Here’s a startling fact you may not know: Salespeople who uncover budgets are 172% more likely to close business than those who do not. This stat drives home the point that you must have a sales process that includes money discussions early in the conversation and you must help salespeople sell value by being more comfortable having those conversations.
Perhaps you think that your sales team is already discussing money, budgets, and the ROI with their prospects, but sadly you might be mistaken. We know that 60% of salespeople are uncomfortable discussing money. So, it’s highly likely that some of your team falls into that 60% category.
1 in 500
OK, you still think everyone on your sales team is completely comfortable with money conversations and therefore quite competent demonstrating the ROI and uncovering budgets. If it is, it will be the only one we have ever seen out of over 500 sales teams. But, if you are certain that your team is 1 in 500 then move on. If you aren’t sure, keep reading.
Think about the massive increase in business that could be closed if everyone on your sales team followed a process whereby they actively discuss money, actively demonstrate ROI and uncover the availability of money to spend. How much time and effort are instead wasted on opportunities that aren’t really opportunities because either the prospect doesn’t have the money to spend on your solution or is unwilling to spend money on it? Think about how much impact this one simple change could make.
This is all about selling value: The salesperson’s ability to be fully willing to address the cost of your services and the value they bring to your customers head-on. Unfortunately, we also know that only about 39% of salespeople are proficient selling value.
And there is a good reason that this is such a low percentage. There is much to expertly sell value.
Here are the attributes in order of importance that determine whether someone is proficient selling value or not.
- Focused on Value over Price
- Will Discuss Finances
- High Threshold for Money
- Attempts to Sell Value
- Sales Process Supports Selling Value
- Learns Why Prospects Will Buy
- Doesn’t Need Approval
- Asks Great Questions
- Asks Enough Questions
- Avoids Making Assumptions
- Quickly Develops Rapport
- Not Compelled to Quote
Skills to Sell Value
What I find interesting about the ability to sell value is that it isn’t just about a singular skill. It isn’t even about multiple skills. It involves a combination of skillset and mindset. If we take the prior list of Selling Value Attributes and categorize them into whether they are a Sales Skillset or a Sales Mindset, we get an even split of attributes:
What this exercise demonstrates is that just telling salespeople how to sell value doesn’t necessarily mean that they will effectively be able to do it. There is a lot going on in their head that might get in the way.
Notice that near the top of the overall list is Sales Process. Having a process that includes selling value is critically important to a salesperson’s ability to do so. But what does this actually mean?
It involves creating a step-by-step sequence to conduct a sales conversation which includes discovery of ROI from the customers’ perspective. This step in the process should include the following:
- Marrying your company’s value proposition to the needs of customers.
- Understanding what the cost of failure is to the customer.
- Diving into the personal impact to the decision-maker(s).
- Questioning if the money is available to spend.
- Building trust so that the other party believes in your ROI calculation and therefore is willing to spend the money with you.
Where to Begin
It starts with the value proposition. We work with thousands of salespeople each year that are not effective at articulating their value proposition, so just because leadership knows it or marketing splashes it on materials, doesn’t mean that salespeople are actively connecting the dots for the prospect.
If you want to have immediate impact, start with the value proposition, then standardize a selling process that includes the critical steps surrounding money, value and ROI. If you need help creating a value proposition that salespeople can effectively use, download our Value Proposition Creation Toolkit. And if you need help in defining your sales process, we are here to help too, just let us know.
Statistics courtesy of Objective Management Group