By Jim Naro, Certified Business Partner, CustomerCentric Selling® – The Sales Training Company
Value propositions can dramatically accelerate sales cycles, as highly successful sales people have proven. However, most salespeople aren’t sure how to utilize them, and they stumble over how and when to appropriately include them in a sales cycle.
There are three (3) key misconceptions that tend to stop sales people in their tracks when it comes to value propositions. Here they are, along with a few facts that can help sales people view value propositions with renewed enthusiasm.
- Misconception #1: Numbers are scary. The reality? Value propositions based on numbers can help sales people generate highly focused conversations with buyers – and that’s a lot less scary than ambiguity. Quantifiable information, whether based on industry benchmark information or specific data on a prospect’s company, helps to establish credibility. And numbers are a lot easier to find than most sales people think (read on for some tips on this one).
- Misconception #2: Information is too private. If a company is serious about making an investment, the folks buying the product or service expect to share information about their company so they can justify the purchase. Willingness and ability to ask for this information at the appropriate stage of the sales cycle for use in a value proposition helps garner respect and credibility.
- Misconception #3: Information is too scarce. The data used for value propositions doesn’t need to be only about a prospect’s company. Industry data is readily available online. There is also a great deal of information within a sales person’s company about other buyers who are facing similar challenges. This knowledge itself enables sales people to provide value to buyers.
Here’s another reality. Before making a purchasing decision, buyers want to have some assurance that their purchase will lead to success for themselves as well as their company. The quicker sales people can establish a baseline for this and build upon it through a variety of value propositions, the quicker the sales cycle will proceed. And there is a secondary benefit – value propositions also provide sales people with a built-in system to gauge the true value of the opportunity itself. For instance, a sales person may discover that his $1,000,000 software solution is being considered to solve a $10,000 problem. That deal is not going to happen and the sooner that is discovered, the better.
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