I had the pleasure of interviewing Nancy Maluso, Research Director of Sales Enablement for SiriusDecisions.

Before joining SiriusDecisions, Maluso cut her teeth at Avaya, instrumental in driving sales productivity through the creation of the global sales enablement function. She and I discussed the latest sales enablement research, specifically the importance of value articulation and how getting this right correlates to a dramatic improvement in sales effectiveness.

Many sellers think that value is about financially quantifying the ROI impact of a solution. But that is not enough for today’s skeptical buyers and complex decision-making processes.

According to Maluso, the highest performing sellers do things differently when it comes to value. They recognize that each prospect has three value perspectives and will use each one to influence the purchase decision:

1. Business value. What does your solution mean to the prospect’s top and bottom line? For example, how will it help your prospect drive incremental revenue, reduce business risk, improve operating efficiency, and reduce costs?

2. Functional value. How do you help the users of your solution do their jobs better and faster? Your functional value may include customer experience and performance improvements, process optimization, time savings, and error reductions.

3. Personal value. What’s in it for me? How does your solution make key stakeholders’ lives better on a personal level? For example, will it help them gain accolades from executives and peers? Will it reduce late nights at the office so that they can spend more times with family and friends? Will it help them get a promotion or avoid job loss?

Maluso advises each seller to go beyond the business value alone, to articulate value using all three perspectives, especially illuminating the functional value to the users and personal value of what can be achieved.