Here’s a startling fact you may not know: Salespeople who uncover budgets are 172% more likely to close business than those who do not. This stat drives home the point that you must have a sales process that includes money discussions early in the conversation and you must help salespeople sell value by being more comfortable having those conversations.
Perhaps you think that your sales team is already discussing money, budgets, and the ROI with their prospects, but sadly you might be mistaken. We know that 60% of salespeople are uncomfortable discussing money. So, it’s highly likely that some of your team falls into that 60% category.
OK, you still think everyone on your sales team is completely comfortable with money conversations and therefore quite competent demonstrating the ROI and uncovering budgets. If it is, it will be the only one we have ever seen out of over 500 sales teams. But, if you are certain that your team is 1 in 500 then move on. If you aren’t sure, keep reading.
Think about the massive increase in business that could be closed if everyone on your sales team followed a process whereby they actively discuss money, actively demonstrate ROI and uncover the availability of money to spend. How much time and effort are instead wasted on opportunities that aren’t really opportunities because either the prospect doesn’t have the money to spend on your solution or is unwilling to spend money on it? Think about how much impact this one simple change could make.
How much time & effort are wasted on opportunities that aren’t really opportunities?
This is all about selling value: The salesperson’s ability to be fully willing to address the cost of your services and the value they bring to your customers head-on. Unfortunately, we also know that only about 39% of salespeople are proficient selling value.
And there is a good reason that this is such a low percentage. There is much to expertly sell value.
Here are the attributes in order of importance that determine whether someone is proficient selling value or not.
What I find interesting about the ability to sell value is that it isn’t just about a singular skill. It isn’t even about multiple skills. It involves a combination of skillset and mindset. If we take the prior list of Selling Value Attributes and categorize them into whether they are a Sales Skillset or a Sales Mindset, we get an even split of attributes:
What this exercise demonstrates is that just telling salespeople how to sell value doesn’t necessarily mean that they will effectively be able to do it. There is a lot going on in their head that might get in the way.
Notice that near the top of the overall list is Sales Process. Having a process that includes selling value is critically important to a salesperson’s ability to do so. But what does this actually mean?
It involves creating a step-by-step sequence to conduct a sales conversation which includes discovery of ROI from the customers’ perspective. This step in the process should include the following:
It starts with the value proposition. We work with thousands of salespeople each year that are not effective at articulating their value proposition, so just because leadership knows it or marketing splashes it on materials, doesn’t mean that salespeople are actively connecting the dots for the prospect.
If you want to have immediate impact, start with the value proposition, then standardize a selling process that includes the critical steps surrounding money, value and ROI. If you need help creating a value proposition that salespeople can effectively use, download our Value Proposition Creation Toolkit.
Statistics courtesy of Objective Management Group.
Gretchen Gordon is the CEO of Boost Profits, a consulting firm specializing in sales team transformation. A self-proclaimed “Sales Nerd” with over 27 years of sales, sales leadership, and sales team transformation experience, she spends most of her time working directly with client companies and helping them improve their sales effectiveness and exceed their sales goals. Gretchen is also a frequent guest speaker for industry events and webcasts, and has been featured on the radio talk shows “Meet the Sales Experts” and "Sales Coaching over Coffee." She is also an accomplished writer, having been featured on industry-leading sites like SellingPower.com and SecurityInfoWatch.com. She authors a “Top 50 Sales Management Blog,” according to Docurated.com, and has published sales-focused eBooks, including “The 5 Essentials of Effective Sales Management” and “Cold Calling in the 21st Century.”
Find out more about Gretchen Gordon on LinkedIn