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Stop Taking Orders and Start Climbing Ladders

27 January 2021

In the customer journey, you could put the sales process down to a procedure as simple as taking the customer’s order. However, that would be a mistake.

What you should be doing with every customer is starting to personalise and tailor the sales process to their needs. This process builds value for the customer and so increases the chance of a sale.

To address how we can use value building to progress with a prospective client in the sales journey, we first need to define ‘value’ in relation to a product.

Value is defined by 3 key factors:

  1. Features / Functionality
  2. Gain creators
  3. Pain relievers

Now, think of your own sales process and how each of these factors is addressed along the way. Do you make each of these factors clear to your customers?

At the first point of contact, when receiving a new enquiry, the customer will most likely already know the features of your products. They have come to you because they have already identified how the features of that product can help them to solve a particular problem.

This is great but we shouldn’t rely on features alone to make the sale.

Gain creators and pain relievers are usually more difficult to uncover for each customer because there needs to be work done by your salesperson. They will need to discover where each of these factors sits with their customer.

There are 4 steps on the metaphorical ladder, which your salespeople can climb to add value.

  1. Talking brochure – this is just speaking about and explaining features and functionality – in this step the salesperson is actually having a negative value as this could be done without a person.
  2. Pros and cons vs. Alternatives – This is where the value is starting to be added. When the salesperson has started to use their knowledge of the market, to explain comparisons and explain how the pros and cons of their product.
  3. Problem Solving & Tailored Presentations – This is where ALL salespeople should be. They should be able to tailor their presentation to the customer, using relevant gains and pains to add value for that specific customer. It is not the same approach for every customer anymore, they are speaking to them about what kinds of needs they have and what fears they have and, ultimately, how your product can address those.
  4. Change of Strategic Direction – this is rarely used unless your product is a particular type of innovative design or solution to something but it may need to be used now and then.

The most important point to remember here is that the value being added can benefit you all around.

As the value increases, so does the customer’s loyalty. At the same time, once there is enough value being added, the customer’s sensitivity to price gets decreased. What this means is that by proving to the customer how your product relates directly to their fears and needs, they will be willing to part with more in the end to obtain it.

Once you have got this down, you can also read more about improving your sales process in this article:

Read: 3 Reasons Why Your Salespeople Fail (and Ways to Help Them)

I hope this helped and once you have reviewed the above, make sure to go back to your own sales process and see where you think your salespeople sit on the ladder.


If you’d like to have a free, no-obligation call to discuss how we can help you to improve your sales process by adding value, please feel free to get in touch.

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