If you've sold for any amount of time, you know that there is always a competitor in the sales process. It may be another vendor, or even the dreaded "do nothing" or "do it internally". Any of these options can stop a deal in its tracks. Without the ability to clearly differentiate your solution, and understand its value, a buyer's decision is arbitrary and often price-driven.
We pulled together some key tips to help you beat the competition in your sales process. Use these concepts as ways to help you prepare and execute meaningful and winning sales conversations.
Focus on Meaningful Value
When you differentiate on value, you can avoid the dreaded discounting that happens at the end of sales cycles. If you're constantly having to lower your price to close a deal, you will lose margin and find yourself scraping the bottom of the barrel to meet your quota.
It's important that the value has meaning to the individual buyer. You can tell me your marketing solution provides the ability for me to have 100,000 contacts in the system. If I only need 45K contacts, that feature means nothing to me. Buyers need to see the core benefits that your solution provides, in terms of what's important to their business needs. You can rattle off features and functions that make your solution different, but if those qualities aren't vital to the buyer's business, your product will seem too expensive or not an adequate solution.
Remember, there is as much differentiation in how you sell as there is in what you sell. Focus on instilling value and starting the negotiation process early. Tim Caito, Senior Partner at Force Management, and one of our resident negotiation experts, shares his best tips for how to negotiate early on this podcast.
Offer Tangible Examples
Buyers want to know that you can do what you say you can do. They want evidence of past success. When you have proof to back up your differentiation, it's much easier for the buyer to defend the spend.
“I know we can do that at your company, because at Company X, we implemented this solution and cut their time-to-market by 50%, saving them $500,000.”
Proof of performance helps alleviate buyer skepticism. Telling buyers you can cut their processing costs by 25% is one thing. Hearing that same metric from three of your customers is much more impactful — and help buyers believe your differentiation. [Dig deeper on effectively using case studies in the Sales Process]
It's Not About You
Even when you are trying hard to focus on the customer in your conversations, it can be difficult to not share the bells and whistles about your company. Potential customers really don’t care about your financial stability or company culture when they’re trying to solve a problem. They want to know how your solutions can help them achieve their business objectives. The best way to set your solution apart from the competition is to speak in the buyer's language. How long you've been in business or who you have worked with may help a buyer feel comfortable signing the check, but it's not going to seal the deal when it comes to competitive differentiation.
Execute Effective Discovery
The way your approach discovery conversations can greatly impact your deal. Improve your discovery skills by constantly refining them and taking note of what’s working for you, what isn’t, and what works against competition. Stay up to date on our latest sales effectiveness tips by subscribing to The Audible-Ready Podcast. Each weekly episode focuses on insights that could help you beat the competition, including a do-nothing, do-it-internally or not-right-now decision.