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INSIGHTS

Value Based Selling and Customer Intimacy

by Ben Barton / July 27, 2021

Value-based selling is a simple, powerful approach to selling that shifts the priority away from the needs of the seller and onto the needs of the buyer.

More specifically, value-based selling is built on the idea that the salesperson is not there primarily to sell, but rather to add value to the customer based on their needs, which in turn will lead the customer to their buying decision.

This can seem somewhat antithetical to the standard sales mentality – selling is the name of the game, after all. But the power of value-based selling comes from the shift we’ve seen in buyer behaviour over the last 10 years.

 

The evolution of the salesperson

The first interaction a customer has with a salesperson is coming much later in the sales cycle than ever before as customers have more information available to them than ever before.

Customers place tremendous value on being able to find out information for themselves, which means that the role of the seller has shifted away from pure selling towards a more educational position.

Gartner research shows that the sales reps most likely to win in this world are far less focused on demonstrating personal expertise and far more focused on helping customers sort through information already available — acting as a kind of “information connector” to provide the frameworks and tools customers desperately need to efficiently organize and align their thinking.

In fact, providing customers with information specifically designed to help them advance their purchase has the single biggest impact on driving deal quality that Gartner ever documented – a 300% increase in likelihood of achieving a high value low regret deal.

 

Discover, Discover, Discover

By starting from the needs of the customer, salespeople can act more effectively as that information connector, guiding the customer through the plethora of data they will have consumed and picking out the most relevant and actionable insights as it pertains to the solution you’re trying to sell.

At Mentor Group, we implement a three-step process to each and every sales cycle; Discover, Design, Deliver.

The most important of these three, and unfortunately the one most overlooked, is the first phase, Discover.

As a salesperson, it is absolutely critical that you are a subject matter expert not just of your product, but also of your customers and potential buyers.

The more you know about the needs of your customer, the more effective you can be when it comes to finding the most relevant data and insights for them, which in turns means you are more effective in that information connector role and you naturally build more rapport between yourself and the customer.

Discovery is also a two-way street – the customer might not necessarily always know or be able to fully articulate the needs of their business, so by engaging the customer with questions and providing targeted insights, you can help the customer gain a clearer picture of what they really want, and in turn position yourself to add even more value.

 

Customer intimacy and trust are crucial levers in the buying process

As we have discussed, value-based selling reverses the mentality of the salesperson away from the solution they’re trying to sell and towards the customer and their needs.

This approach is seeing so much success because at the end of the day, buyers aren’t buying solutions as much as they are buying relationships.

In research from the International Journal of Research in Marketing, they found that as commoditisation increases, operational excellence and product leadership lose impact, while customer intimacy becomes a more vital performance driver.

That customer trust and rapport has become one of the most crucial drivers in the buying process. It’s more than just good customer service; it’s being attentive and alert to the needs of the customer, and fostering an environment in which they know they’re not being sold to but rather they’re being led to the right solution for them and their business.

What difference could adopting a value-based selling approach make to your revenue? How much more productivity and performance could you get from your salespeople if they began rethinking their default approach?

At Mentor Group, we have a world-class team of sales experts that would love to help you on your journey to using value-based selling to sell more often, for more money, faster than ever before.

Get in touch with us today to take a crucial step in transforming your revenue stream today.

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Ben Barton

Ben Barton

Using words to inform, persuade and entertain. From Travel Safety to the NFL, I write about anything and everything. Except for golf.