August 16th 2011
In order to sell based on value, the sales team must know (and believe in) the value their product brings. The previous post sketched out the how marketing needs to extract and describe the value stories. Now the sales department needs to learn and add new skills based on the value stories coming from the marketing department. The proper evidence, examples, testimonials, and success stories will help grow a salesman’s confidence to successfully sell on value.
These are not quick skills to learn as old habits and beliefs are hard to change. There is also a basic skills gap in the younger sales forces. There are fewer firms that still provide a quality sales training program. Many of those new to sales will learn their basics in the school of hard knocks, which leads to bad habits.
A proactive sales organization, recognizing this, can shape a sales person’s behaviors toward value selling through a planned combination of training and reward systems. By shifting comp schemes toward a very heavy weighting on margin vs volume, salespersons will shift their approach. This will not happen however if the revised relevant support material from marketing is not present. A further impediment is having a C-Suite which still recognizes volume and lacks the maturity/patience to shift to margin based rewards.
We know that questions on pricing will occur in two separate parts of a sale, the early “give me a ballpark (budget) price” time and the very late stage when the “your price is too high” negotiation statement occurs. Sales departments which show success in growing margins and profits by using value selling techniques possess well crafted resources and training to anticipate these pricing question times. This is a team effort between marketing, sales, customer service and finance to make this adjustment.
A great reference for thought leadership on this is Ardath Albees website
Next some successful training tactics for value selling organizations.
- Implementing a value based sales approach. Part 1. Introduction. (regnordman.com)
- Strengths Based Selling. Tony Rutigliano & Brian Brim. (regnordman.com)
- Implementing a Value Based Sales Approach – Part 4 of 4. Some sales training ideas
- What generates the highest profit margin, product or service? Pricing part 3
- Is price raised at the beginning of your sales process? Pricing panel Part 6.
- PeopleSavvy For Sales Professionals. Lead the field. Four secrets for getting inside your prospectś head and heart and getting customers for life. Gregory Stebbins
- Sales’ response to a price rise. Pricing part 9.