Value Creation Selling is about creating mutually beneficial value. So far in our blog series, that is what we have done. By understanding what the customer values most and solving the customer’s business challenges, we have created potential value for their business and our business as well. However, we still have not done anything that the competition could not have also done. That is why Key #3 to a Sales Leader’s Guide to Selling Value is so crucial: Differentiating the Value Created.
Think back to Key #2, Solving the Customer’s Business Challenges, and you will remember that we said your solution has to help the customer overcome its challenges and reach a desired future state. What we didn’t talk about is how there are numerous ways to do this. Some ways are better than others and are of more value. This is where you separate yourself from the pack.
Two simple elements to differentiation
At SOAR, we believe there are two simple elements to differentiation that ensure you are executing Value Creation Selling properly:
- Understanding the Categories of Differentiation – Numerous things about your solution can differentiate it from the competition’s solution. Having an original product/service, product performance, ability to customize, brand equity, price, relationships and the resources at your disposal can all be used to separate your solution from the competition.
- Using Insights to Position Advantages – When we have differences that are not advantages, we use insights about the customer’s business to build up the importance of solving other challenges where we do have an advantage. For example, if one of the customer’s challenges is software speed and another is data security, and our solution has inferior speed but superior security, what do we do? We bring insights to create awareness that data security is more important to reaching their desired future state.
Does the customer recognize the value?
So let’s recap so far what we have done. We have come to an understanding of what the customer values most, solved the customer’s business challenges and provided a solution to achieving their desired future state. We have shown the customer how our solution is different by using insights about their business and we have shown the customer the advantages of our differences. At this point, we have created value for the customer. The only question is do they recognize it?
Chances are that they do and they don’t. The customer at this point is likely to recognize the solution has some value, but they probably don’t know how much. When a customer recognizes that a solution has value, but can’t quantify it, that is a problem. It is at this point that we need to effectively quantify the value created. Please see Key #4 to A Sales Leader’s Guide to Selling Value: Quantifying the Value Created.