After providing excellent insights during his webinar, The Challenge of Value – Value Selling, Mike Wilkinson, Co-founder and Director at Axia Value Solutions was asked: How do you measure the performance of value selling behavior? His answer:
This opens up a host of areas that need consideration before you get to the point of analysing whether the behaviour has delivered, or is delivering, the results you want. For example:
- Is everyone in the organisation clear about what value actually is? In moving to a value approach, it is important that everyone in the business understands value, what it is, and what their role is in delivering it to the customer.
- Is there an agreed Value Sales Process in place? The four step process I outlined in my webinar, provides a good starting structure that can be benchmarked against your existing best practices and allow you to tailor a Value Sales Process.
- Opportunity Assessment
- Value Discovery
- Value Demonstration
- Value Delivery
- Has you Value Sales Process been effectively introduced, trained and coached? Having a process is one thing, having people apply it is quite another! In the projects we undertake this is a critical part of the process, and the coaching element is absolutely key. The reality that we have generally found is that in any reasonably sized sales team there are likely to be some people selling on value already. They may not know it, but that is what they do, almost by default. There will then be a large number who will “get it” reasonably quickly and with help and encouragement will begin to apply it. There are also likely to be a few who, sadly, will never get it.
- Have you identified the behaviours that are required for value selling to work effectively in your business? This gets to the heart of the question in many ways. To be able to measure the behaviours, you need to first identify the desired behaviours. Frequently, we work with clients to identify what those should be. Some examples:
- Communication Skills – Great sales people ask great questions, so great communication skills all around is critically important.
- Confidence – You can have all the skills in the world but if you don’t have the confidence to apply them then nothing is going to happen. This is about providing people with the opportunity to try things out and build up their confidence. When you move from a “discount default” approach to a “value default,” it takes a good deal of courage to look buyers in the eye when they say, “You’re too expensive” and say, “No, we’re not. When you look at the value you will enjoy as a result of doing business with us, I suggest our price is highly competitive.”
- They create and deliver powerful and persuasive Value Propositions – This is the answer to the customer’s question, “Why should we choose you rather than someone else?” Here, the LeveragePoint platform is great in helping to monetise and deliver your Value Proposition effectively.
- Curiosity – If I was recruiting today, one of the things I would be looking for in someone is a natural curiosity; a real desire to know more, to ask great questions, and to search out opportunities.
Once you have identified the full range of behaviours, you can then start to think about how to measure them. The critical question is, “What do you want the behaviours to achieve?”, and then you can start to measure whether they are, in fact, delivering those desired results. You will have to be clear that there is a direct correlation between particular types of behaviour and the results you are looking for. This provides two opportunities to measure performance:
- By observation – Is the sales team exhibiting the behaviours you desire? Are they asking great questions? Are they listening and summarising their understanding? Are they communicating value effectively?
- By measurement – Are the behaviours delivering the measurable results?
Another point to mention: do you have compensation mechanisms in place that reward the behaviours you need? The reality of reward mechanisms is that all too frequently they reward the wrong types of behaviour – and the things that get rewarded are the things that get done.