Over the past decade I had the honor to interview and collaborate with the late Jim Ninivaggi many times. Jim was well known and respected for his work with SiriusDecisions, as Sales Enablement Practice Leader, and as the Chief Enablement Office for sales enablement firm Brainshark.

He was also well known for his pocket square, which he felt was the definitive sign of a good analyst. Several times he tried to teach me the perfect fold, but my squares never quite looked as good as Jim’s.

Jim provided several important articles for my latest Evolved Selling book clearly showing why he was so revered. I share this article with you now, so his words and wisdom live on.

In today’s market, it’s difficult to distinguish yourself on the basis of your company, product, service, or price. The vendors who excel are those who not only sell better than the rest but also deliver a better customer experience.

However, most sellers miss the mark by pitching products versus selling value. They don’t meet the minimum expectations of today’s prospects, much less deliver a superior experience.

Delivering a better experience begins and ends with the customer conversation – the precious time sellers spend with prospects. The key question to ask is, “Are my sellers e­ffectively articulating and delivering value in each conversation?”

If you can’t answer “yes”, you must take action.

Arm your sellers with the right value content, conversations and quantifications. Parse your content into elements that can be easily found and dynamically assembled and presented, allowing the sellers to pivot based on how the conversation flows and buyers’ needs change.

You also must go beyond handing reps a new sales methodology book or sending them to a hot workshop. Provide value sales training and coaching so that they have the competence and credibility to e­ffectively engage prospects.

The key is a combination of value messaging, content, tools, training, and coaching to empower sellers to articulate your value and provide a superior customer experience.

This article was derived from content in Evolved Selling: Optimizing Sales Enablement in the Age of Frugalnomics