Now more than ever in the midst of a strange economic time, establishing value is key to closing business.  If you can’t clearly articulate how your product can be used to increase revenue or decrease costs, how do you expect customers to understand why they should choose you over the competition? According to a study conducted by  Forrester Research, the number one inhibitor to achieving your sales quota is the inability to effectively communicate a value message.

Top Inhibitors to Achieving Sales Quotas

  • Insufficient leads: 13.3%
  • Poor sales skills: 16%
  • Too many products to know: 21.4%
  • Information gap: 24.3%
  • Inability to communicate value message: 26%

“Value proposition” is a phrase that became ubiquitous during the 90’s. Buzz word or not, establishing the value of your product or service without overwhelming potential customers with a landslide of features and benefits is crucial. So how do you do it?

  1. Learn about your customers. Study their market, what they sell, the competitive landscape, the organization size, and the roles involved in the decision-making process.  Next, conduct informational interviews within your network.  Talk to anyone in the industry who has been exposed to your ideal customer.  Finally, talk directly to your customers and/or prospects.  Find out about their goals, how they measure and track their success, and ask about their pain points.  Once you have done your research, you’re equipped with the knowledge to successfully position yourself to appeal to your target audience.
  2. Demonstrate value.  Take what you’ve learned about your customer and start crafting a message that demonstrates the value of your productfrom their perspective. How will your product eliminate pain points and help them achieve daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly goals? Some examples are:
    • Imagine a day without the stress of x, y, and z. With the time you save you’ll be able to accomplish twice as much of what you need to do.”
    • “Whether it’s daily, weekly, or yearly we understand that goals are always top of mind. Let (product X) help reduce the time it takes to meet those goals by taking advantage of x and y capabilities.
  3. Position and differentiate. What makes you different from your competitors? Is it your exceptional customer service, large number of capabilities, or the price of your product? Whatever it is, be sure to reiterate the difference across all sales and marketing channels. Make sure what you’re saying on your website is demonstrated similarly on your social channels, in your marketing materials, and through the words that sales reps use with customers. It sounds obvious, but unfortunately many organizations fail to do this.

Understanding your customer, demonstrating value, and positioning yourself are all simple strategies to help streamline the sales process. Don’t fall into the 26% that are unable to communicate value messages about their product consistently and effectively.