If you have been in sales for any length of time, you have no doubt heard people say you must add value during a sale.
When I first heard this saying, on one hand, it made sense but it also confused me. What the hell was value in the context of a sales opportunity and was this the secret to closing more sales I have been looking for.
It took me a while to figure this out and how to effectively add value to every sales opportunity in a repeatable way where I could learn from the past and apply it to the future to get better over time.
These are my tips for adding value during every sales opportunity you can start applying today to begin closing more deals
What Is Valuable Changes Throughout a Sale
When I first decided that I was going to really adopt this adding value philosophy to my sales practices, it was difficult to know where to start because value means different things to different people, in different situations.
I tried many things that I thought were of value like webinars, meetups free workshops and in the right context they may have been useful but what I ultimately learned was to add the most amount of value, I first needed to know where they were in their buying decision-making process.
It was only when I created an effective sales strategy framework that aligned with my clients buying decision journey that I was able to create the maximum about of value repeatably across opportunities.
This is why I ultimately created the Sales Market Fit Strategy Framework (you can get a free copy here), as there are 3 main stages where I try to add value the same way across multiple opportunities to get similar outcomes which is to progress them to the next stage in their buying process.
Adding Value During Generating Interest
When I begin engaging with a client for the first time in the generating interest stage of their journey, there is only one way I try to add value in the first instance and that is to teach them to look at the problem from a fundamentally different perspective that they haven’t originally considered.
An important consideration here is the new context, must make the problem easier to solve and give them an “AHHA” moment. More importantly, it must point toward our product as the ideal solution down the road even though I may not necessarily point it out right now.
If I can accomplish this, I am more likely to establish myself as a domain expert, differentiate myself from competitors and give my client the confidence to let us lead them to better outcomes.
If this resonates with you, it requires practice and your willingness to make mistakes, fail fast and learn. But if you commit to achieving this, you will quickly develop your skills to add value in this area, I guarantee it!!
Adding Value During Problem Definition
If I have successfully added value in the generating interest phase of the client’s buying process before they would be ready to purchase they have to equate value to the purchase.
Because I sell B2B SaaS to large organisations, this often requires my clients to create a business case for change that includes an exercise where they are required to measure the problems that need to be addressed so they can get the right approval to proceed.
I have learned the hard way that if I am not involved in helping my future clients measure the direct and indirect impacts of their problems in the frame of our solution, they severely underestimate how big of an impact their challenges are having on their business.
So this stage is the most important stage in which I aim to add the most amount of value and that is helping measure the impacts of their current business processes that need improving.
With the help of my clients and market data, I create tools that I iterate over time based on multiple client inputs and feedback to better measure the impacts.
For a client to purchase our product, they need to see a substantial return on investment and the single most important factor is being able to quantify their current processes first.
No matter what market you operate in, your clients need to equate value to your purchase before they will move forward. You may not need to help with business case development in your market but how can you help quantify their challenges so you remove indecision as your competitor…There is always something you can do!!
Adding Value During Requirements Gathering
All things going well and I’ve successfully added value in the right places my clients now have internal approval to solve their defined business challenges, they now proceed to articulate what they want from the market in terms of a solution.
How I add value in this stage of their buying journey is to help reduce the time for them by giving them the tools to define what they need from a solution once they engage with the market. If I can achieve this, I can help shape their requirements for our solution’s specific functionality based on their quantified problems.
Furthermore, if done right, this further creates separation between ourselves and the competition in the market which ultimately increased our sales success over time.
Depending on the markets in which you operate, helping your clients through this stage of their buying journey will require specific attention and will lead to more sales over time. Aim to reduce the time for them to get through this stage, maximize your functionality and distance yourself from the competition.
In conclusion, once I found my right sales market fit framework, I was able to repeatably add similar value during the same stages across multiple opportunities to increase growth in my pipeline.
No matter the markets you operate, I would recommend becoming an expert in your buyer’s decision-making journey and creating ways to repeatably add value during the defined stages mentioned above. Be sure to grab your copy of the sales market fit framework and mould it to what is right for you.