With the commoditization of many industrial products and services, increased globalization, and endless amounts of options, today’s buyers are pushing for lower prices more than ever. Indeed, competition is stiff and buyers have a lot of purchasing power.
Even in this new environment, there are some sellers who are winning deals at higher prices. They are succeeding at bringing in new clients and beating quotas.
The most successful industrial salespeople have one thing in common. Above all else, they focus on value. They are obsessed with providing value to their buyers over and above the products and services they offer.
Yet according to our research at RAIN Group, 58 percent of sales meetings are not valuable to buyers. If your sales meetings aren’t valuable, you’re wasting your buyers time.
Ideas to Provide Value
There are many ways you can provide additional value in your sales conversations. For example, you could:
- Provide new ideas based on what you’ve seen other companies do
- Share best practices related to their business
- Share proprietary research related to their industry
- Help them redefine their needs and make smarter decisions
- Share ideas that will help them gain more business
- Chime in on a business issue they’re dealing with
- Share ideas that will help them save money
The days of salespeople sitting back, waiting for the phone to ring, and taking orders are over. Sellers need to guide buyers to make smarter decisions. They need to educate buyers. They need to be a source of insight and ideas.
In every sales conversation you have, make it a goal to provide a new idea or perspective and ask an insightful question that could change the buyers thinking.
When buyers feel they’re getting more value from a particular seller, they’re less price sensitive. You become a trusted advisor that they turn to for ideas and advice. The conversation is not about lowering your fees, but it’s about their business problems and goals, and how you can help.
Value Has a Huge Impact on Your Sales Results
Want some proof that value the focus of the most successful industrial salespeople? Consider these stats:
- Sales winners share new ideas and perspectives 3X more often than second place finishers.
- Value-Driving Sales Organizations have a win rate of 54 percent. This is nine percentage points higher than Non-Value Driving Organizations. A single percentage point increase in win rate can lead to millions in additional sales with no additional selling costs.
- “Improving our ability to communicate value” is the #2 top sales priority (#1 is “increase business with existing accounts” which cannot happen with focusing on driving customer value).
If you want more of your sellers to succeed in industrial sales, get them to focus on value. Help them be as valuable as possible to your buyers. It will pay off in the end.
Mike Schultz is a bestselling author of Rainmaking Conversations and Insight Selling, Director of the RAIN Group Center for Sales Research, and President of RAIN Group, a global sales training and performance improvement company. He and RAIN Group have helped hundreds of thousands of salespeople, managers, and professionals in more than 62 countries improve sales results and unleash their sales potential. Follow Mike on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn.