Three Ways to Help Your Sales Team Sell Value in Complex B2B Sales
Categories: Sales Conversation
The ability for salespeople to articulate value in a way that speaks to multiple audiences has never been more critical. The latest Sales Performance Optimization report from CSO Insights shows that on average, more than four people have “direct input” on the final buying decision, the highest in the past three years.
There is no longer one decision maker. There’s a network of people making the purchase decision. That’s why articulating value throughout the buyer chain is a key component to your sales organization’s success.
Why the increase in complexity?
Forrester’s Mark Lindwall offers three reasons behind this increase in complexity:
- Business problems involve an interconnected web of domains and processes.
- Selling into an agreement network involves multiple people.
- Agreement networks require multiple “sales.”
If you’re a sales veteran, you understand how this environment creates the need to strengthen any value proposition. Lindwall writes, “your company must equip salespeople with the ability to navigate and influence complex buying organizations (and even help their buyers do this internally).” Here are three ways to effectively equip your sales team:
1. Develop a Fortified Value Message that Responds to the Complex Selling Environment
Your sales team needs the ability to uncover complex needs and effectively articulate how your solutions meet those needs. Remember, sales reps are delegated to those they sound like, whether that’s up at the C-Suite or down with the interns.
There are multiple on‐ramps for any sales conversation. Effective sellers are always aware of the scope of the problem and understand how to attach their solutions to the biggest problem possible. A fortified value message enables this understanding. If your sales team knows how to articulate their value and differentiation by understanding the flow of their customer organization, then they can effectively maneuver within a complex selling environment.
2. Drive Alignment Behind the Message
Driving alignment behind the value you provide your customers is a critical component to making your sales team successful in a complex sales environment. It’s more than just aligning your sales and marketing teams. Although important, true sales transformation comes from driving alignment across the entire organization and gaining cross-functional agreement in these three areas:
How does your company identify and respond to trends within the market? Your company’s ability to understand these trends impacts how you craft and deliver marketing messages that reach (and resonate with) a broad market audience.
How does your company translate that understanding of market and customer trends into world-class product and service offerings? Your value offering also entails your ability to craft product-specific messages that address market pains and business objectives.
How does your sales team articulate the value and differentiation of your offerings? The ability of your sales team to effectively tie your solutions to business problems and demonstrate how those solutions are better than your competitors’, is a critical component to driving success in complex B2B sales. Delivering on the promise of that value drives effective value engagement.
Aligning a company behind the value you provide your customers drives consistency, and lays the groundwork for success within the sales organization.
3. Create sales consumable tools that provide the ability to effectively articulate that message
Tight alignment across a company’s various departments enables an effective sales message. Even more importantly, however, the value message needs to be “sales consumable" and demonstrated in a way that sellers can readily use it in real-world customer conversations. If you don’t have a mechanism that enables your sales team to repeatedly articulate value and differentiation, your sellers will falter in a complex sales environments.
A Value Messaging Framework® is one way to provide the mechanism to drive impactful, “three-foot” sales conversations that connect customer requirements with solution capabilities. As more and more decision makers become involved in deals, and the B2B sales environment becomes more complex, it is imperative a sales force consistently expresses how their solutions solve customer problems better than the competition. When they do, the impact is clear. They’ll achieve:
• Higher competitive win rates
• Higher average deal size
• Greater deal margins
• A stronger and deeper customer relationship