August 16th 2011

Implementing a Value Based Sales Approach – part 3 of 4. What sales must do.

The historic Cadillac Sales and Service Buildi...

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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.

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