/revenue performance in a 12 month period, not on their value creation for customers skills.
“Sales don’t perceive the value in selling value.” So how do organisations start to turn product selling to value selling?
Selling on value can be hard, and sales need time to understand how and when to do it – often time they just don’t have. So the focus goes back to marketing. They need to see delivering value propositions and sales enablement into sales, as not stopping once the briefing has been completed and the intranet pages published. That’s the start of the process of enablement and activation.
Enabling and activating value selling is just like activating any new habit. It needs commitment, focus and translation so that it delivers ‘something. Something I, as a salesperson, can perceive the value in investing my time into, and become better at; something I can use straight away – relevant, accessible, digestible and something that is front of mind so that I don’t forget to use it’.