My Full-Value Selling™ methodology helps sales professionals achieve differentiation by developing deeper insights into their customers’ businesses. Sales professionals need to develop an ability to hunt for value in order to differentiate their offerings. The foundational skill in learning how to hunt is learning the lay of the land in which they are hunting. My term for a detailed understanding of a customer’s business is a Value Landscape. I
Having a complete value landscape is ultimately the responsibility of each sales person. Other groups like marketing or product management may provide inputs into that landscape, but sales is ultimately responsible for knowing the customer terrain.
The Value Landscape
What are the major elements of the value landscape?
- Key Trends facing the company. Major changes in the operating environment.
- Major risks to the company’s future success.
- Top management priorities to be aware of. Do any of their priorities create a wave for you to surf on?
- Key Activities . In the company’s “money making machine”, what are the major processes, and what activities are needed to execute them?
- Value proposition: how does the company compete in their markets, and what differentiation do they have – and want to have?
- Customers: How does the company connect with its customers, who are they, how do they want to buy, and how could those things change?
- Channels: How does the customer go to market in any indirect way, how do those channels view them, and how do customers view those channels?
- Other key partners : What third parties are critical to the customer’s success?
- Key Resources: What supplies or resources does the customer rely on?
- Revenue Streams: how all does money flow into the customer, and how highly does the customer value each?
- Cost Structures: How do different cost elements affect the customer’s profitability, and are there any hidden costs in play?
If you know how to find more value adders, and can help your prospect validate them, you have strong differentiation. It starts by knowing where the value might be hiding. From this foundation, I help my clients build a strong differentiation strategy.
Using value to differentiate
Here are some stories of value that appears outside of the tired TCO model that has won deals:
- Wire and Cable: Enabling performance that increases market share. Getting the product to market six months sooner.
- Telecommunications services: obliterating the “economic geographic hiring radius” for call centers.
- Telecommunications equipment: retaining a carrier’s most profitable revenue stream.
- Sales Consulting: Finally getting some return on a CRM investment.
- Commercial Mortgages: Streamlining the business owner’s estate plan.
- Semi Trucks: reducing employee churn: hiring costs, and dispatch headaches.
These value creators have all made products competition-resistant for at least a certain period of time. Most importantly, they have taken the price-justification discussion to a much higher level in the organization, and much less commodity/TCO model – oriented.
To your Success!