Ace Your Customer Value Chain. Sell Value, Not Just Products and Services
The best companies sell value, not just products and services. This is regardless of industry, market, size and demographics. According to Herb Engert who leads the Americas Strategic Growth Markets for the EY organization, understanding your company’s position in the customer value chain creates the foundation for future growth. As your company continues to grow, you should continue to make customer value chain a priority. Let’s take a closer look at some things you should do to make that happen.
Determine the main motivations for your customers
Understanding your customers’ motivations is the key to any marketer’s success, as explained by Radhika Duggal who runs marketing at student lender CommonBond. Long before you sell anything to your customers, you should be clear on why they simply must have it. Why should they buy whatever it is that you are selling?
Your ability to identify the key motivations and levers that affect your customers will affect the value you are able to create for them. Clarity is crucial at this stage, preceding all sales activity. This is where your customer value chain will be created.
Clearly articulate the value you offer
Your customers’ most dire needs and your products – think about how these two should connect. Think about why customers should associate your service offering with what they need. The salespeople in your company should be able to clearly articulate the value you are offering. Initiatives such as sales workshops will not always deliver. You need to go beyond creating a transactional process.
Your sales approach should communicate value to customers, whether you are in the B2C or B2B space. To do this, your salespeople should ace the elements such as:
- Assessing customer needs
- Preparing customer value proposition
- Articulating customer value proposition
You need to ask insightful questions that make it easy for customers to think about issues they didn’t consider before. These will invariably be about how to improve their life (B2C) or improve their business (B2B).
Perfect your execution
Yes, product sales and value communication are two different animals. This is why reinforcement is important. For instance, you need to ensure that your sales team is not dipping into outdated and/or less effective sales processes and techniques.
Consider having a sales manager assess items like an evaluation plan before it is sent off to a customer. Such initiatives will improve your execution and keep the process of enhancing customer value chain on track.
It’s always great to have metrics that corroborate success. Your team should be able to measure why it is better for your business to sell value, not just products or services. Look at numerous business metrics including changes in customer interactions, effects on sales pipeline and the overall impact on business.
Metrics continue to evolve and provide better insight into performance. For instance, Brad Birnbaum talks about the evolution of metrics in customer service. You also need to share all relevant statistics. This will help your organization continue to make the case for driving value even with changes in the sales team or leadership.
At the end of the day, customer value chain is an opportunity to tell customers why your organization cannot be replaced, at least not easily. So long as you pay attention to your customer value chain, you will have an edge over your competition.
Fatima Mansoor is a writer at Aepiphanni, a small business operations and strategy consultancy that exists to help small business owners CREATE | DESIGN | BUILD extraordinary businesses. She specializes in business & entrepreneurship, digital marketing, and health & fitness. Her focus is on creating compelling web content for small and medium businesses form diverse industries. She mostly writes for entrepreneurs and marketing agencies across the US, Australia and UK.
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