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Selling to Value Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

Selling to Value

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.


Selling to Value (S2V) refers to a distinct approach to selling that focuses on aligning your offering to the business value it creates for the customer. This approach requires the sales practi­tioner to develop an ever-e­xpa­nding mindset and skill set—and it requires a commitment to a purpose that goes beyond self-i­nterest to include both the interest of the individual customer and the interests of that customer’s business organi­zation.

S2V needs to be considered in all aspects of the sales process: prospe­cting, qualif­ying, contac­ting, proposing, and closing a sales opport­unity. But Selling to Value has the greatest impact on how a salesp­erson discovers needs. Discov­ering needs is at the very heart of the selling to value relati­onship.

Discovery for Selling to Value - S2V

In a recent study of buying execut­ives, 94% indicate that they want salesp­eople to engage them in a business impact discus­sio­n—but those same executives indicate that only 19% of salesp­eople are effective in this regard.

This gap between what buying executives want and what they get is driven by three critical elements:
1. The Intention of the Salesp­erson
2. The Science of Creating Value
2. The Art of Asking the Next Question

The Science of Value Creation

The Business Needs Identi­fic­ation approach provides an organizing structure to guide the explor­ation of how the customer organi­zation produces value. The company’s ability to produce value for its customers is influenced by five major elements.

1. Market

Conver­sations with customers begin with exploring the market in which the customer organi­zation competes. The value produced by the customer organi­zation is always best understood from the perspe­ctive of the market, its customers, and its compet­itors.

S2V involves exploring market trends and helping the customer organi­zation to exploit opport­unities that arise from a growing market or to minimizing the effects of a contra­cting market.

2. Strategy

The conver­sation about market forces flows naturally into an explor­ation of how the customer organi­zat­ion’s strategy addresses their market and produces a compet­itive advantage. Questions about their source of compet­itive advantage and their Critical Success Factors (CSFs) dominate S2V discus­sions to determine their long-term goals and resource alloca­tion.

Business Nees

3. Structure

The customer organi­zat­ion’s strategy cannot be implem­ented unless the organi­zat­ion’s structure is aligned to execute that strategy. With a solid picture of market conditions and current strategy in place, the conver­sation easily flows into a discussion of the customer organi­zat­ion’s ability to execute the strategy.

4. People

There is a reason payroll is the single largest business expense: people drive the business forward. Efforts to implement a new strategy require the engage­ment, not just cooper­ation, of the people in the organi­zation.

5. Business Metrics

Underlying all the other components are the customer’s business metrics. Knowing what metrics are most important for the customer organi­zation helps you understand how they measure and track their own value production and how they will track the perfor­mance of your solution. S2V requires salesp­eople to become fluent in the way customers talk about and measure their own success.

Practicing the Art & Science of Discovery

In the past, the customer had limited access to product inform­ation, and a simple needs-­based approach to selling worked fine for both the salesp­erson and the customer. Today, the customer has already shopped extens­ively before agreeing to meet with a salesp­erson. Customers are looking for something more than an explan­ation of features; they are looking for a new perspe­ctive on how best to move their business forward. They are looking for insight and a new perspe­ctive on market trends and compet­itive positi­oning.