Many of your sales reps struggle to meet their quota. In an environment where sales leaders must use existing resources to drive profitable revenue growth, sales teams are burdened to "do more with less."
Moreover, customers indicate that they are not getting what they need, so they are choosing to delay purchase decisions, disengage, and "go it alone."
When we take a closer look at why customers disengage, we find many contributing factors. One of those is the value gap.
According to the recent Qvidian's Sales Execution Trends report, 60% of buyers disengage because sales reps are not communicating compelling value. Moreover, an executive survey by SiriusDecisions found that, for the fourth year in a row, the top reason sales reps fail to make quota is due to sales reps' "inability to communicate value."
Sales and marketing teams need to work together to determine the knowledge, skills, and tools that will help sales reps more effectively communicate value to improve every buyer engagement.
Here are three ways that your sales teams can better articulate value to prospect and increase their ability to meet quota goals, accelerate sales cycles, and close more deals.
1. Mind the value gap
A whopping 71% of executives cite the "value gap" as their top issue for 2014, according to SiriusDecisions.
Minding the value gap means your marketing and sales teams are working together to develop and deliver the right value messaging and quantification.
In most organizations, marketing and sales teams operate as two separate entities with Marketing focused on understanding the target buyer and then putting together collateral to attract prospects.
Customer experience is typically handed off to the individual sales rep who determines how to convert the marketing material into sales-ready messaging, interpreting how to best engage and communicate value to the buyer.
Sales teams are inundated with information, so they struggle with selecting and personalizing the right value messaging and quantification for each unique selling situation.
We've identified three ways that your marketing and sales teams can work together to better communicate value and close the value gap:
- Create a matrix of provocative insights, value messaging, and financial justification that are aligned with buyer challenges and decision-maker roles. Content strategically articulates the value your solutions can deliver to each opportunity.
- Provide tools to help your sales reps quantify the cost of prospects sticking with business as usual and quantify the value of your solutions (such as how you can deliver specific cost savings, productivity and process improvements, risk mitigation, and revenue growth).
- Provide ample evidence so the prospect understands how his or her peers have used your solutions to overcome similar challenges and achieved tangible value.
2. Consider agile selling
More information doesn't necessarily translate to improved sales effectiveness. Identifying when to apply specific value messaging and quantification is arguably more important. The key is agile selling.
Agile selling can be defined as "learning how to quickly assimilate new information in a selling situation and pick up and adapt new sales skills to execute effectively," according to best-selling author and marketing expert Jill Konrath.
You can help implement agile selling by spoon-feeding the sales reps with just the right amount of information from what would otherwise be an overwhelming and ever-changing menu of too many content choices.
Introduce a system that provides the most valuable information to sales reps at just the right time and in the context of their selling situation. Adapting to a learning sequence where sales reps prioritize new information when presented with a new selling situation enables sales reps to process what they need when they need it. The result is a more responsive customer experience.
3. Put your value in context
A total of 53% of companies select and stay with vendors based on sales experience alone over factors such as product, features, and price, according to the Corporate Executive Board. Yet sales teams continue to underwhelm customers by using stale product pitches and outdated techniques.
Sales leaders recognize the issue and often roll out a new methodology to help sales adapt. But methodologies alone don't arm a sales rep with the right content, tools, and process for each situation.
Each buyer has a unique perspective on challenges and what he or she perceive as "value." By providing your sales reps with ways to interpret the data in CRM and marketing automation systems, sales reps can quickly understand the prospect opportunity and assemble the right content. In addition, these insights and tools can be used to fuel buyer conversations and help facilitate the buyer's decision process.
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Your sales reps want to meet their quotas, satisfy their customers, and create lasting business relationships. Value, agility, and context are three pillars that your sales and marketing teams can apply to improve sales execution and mind the value gap.
Investing in the right tools and systems to support these pillars will help put your organization on the path to success—better articulating value to your customers and increasing your ability to close more deals.