211 Create a Winning Value Proposition – BV3

Create a Winning Value Proposition – BV3


Value-based selling is comprised of several elements that make up a winning value proposition. These are discussed in the upcoming briefings.  


Value Exploration 

Once you’ve identified a specific account target, you will need to explore the potential value you and your solution can deliver. 


First you want to do some preparation to understand the customer’s situation. Learn about their current performance, their profitability, their growth, and key initiatives. Then work to uncover their key business challenges and their key strategies to address those challenges. 


When Your Target Company Is a Public Corporation, you can gain a lot of great information by accessing the company’s quarterly (or annual) reports, and investor presentations. These documents contain a section titled “Management Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition” as well as one titled “Risk Factors” to describe potential challenges and risks the company is facing. 


When Your Target Company Is Privately Held, you can still get good information about the company’s status and initiatives from its social media feeds, online presence, press releases, and business-related websites.


Turn the relevant information into a powerful message describing how your solution will deliver greater worth and provide substantial business benefits to your customer. 


Develop three new ideas for how results can be increased for consideration by your customer. Be sure to:

  • Make these ideas as specific and as innovative as possible. 
  • Avoid mimicking ideas that appear in your competitor’s brochures. 
  • Don’t focus on your solution’s features and functions. Instead, focus on articulating exactly how your solution will help solve your customer’s problems and deliver needed benefits. 
  • Highlight areas where you have strong differentiators. 


Providing these ideas is an early step in building the confidence that will lead to a productive and mutually beneficial business relationship.


I’m DJ Sebastian, and we will continue this discussion on creating customer value in the next briefings. 


210 Business Value Not Just ROI – BV2

Business Value Not Just ROI – BV2


Value-Based Selling Approach


Rather than focusing solely on ROI, a better approach is to emphasize the benefit your customer will achieve in terms of the overall value the initiative will deliver. This is the value-based selling approach, which focuses on business value realized and combines all the aspects of the initiative (internal and external) that should be taken into consideration. 


Using value-based selling, you will engage with your customer to jointly build a vision around the value the customer will receive; along the way, you will articulate exactly how your solution is uniquely positioned to help your customer achieve substantial benefits. 


Let’s turn the earlier ROI proposition into a value-based statement. Let’s say your customer spends that same $10,000 and that your solution will enable your customer to realize $100,000 in business value in the first year—along with expected additional value in future years. This business value could be stated in terms of additional revenue, additional profit, increased productivity, or increased market share. 


Articulating your solution benefits using a value-based approach is much more compelling. This leads to more productive conversations about how this benefit can be achieved and the actual process that will lead to how the value is realized. You are creating a vision for your customer about how these benefits will positively impact their business.  


You are also positioning yourself and your company as the experts to lead your customer on the journey to understanding how this business value can be attained. This opens the doors to deeper discussion about how the value generated could be used for investment in new programs, new systems or equipment, and human capital that could generate future additional value. This approach creates a multiplier effect that is much more effective than a simple ROI calculation. 


I’m DJ Sebastian, and we will continue this discussion on creating customer value in the next briefings. 


209 Business Value Not Just ROI – BV1

Business Value Not Just ROI – BV1


Salespeople are told to focus on the Return on Investment (ROI) their solution will deliver. 


A common selling tactic is to describe the ROI a solution will deliver. Supposedly a tried-and-true method for positioning the benefits of your solution and providing documented proof of specific customers achieving seemingly incredible ROI. 


But customers don’t care only about return on investment.

The ROI calculation might not be all that meaningful.

Customers care more about the business value they will realize.


For example: 


“ROI in three months.”

“Receive a 333% ROI.”


The problem with such claims is that there is no context for these statistics.  Customers cannot connect such ROI statements to any tangible benefit. When your focus is solely on the ROI calculation, you are steering your customer directly to the money they will spend (their investment) along with some timeframe for returning that money – but that’s not very compelling and will not likely be meaningful enough for the customer to motivate them to further action. 


For example, let’s say your solution can deliver a return on investment in three months. That means if your customer spends $10,000 for your solution, in three months that $10,000 expenditure will be “returned.” to them. Big deal! There is no significance to the customer. Sure, the customer will get their invested money back, but what else will the customer gain? 


Too often ROI is applied solely as a financial calculation that doesn’t factor in any additional benefits. What if the investment enables a new product to be brought to market sooner? The straight ROI calculation doesn’t necessarily factor in any additional value, revenue, or advantages that bringing a new product to market quickly could generate. 


I’m DJ Sebastian, and we will continue this discussion on creating customer value in the next briefings. 


208 Hope is not a strategy

Hope is not a strategy


An elite sales leader developed a mantra for his team. A key part of the mantra is this: 


“Hope is not a strategy.

If it’s not on paper, it’s not real!”


A mantra must be meaningful and must drive your team’s motivation and their journey to excellence. 


Sales professionals are typically optimistic people and hope for positive outcomes in their sales opportunities. But they cannot rely only on “hope”.


Hope is not a Strategy

But hope is often the default mode for many sales professionals. They prepare proposals, send them in and “hope” the customer buys. To be effective in selling, you have to do much more. 


In his book “Hope is not a Strategy”, author Rick Page outlines the real strategy and what it takes to win a complex sale. 


Here are four key areas where you should focus: 


1) Demonstrate Value – articulate how your solution will solve business issues and create substantial benefit. 


2) Harness your resources to create a winning team. Involve your team in the qualification process to get their buy-in. 


3) Build trust so you finish ahead of your competition.


4) Understand your customer’s decision process, approval process, and politics within their organization. Create your strategy to handle each element. 


What is your mantra? I’m not talking about your company mission. I’m talking about what drives your sales team to excellence. If you don’t have a mantra that is meaningful, now is the time to create one.   


I’m DJ Sebastian, for more info on what it takes to become an Elite Seller, visit my website at thetechseller.com 


207 Find Your Most Productive Time

Find Your Most Productive Time


The U. S. Army previously had a slogan that stated:


“We do more before 9AM than most people do all day.”


Early Morning Wakeup Call

Most elite salespeople I know are most productive in the early morning. They set an early morning wakeup call to ensure that they can hit the ground running. 


The quiet serenity of the early morning helps them focus. There are no distractions or disruptions. It is often the only time of the day when they can string together continuous thoughts that generate high productivity.    


Even if it’s completing simple, incremental tasks first thing in the morning, it creates a discipline of accomplishment. You can clear these simple tasks early, then proceed to what might be more involved and take more time. No matter what else happens that day, you have the satisfaction of having completed smaller tasks well.


Consider breaking up more complex tasks into separate pieces so you can make incremental progress and not become intimidated by the fear of getting started on a daunting task. 


The Night Owl

Some may argue that they are not a “morning person” and prefer to schedule time late in the day or evening to get major items done. That’s fine, but what often happens is the salesperson’s day could be plagued by constant interruptions, and the fatigue that sets in later in the day or evening could make it nearly impossible to focus on those important tasks. 


When you start your day strong, you are on your way to making it a great day.  


I’m DJ Sebastian, for more info on what it takes to become an Elite Seller, visit my website at thetechseller.com