Forrester Research reports that “77% of B2B buyers feel that salespeople are not prepared to understand their issues and where they can help.” Why?
The reason is simple – salespeople do not identify the buyer’s pain points, nor present the economic value their solution provides. Too much valuable meeting time is wasted presenting PowerPoint slides about your company, products, features and benefits instead of what is important to your audience: “What do you offer to solve MY business issues?”
The problem? Salespeople are missing content from marketing to get to the point fast regarding how your decision maker’s business will receive tangible benefits with your solution. According to CSO Insights, “59% of a salesperson’s time is not spent selling as they are burdened with other activities including hunting for the right selling content and resources.” This leaves a frustrated salesperson with an initial presentation that does not resonate with an executive level audience.
So how can sales reps improve their presentations to buyers in order to increase their B2B qualified sales pipeline and celebrate more wins?
1. Present a Value Proposition that shows the ROI and TCO by using your offering within the first 5 minutes of the meeting.
Show the ROI and TCO results other similar customers in your buyer’s industry are achieving from your offering. It is important to include 3-4 Key Value or Business Drivers, Movement, and Metrics in the Value Proposition. For example, showing how they can decrease operating expenses by 15% resulting in $10 million in annual savings will get their attention early. Key Assumptions, Graphics, and Relevant Content are also imperative as they show the impact of the assumptions and value drivers on the buyer’s business. While presenting a Value Proposition, buyer/sales rep collaboration will come naturally by including a “calculator” feature to encourage buyers to change key assumptions and create interaction with the buyer during the presentation. Magic!
2. Create a Cloud repository of Master Value Propositions for 2-3 strategic products where you have competitive differentiation.
Master Value Propositions are developed specifically for the industry your sales rep is calling on (financial services, manufacturing, high tech, healthcare, etc.), and intended to create a collaborative business conversation at the meeting. These products should be important to you – products that over the next 12-24 months will yield the revenue and the margins you need to capture.
3. Provide sales reps easy and instant access to Value Propositions 7x24x365!
Make it very easy, because if a sales rep cannot find a value proposition in 15-30 seconds, then the tool you are using is not right. Sales people need a tool they can access anywhere, anytime, using the Web.
4. Test with a small group of reps supported by pre-sales for early adoption.
Before you roll-out a value selling initiative to hundreds or thousands of your salespeople, TEST IT with a small group of sales reps using 1-3 products. Show reps how easy it is to access Value Propositions they need for a variety of buyer industry conversations, and support them with access to pre-sales professionals.
5. Evangelize sales rep success stories and outcomes.
As a result of the test, you should get 2-3 success stories. It’s very important to evangelize these to other sales reps. If you want sales reps to adopt a strategy and tool, tell them their peers are using it and attaining positive results! Success stories include breaking into an account where you have been previously blocked due to competition, getting a meeting with a key decision maker by using the tool, identifying cost savings versus the “status quo” solution in house, etc. – all shortening the long B2B complex sales cycle by articulating tangible business results while your competition is still showing PowerPoints!
In today’s digital environment, buyers are more knowledgeable about available vendor solutions. They expect your salespeople to know about their business before the first sales call. A salesforce armed with Digital Value Propositions that professionally addresses the buyer’s business needs and shows a ROI and TCO early in the sales process will have a significant competitive advantage.