There are three ways that reps can sell: feature-based selling, benefits-based selling and value-based selling.
Feature-based selling is centered around what a product can do. Less experienced sales reps tend to lean into this and attempt to wow prospects with the specific capabilities of their product or service. But, this approach makes it hard for the end buyer to understand how the offering will actually help them.
Benefits-based selling is a step above feature-based selling. This approach goes deeper than just presenting product or service features and ties those capabilities to the benefits they can provide. These benefits hint at what value can be provided but still don’t explain why the individual prospect and their company should want the offering.
Value-based selling highlights how the features of a product or service will provide value for the individual prospect and their company. It ties specific company and buyer needs and context back to solutions recommendations. It’s buyer-centric and focuses on benefiting the individual customer throughout the entire sales process, from initial outreach to consultation to close.
Value-based selling builds trust between the prospect and the sales rep, resulting in a better sales process and a higher likelihood to close.
The Fundamentals of Value-Based Selling
Conduct thorough research
You cannot sell on value if you don’t know what’s valuable to the prospect and their company. Value-based selling requires in-depth research at the beginning of the sales process to get an understanding of the prospect’s needs.
What challenges are they trying to overcome? How do those challenges impact their company? Why are they looking for solutions now? What is the landscape of their business? What are their goals? What are the motivations of the different buying parties involved?
Focus on acquiring a deep level of knowledge around the buyer and the company so that you are able to tailor your sales process around their unique situation.
Contextualize the conversation around the buyer
Once you know what’s valuable for your prospect, center the rest of your interactions around it. Every single conversation you have with that company after the initial knowledge-gathering call should start with a call to the context of why they sought you out in the first place.
Doing this will keep the sales process focused on the prospects and their needs as opposed to your company and offering.
For example, when you’re at the solutions recommendation stage, instead of just saying “you should buy this product because it can do X, Y and Z,” you’d say “Because you’re trying to solve for this issue, you need to accomplish these goals. These features of our product will help you do that.”
Take an educational approach
You have to be willing as a salesperson to take a consultative and educational approach with your buyers. You can’t just be pitching 100% of the time.
You want buyers to feel comfortable with you, trust you and be open to learning from you.
Education itself provides a lot of value. By educating yourself and your buyer about what the root issue you’re solving for is, you can ensure that you’re selling your prospect something that will actually benefit them and solve their problems.
To successfully take a value-based approach, you have to be personable and empathetic. If you come off as hyper-scripted and robotic, like you’re just following designated steps to make a sale, prospects won’t trust what you’re telling them.
Show that you really care about the buyer and their challenge throughout the process. Keep your interactions conversational. Ask open-ended questions and listen to what the prospect is saying to you. Treat them like a real person and not just potential income.
People don’t like to be sold to. They like to have human conversations, learn new information and solve challenges. Value-based selling is focused on understanding the buyer and their company so you can center your sales process around what matters to the buyer.
Taking this approach will forge better relationships between sales reps and prospects, resulting in bigger deal sizes, higher win rates and more customers turning into evangelists.
When buyers trust that a sales rep cares about their needs and not just a commission, they’ll be open to a more consultative approach, which allows sales reps to broaden the scope of the opportunity. Additionally, the deep context about the customer’s needs gained in the sales process can be passed on to the service team, resulting in a more tailored onboarding and a better customer experience overall.
Beth is a Senior Manager of Revenue Operations at New Breed and specializes in optimizing how processes and platforms support revenue growth.