Selling on discount is not the way to go. Why is this? Because nickle and diming with your prospective clients to win business over your competitors will do nothing to reinforce the value of your product or service. What it will likely do is make a sale for you until the customer finds someone else with a lower price. To earn longterm business, you need to close deals because you offer real value to customers. Read on for four ways to do just that.
If you're going to lead an organization that doesn't sell price, you're going to have to create a culture of value creation. That means that you walk, talk, eat, sleep, and breath value. If you don't want your sales force to be order-taking, discounting, transactional salespeople, then you have to create a culture that rejects those ideals. If you don't want them to discount, don't offer discounts at the end of the quarter.
If you're going to enforce the culture you create, you're going to have to spend time teaching, training, coaching, and developing a sales force that has the mindset, the skill sets, and the tool kits to create and capture value. You may not have the training budget you need, or the development opportunities you wish you had. But you do have the secret weapon of all secret weapons: coaching. And you can coach every day. Use each territory plan, account plan, pipeline review, opportunity review, and training session to reiterate and reinforce value creation for the client as central to everything you do—and who you are.
Value is in the eye of the beholder. It's developed through their buying process. That means when they are just recognizing that they are dissatisfied and that better results are available to them, you help them understand and develop their needs. Nothing will give you greater access to creating value than getting in early in the process. As your clients and prospects continue on their buying journey, you create value by helping them evaluate the options available to them and make the trade-offs necessary. Later, you create massive value for your clients by helping them build consensus within their own organization. You also create immense value by helping them eliminate the risk in whatever it is that you're proposing. Value only exists if your client perceives it as value.
Too many sales managers and sales leaders complain that their sales force has trouble closing and negotiating. But this isn’t usually true. Capturing some of the value you create, especially in prices that are higher than your competitors, depends first upon your ability to earn it. That means leading your team to get in front of the buying process and start making a difference for their prospective clients. It also requires that you ensure that your solutions produce a better result for the higher price you intend to capture. The end of the sales cycle is too late.
If you want to lead with value, build the culture, coach and train your sales force, align with what your prospective clients' perceive as value, and do the early work that gives you the right to capture some of the value you create.
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