The Most Powerful Tool for Your Sales Organization: What is a Value Framework?

By: Rachel Clapp Miller on February 2nd, 2018

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The Most Powerful Tool for Your Sales Organization: What is a Value Framework?

Categories: Sales Consumable Tools

A well-defined sales messaging strategy drives high-level buyer-focused sales conversations. It's almost impossible to grow your sales organization if your account executives are unable to articulate the value and differentiation of your products in a way that has meaning to the buyer.

You know that's what your reps should be doing. The challenge often lies in providing an easy-to-use tool that enables that execution repeatedly.

Sales organizations often struggle with creating a framework that is actually used not only by the reps, but by managers, customer success, marketing, product and all other customer-facing departments. A Value Framework is the tool that can provide this consistency.

The Value Framework isn't a script. It’s a repeatable framework that guides the customer conversation face-to- face, over the phone and digitally, throughout the customer engagement process. The Framework’s foundation is cross-functional company alignment on the value drivers and differentiators that are top-of-mind for your most influential buying audiences. Clearly defining these buyer topics and the sales messages that align with them will provide your reps with on-ramps into multiple levels of the customer organization.  It will also allow your team’s message to transform and resonate with the appropriate audience. Think of the Value Framework as a navigational aid that helps sales teams engage in a consultative sales conversation focused on value and differentiation in a way that has meaning to the buyer. Individual reps can tailor it to their own selling style. It also can be used as a tool to integrate any previous sales training investments.

Here are some key characteristics of the Value Framework:

1. It outlines what's important to the buyer

Purchase decisions aren’t made on product features alone. Instead, buyers want to know that their needs are understood and that you can provide them with the best possible solution. An effective messaging framework outlines the specific reasons a company would choose to purchase your solution. It seems simple, but in many organizations there are a variety of viewpoints on what those buying reasons are. If marketing, services, product and sales can't align on why people buy your products, you will suffer from inconsistent messages in the marketplace and ultimately an ineffective sales force.

2. It categorizes what makes you different from your competitors

Most salespeople have the ability to speak about the benefits of a strong product all day long.  However they struggle when asked why you should buy their solution over competitor. Less skilled sellers may uncomfortably jostle on price and features, rather than focus on true differentiation. A Value Framework gives salespeople the talking points that clearly explain your company’s differentiation in a way that maps to the desired buyer outcomes.

3. It provides a tool to uncover business pain

An opportunity is won or lost on discovery. Your reps need questions that allow them to uncover quantifiable business pain. By having the ability to understand and quantify your prospect’s business pain, you can demonstrate how your products and services can solve their specific pain points. A Value Framework gives your salespeople a valuable tool to execute a great discovery process focused on digging up negative consequences to current business challenges.

4. It lists success metrics of your previous success

For the buyer, it's all about hearing proof that you can do what you say you can do. To be truly convinced that your product or service can alleviate the business pain, the buyer needs to be assured of the positive outcomes that come from working with you. Case studies, success metrics and testimonials aligned to the needs of your prospect provide insurance that the buyer is making the right vendor decision. In many companies, these assets exist, but they're used ad hoc at best. A Value Framework puts these proof points in a tool that can (1) be easily accessed by your sales team and (2) positioned in a way that aligns to the top-of-mind issues for your buyer.

5. It can be used by the whole organization

Because of the previously mentioned components, a Value Messaging Framework drives consistency across the organization. For example, your sales team will leverage marketing more because their collateral is built with the same customer language. Your services department better understands the promises made to the customer in the sales process. A framework that is customized and built with the right inputs intrinsically aligns your entire organization behind those value drivers.

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