Using Value Selling to Stay Afloat in Turbulent Economic Waters
When it comes to the economy, who wouldn’t welcome a crystal ball to help navigate operational decisions? In an economic downturn, companies scrutinize and reduce budgets, and buying committees examine B2B purchases in minute detail.
By 2026, 65% of B2B sales organizations will transition from intuition-based to data-driven decision-making. To confidently recommend or justify a purchase decision, buyers must understand the quantifiable value your SaaS solution offers. Enter value selling. Quantifying value empowers teams to highlight business challenges and show how their SaaS product can resolve them.
But companies must provide their teams with the tools and methodologies to effectively communicate value to customers — and they must start now. Not only do their customers benefit, but SaaS companies benefit, too, with shorter sales cycles, higher average order values, improved win rates and greater customer satisfaction.
The Power of Value Selling
Value selling gives buyers the confidence to purchase your products or services. Why? Because value-based selling quantifies and communicates your value — rather than highlighting your capabilities.
When sellers adopt value selling, they adopt a more consultative approach. Instead of pitching products, sales teams work to uncover their customers’ pain points and, more importantly, speak to how their products can resolve those specific challenges.
A data and AI company in the tech sector recognized the importance of proving ROI and value instead of relying strictly on templated presentations and materials. The company implemented a value selling practice using a combination of storytelling and tools to communicate projected and realized value to prospects and customers pre and post-sale.
By quantifying business value across the entire customer journey via personalized insights, more effective visuals and actionable data, the company was able to dramatically increase its win rate.
The new value-based selling practice empowered the value acceleration team to:
- Gain C-suite buy-in and alignment on the importance of value.
- Generate belief and trust in the presale stage because this approach gives customers confidence in their decision-making processes.
- Increase conversions with compelling stories showcasing qualitative value and numbers that speak for themselves.
- Increase renewals, upsells and cross-sells by proving realized value to existing customers
Using value selling
With global economic growth predicted at only 2.1% in 2023, value selling proves even more vital. So, how do you get started?
1. Create a framework.
Understand your unique value proposition in the context of your customers’ challenges. After all, you can’t prioritize customer needs if you don’t know what they are. Become a trusted resource for your customers — and that starts by empowering them to communicate their current situation, goals and the solutions they hope to find. If you jump into your sales pitch immediately, you risk losing critical insight into how — and where — you can best provide value. Use that insight to position your product more effectively to make the sale.
Offer use cases or case studies of similar companies you’ve helped in the past. Offering reference points — or data — showing how your solution generates more revenue, streamlines operations or reduces costs empowers sales teams to deliver a compelling, concrete value proposition.
2. Don’t sell. Teach.
Storytelling is an effective strategy for communicating value to customers and prospects. Create a challenge-based narrative and take an education-first approach. This establishes you as the expert and go-to resource for more information — and that builds trust.
3. Add value during every interaction.
Align sales and marketing to deliver consistent value messaging throughout the customer journey. Create sales content focused on the challenges that cost customers time, efficiency and money. Impactful messaging and insights:
- Convince key stakeholders to trust your company.
- Enable sales teams to engage earlier.
- Speak to your product or service’s value.
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Sales teams can take several different value-based approaches — qualitative, financial, and differentiation.
Here’s a hypothetical situation: A manufacturing company’s CEO expresses frustration about communication lapses with management. The SaaS representative’s company sells a platform designed to offer comprehensive visibility into project management.
The rep could take a qualitative approach by showing the CEO how the platform facilitates communication (and thus reduces headaches or potentially costly mistakes). If the rep took a more financial value-based approach, he or she might cite other case studies where similar manufacturing companies implemented the platform and saw financial gains or lower operating costs.
A differentiation example might instead show how other manufacturing companies not using these platforms run into cost issues and manufacturing delays. This approach would highlight how the CEO’s company would realize more efficient production, which could help drive industry expansion.
Value selling tools enable a customer-centric approach
If marketers want to give their customers a self-service, interactive and value-based content experience, they have several tools at their disposal. Interactive marketing tools embedded on your website(such as capability maturity assessments and benefit estimators) help prospects and customers early in their buying journey learn, in real time, how your solutions resolve their pain points.
You help them identify their specific challenges and the potential savings they generate, before inviting them to share their contact information to learn more and, eventually, become qualified leads. Marketers can share insights on those pain points with the sales teams.
Sales teams can use value tools including ROI and TCO sales tools to gain deeper insights into customers’ pain points and facilitate more relevant, personalized conversations with potential buyers. Illuminating pain points — and the cost of opting for the status quo — creates a sense of urgency and can help differentiate your products or services in a crowded market.
Existing customers are more valuable than new logos because it costs far less to market and sell to them — an incredible value during economic instability. Many SaaS companies depend on monthly or annual renewals, so when you talk to prospective customers, don’t discount the importance of using realized value tools to show precisely how much your current customers have already benefited from your solution.
When you focus on selling value and deprioritize price or feature-driven narratives, you direct your customers’ attention to the potential gains from adopting your product or service. With this approach, you create value throughout the entire sales process.
Value selling reduces stalled pipeline opportunities, drives faster sales cycles, increases competitive win rates and generates larger average order values. It empowers revenue teams to communicate their company’s value proposition at the right time, in a way that resonates with customers — throughout the entire buyer journey.
Companies championing and using value selling tools elevate themselves above the competition.
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