When you are talking to prospects on cold calls, in meetings, and in emails, are you discussing how you can help them from a business value standpoint? Business value is how the products you are selling will help your prospect’s business. Being able to effectively communicate business value will help to increase sales.
Not Features and Benefits
Business value should not be confused with the features and benefits of a product. Features and benefits are at a lower and sometimes more technical level than business value. For example, take a sales person that sells manufacturing equipment. One of the features of this equipment is that it can be upgraded with new technology instead of being replaced when it becomes outdated. The benefit of this feature is less cost down the road for the customer. But this is not business value. The business value is at a higher level and could be that by decreasing their costs, they will be able to refocus the projected savings into other areas like developing new and improved product lines which will help to improve their competitive position in the marketplace, grow market share, and increase sales.
Identifying and pointing out business value is a step that can often be overlooked. This is because a sales person will probably know the features and benefits inside and out and be able to talk about them all day. Business value is not so apparent and may be different for each prospect making it a little more difficult to discuss. With this being the case, it can be easy to get in habit of only talking about features and benefits and not taking the extra step to identify and communicate business value.
Stand Out From the Competition
It is likely that you are trying to sell into a competitive environment. There can be other companies trying to sell similar products to your prospect, there can be companies trying to sell unrelated products that compete for the same dollars, and you are also competing against your prospect doing nothing. One of the best ways to stand out from all of this competition is to communicate business value.
When to Communicate
In order to increase sales, business value should be communicated early and often. It should be outlined in a first cold call, it should be discussed in all meetings and presentations, and it should be detailed in any proposals and documents given to the prospect. The goal is to use the information of how you are going to help their business to get in the door, to drive the sales cycle, and to close the deal.
Calculate and Quantify
As you qualify an opportunity and get into the sales cycle, work to calculate and quantify the estimated business value that you can bring to the prospect. This may not sound like an easy thing to do as there is likely not an exact formula for calculating this. But if you get creative and build out some assumptions, you can create some quantifiable numbers that display how you can help the prospect and this can be used throughout the sales cycle to increase sales.
Once you have quantified and created more customer specific details around business value, you will then have business justification for your prospect to purchase from you. This information can be brought to the table to get and secure interest, to keep the sales cycle moving, and then to close the deal.
Launch Pad Solutions provides sales training to sales professionals helping them to improve their ability to increase sales by communicating business value.
|This article was published on Monday 16 November, 2009.|
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