One of the greatest challenges for the sales force in the VUCA environment is the increased competition and the skills required to tackle those challenges. All businesses have competitors, and in some cases, competition in some industries is so fierce that competitors have to fight for the business of potential customers. Staying ahead of this competition and creating a competitive advantage for your own product is directly related to the amount of interest you have been able to generate in the potential customer by creating and displaying value!
An important question that arises at this time is: what is value? Value is defined as “the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something”. The term “value” has a particular usage in the domain of sales, across industries. Value can be created by a sales professional during various stages of the sales process and hence regular up-skilling is needed to enable the sales professional to up the ante. Let’s look at some simple ways that can be used by sales professional to create value in the sales process.
During this process, initial value can be created for the customers through fruitful conversations that focus on building a relationship. Further value can be created by harnessing the ability to recognize and address “underlying” and “unspoken” needs of the customer and his/her business. Positioning ones’ product or solution in a manner that resonates with the spoken and un-spoken needs of the customer also goes a long way in defining value.
By ensuring that the transactional aspect of the sales process is seamless, flexible and not time consuming, the sales professional can create value for the customer through enhanced customer experience. Skills required to create a branded customer experience is crucial
The delivery of the product and/or service must be completed while ensuring quality and timely delivery to create value for the customer once the transactional sales is complete.
A competitive advantage in the VUCA sales world is the ability to retain customers and ensure repeat business. Retention of customers can easily be achieved by creation of value for the customers at three touch points as mentioned above. However, the simplicity of the process is often overlooked, and the sales force of an organization equates creation of value with lowered price points. Surprisingly enough, it is the market leaders that most often fall into the vicious cycle of competing in lower prices to ensure continuity of volume in sales.
In the VUCA world businesses don’t buy products or services – they buy results and outcomes. Therefore, today’s salespeople can only succeed by “Value Selling”, which address their customers’ “sense of worth” of those outcomes. Starting by clearly identifying priority needs, sales professionals must not only know but also constantly up skill themselves on how to present their offer in terms of its contribution to their customers’ business goals, how to justify cost and sell Return on Investment (where this is a key decision factor).
Additionally, value selling also requires a special mix of skills that help to avoid some common pitfalls in the areas of
#1 Building personal relationships with different customer personalities
#2 Managing relationship with various stakeholders in each organization
#3 Selling ‘consultatively’
#4 Building trust
#5 Negotiating effectively
With over 70 years of research and experience, InspireOne, in association with Tack International, continues to up-skill the sales force of organizations to be enable them to create, develop and sustain the art of value selling in the VUCA world.