Two Killer Strategies to Tighten Up Your Value Proposition

When I talk to CEOs, sales leaders and their teams I’m often struck by how hard they work at articulating a strong value proposition.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts most of them default to a list of “we cans” or “we wills.”

But that’s not a customer focused value proposition. That’s simply a restatement of what you find valuable – also not helpful in the sales process.

So how do you create and tighten your value proposition so that potential customers recognize they NEED to buy from you?

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Let’s Talk About Gatekeepers

CEOs and sales leaders, how often do you find yourself or your sales people talking about gatekeepers?

Do you realize that just using the term may be hurting your organization’s ability to generate new business?

Whenever a salesperson has a mindset where they think about an EA or secretary as an adversary and treat them as such – they are making a big mistake.

If you treat an EA or secretary as an obstacle to get around, how do you think they are going to act? They are going to be exactly who you expect them to be – a gatekeeper.

However if you can get your salespeople to shift their thinking so that they view so-called gatekeepers as having the potential to become their greatest asset on the inside, it becomes a new experience for everyone. 

When sales people approach these folks as potential allies who are actually there to help them navigate the business they want to do, you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes to your new business acquisition. 

When I speak to leaders I listen very closely to the language they use to describe customers. How you use language to describe customers shapes how your sales people treat them – and how they see you in return.

When I coach senior sales leaders and hear the term gatekeeper it immediately sets off alarm bells, as it means they aren’t going in with the right mindset and it will trickle down to their salespeople.

If sales people are too aggressive or try to push past someone in order to reach their prospective customer they are picking an unnecessary fight with someone who could really help them out. 

As a sales leader it’s up to you to eliminate the term gatekeeper from your sales team’s lexicon. It will help your sales people see EAs, secretaries and others as an important part of the sales process and not a roadblock. 

If you want to improve how your sales team performs, then maybe it’s time for a chat. Send me a quick email and let’s have the conversation or call me on +1 647 402 2096.

And, if you found this article helpful or insightful, please share with one person who you think will appreciate it, or share on LinkedIn.

If you want to sell more, faster – stop trying to sell your value

Here’s something you won’t read anywhere else – if you want your sales team to sell more and sell faster tell them to STOP selling value.

When I speak to CEOs and sales leaders I consistently hear the same thing “our sales people have got to get better at selling value. They just don’t sell the value of our solutions.” 

But the value of your solutions has to match the expected outcomes your customers want or need. And the only way you can discover this is to find out what it is THEY define as value. What THEY believe constitutes value. It’s all about their beliefs.

It’s a question of sequence. You can only sell your own value when you understand what your customer values and believes. And your customer’s definition of value is shaped by what they perceive as their:

  • Challenges
  • Objectives
  • Strengths
  • Risks

Your sales people simply can’t sell the value of your solution until they understand these factors. In fact, if you as a leader are telling them to sell value without emphasizing good discovery first, you are inadvertently sabotaging your own sales results.

Only once you’ve discovered their beliefs can you match your solutions to your customers’ needs. 

Think of this as the golden rule of sales conversations and how to boost sales and get more wins.

If you want to improve how your sales teams perform, then maybe it’s time for a chat. Send me a quick email and let’s have the conversation or call me on +1 647 402 2096.

And, if you found this article helpful or insightful, please share with one person who you think will appreciate it, or share on LinkedIn.

If your sales managers and sales enablement folks don’t know how to have proper BUSINESS conversations, how can they teach your sales people?!

Chief Sales Officers! You want your salespeople to sell value – when most of your sales managers can’t execute the basic business conversations you need. 

A few weeks back I shared how most sales organizations struggle to sell “value.” 

That’s because most salespeople don’t know what “value” means (it’s never been defined to them) or how to uncover what value means to their customers (most important). 

The premise of that article was that internal sales enablement can’t possibly build curriculums to help sales teams and leaders have these conversations – as they have never been taught or done it themselves. 

It’s a classic case of the blind leading the blind.

It was very well received, and easily the top post of the month. So, I encourage you to take a few minutes to read it here. 

Let’s start with a question: Are you a sales leader as well as a  parent? (if you’re not a parent, keep reading, you’ll see where I’m going soon enough)

If so, you will know that your kids’ model what they see and hear you saying – not what you tell them to do!

Do any of these statements sound familiar?

“Have a broader business conversation.”

“Link back to the value of our solution.”

“Focus on outcomes and the ROI.”

Of course they do.  But how many sales managers have actually learned to do this? Sure, it’s easy to tell someone what to do. But how do you model these skills so your sales teams can actually guide a conversation to the point where the CUSTOMER shares THEIR case for change (Their $X to $Y by When) and clearly define what their Personal Win is going to be??

When I ask very experienced sales leaders and managers to do this, many can’t (they end up ‘telling’ the customer what they can expect to get… the equivalent of telling the customer how handsome you are – not very believable).

So, if you as a leader struggle to guide a customer to share their beliefs about value and their desired outcome, impact and results – what model are your showing your salespeople? 

How do you show up? Are you modelling excellence?

The ‘kids’ are only going to model what they see and hear from you – so if you’re not able to have a “value” creating discovery conversation, how will they ever learn to do it themselves?

And, hoping that your internal sales enablement programs will build a sales approach and curriculum that shows salespeople how to have business conversations when your own sales leaders/managers can’t, is a bit like asking a neighbour to bring up your kids only to be  disappointed with how they turn out.

The fulcrum to fundamentally transform the kind of sales conversations your salespeople have is to hire people who can have business conversations and train your existing sales managers (and senior leaders) ‘how to’ as well.

Only when the ‘parents’ execute these kinds of conversations will the ‘kids’ do the same – and your results will follow.

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