So why are your Salespeople not better at value-based selling?

So we’ve all seen it before a polished team of new ambitious salespeople, great haircuts, stylishly groomed beards, and the latest iPhone. They came to the sales kick-off with tons of enthusiasm and are ready to take over the world.

You, as a leader, have done your job of evangelizing that, your company and product are different and disruptive. Everyone should be excited that you have arrived in the market.

Then your Salespeople get on the phone, their excitement books meetings, demos and creates a pipeline of opportunities.

You seemingly have a great amount of momentum, but a few months go by, in your forecast meetings you hear the following:

  • I’m waiting for an update.
  • They said they’d let us know.
  • They thought what we did was awesome so I don’t understand why he’s not getting back to me.
  • I thought it was a done deal but I can’t reach her.
  • They’ve told me they went with someone else.

As time goes by these deals continually fall off of your forecast and no one seems to know why. So as a leader you assume they need to make more calls, work longer hours and push clients to close etc. etc.….

Reality Check: If deals aren’t moving and people aren’t responsive, sales have likely not done a great job of connecting the value your solution offers to a business pain that they currently have. Everyone loves to see the next cool thing, but companies buy products that solve burning problems.

So are your reps selling value? Do they know how? Is this a part of your sales culture?

Many salespeople and leaders alike believe they are, but they do it at a very surface level, focusing on features, functions, and benefits. The best salespeople really delve into why their customers buy, stay, and continue to invest in them as a vendor. They then in turn use this knowledge to sell more effectively.

So why are your Salespeople not better at value-based selling? Chances are you fall into one or more of these 3 categories:

1. Your onboarding process is not customer-centric.
Yes, you’ve done a great job of having them learn the product & demo. But have your new hires had a conversation with your customers? Do they have the ability to hear why a client loves your product or service? Have they had the opportunity to get excited about that value firsthand? Chances are if you are like most companies the answer is no. Companies tend to keep customer relationships in account management, support, or marketing. The concept of having a new hire talk to an existing customer is a foreign one to most organizations.

2. Your Salespeople don’t know how to uncover business pain?
A VP of Sales out of New York once told me that most salespeople that fail have a “show up & throw up approach to prospects”. What he meant was they spent more time pitching and less time asking them questions and listening. Are your reps pitching and pushing or are they asking questions to see if they can genuinely add value to prospects’ current business problems?

3. Do they understand that “NO” is OK.
I used to work for a Global VP of sales named Chris Vercelli who used to tell our entire team. If it’s going to be a “NO”, Get to the “NO” quickly and get back to work. We’ve all heard salespeople say things like:
“Well why don’t you take a look to compare it to what you have?” or “Sometimes it’s great to take a meeting to see what is out there.”
These meetings are not valuable to your company or the prospect and are wasting valuable selling time.

The average executive gets from various salespeople each day trying to pitch them on the next big thing. So it is critical to make sure your team is focused on uncovering pain and connecting value within your sales process.
Your goal is to enable your salespeople to have the best chance of success when talking to a potential customer.