Value selling centers on creating customer-specific value propositions, no doubt a familiar term. Rather than simply presenting what he has, the account manager and his organization focus instead on understanding the client’s business. What are its drivers? How does the customer deploy them in developing market strategy and setting financial and business objectives?
Only by answering those questions can the supplier begin to demonstrate the true value of its solutions and avoid the features-and-functions trap that so easily pushes down margins. Being able to identify and articulate the client’s top five business issues and demonstrate how the seller’s solutions address one or more of those issues are key. Research by Mercuri International shows that two out of three companies consider value selling their No. 1 strategic sales issue, regarding it as a clear competitive differentiator. However, they also give themselves a poor rating for value selling, typically ranking their performance halfway down their skil s range.
By Dave Cusdin, Partner and global, technology sector leader, Mercuri International.