What is the top sales enablement priority for the remainder of 2020 and through 2021? This is the question that analyst Jim Dickey and the team at SalesMastery asked of sales leaders, to see what they needed from Sales Enablement to help accomplish their top sales objectives through the crisis and beyond.
The top Sales Enablement priority? Optimize Value Messaging was indicated by a significant 55% of sales leaders as the top priority, far above any other challenge.
I believe that Value Messaging is now the top Sales Enablement priority for three key reasons:
- Through the crisis, buyer’s perceived challenges and their top priorities have changed. As a result, many solution providers have to revisit their older value messaging, to make sure it still hits home, and is properly aligned with what buyers care about most today.
- With budget freezes, spending cutbacks, COVID purchase review committees and higher-level executive sign-off, buyers need financial justification and an ROI business case on almost all purchase decisions. And the best business cases will not just provide the numbers, but a value story – making the right value messaging essential. The need to connect with a buyer, not on a solution but on the outcomes, and articulate a differentiating value story, has never been greater.
- Unfortunately, most sellers still fall short on effectively articulating value. According to the RAIN Group, a significant 66% of buyers say that “making a clear ROI case” highly influences their purchase decisions, however, only 16% of sellers can articulate business value and quantify ROI effectively. As this “value gap” remains a significant and persistent capability shortfall, one which can only be addressed with the right value toolset, skillset and mindset, it is no wonder it is a top Sales Enablement priority moving forward.
Reshaping your Value Messaging
As you reshape your Value Messaging, there are three key areas to address, to make sure you’re Sales Enablement is evolving to the next level:
- One size doesn’t fit all – The value messaging you create needs to align with each role you sell to. Each stakeholder in the decision making process has a different – “point of value”, a set of priority challenges they face and value they can therefore derive when you help them to overcome their issues.
For each role, we advise leveraging the Value Map, to be sure you are addressing all of the challenges and potential value you can deliver. Too often we see firms focus on one aspect of their value proposition, but neglect important value dimensions which can be important to various stakeholders. In the Value Map, the four benefit categories include:
- Cost savings / avoidance
- Productivity / process improvements
- Risk avoidance
- Business growth
- It’s all in the timing – As your stakeholders navigate through the decision-making process, your value messaging will also need to reflect the key questions the buyer will have at each stage in the buyer’s journey.
As the decision advances, your value messaging will need to address:
- Why change? – emphasizing the potential challenges, the pain of the status-quo and the cost of “do nothing”
- Why now? – focusing on the potential savings and business value benefits which can be achieved
- Why you? – highlighting the reasonable investment, compelling return on investment (ROI), comparative total cost of ownership (TCO) savings and achievable, low risk to success
- Why renew? – elevating to key performance impacts, value delivered and realized ROI.
- Let me tell you a story – The best value messaging unfolds like a good novel or movie. We recommend using the CLOSE Conversation Guide, a storytelling framework to help you improve your value articulation and sales effectiveness. CLOSE puts your prospect at the heart of the story. And like any good story, it doesn’t jump right to the “happily ever after.”
Through a structured approach, it moves the focus from your solution first, and sets the stage by revealing potential buyer challenges and the pain they are experiencing. Pain before gain.
The 5 key elements of CLOSE value storytelling are:
- Challenge: What challenges can you help prospects tackle?
- Loss: What are the challenges currently costing, if not addressed?
- Opportunity: What is the value of addressing the challenge?
- Solution: What product or service can deliver these business benefits?
- Evidence: How can I be assured that the proposed solution can deliver?
For a complete guide on optimizing your Value Messaging, get your free e-copy of the Evolved Selling book – https://www.evolvedselling.com/evolved-selling-book/
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