As a salesperson, it gets beat into your head in every pipeline review, every team meeting and every sales training session. Sell value, not features!
Then comes demo day on your next opportunity and you’ve got the value pitch all teed up, except your audience wants to talk product.
It’s 20-questions as soon as the meeting starts.
- “Can you give us an overview of your features?”
- “Do you have this?”
- “Do you have that?”
- “Can you show me how your product does…?”
- “How do you compare to [competitor name]?”
How’s that value pitch working so far?
Here are a few techniques to get the conversation back to a business level where you’re able to sell value.
Three Tips for Steering the Conversation Back to Business Value
When buyers insist on having a feature discussion, let them have it, for a minute. When there’s a pause, try one of the following that’s most appropriate for the context of the discussion.
Preface the following questions with this.
“Let’s say you have that feature set and it’s working exactly the way you imagined it.”
- “What’s the difference between this new scenario and what you’re doing today. WHY is that important?”
- “How would you measure success (metrics)?” What does success look like with the new feature set?” WHY is that important?”
- “What will you be able to do because of these new features that you can’t do/difficult to do today?” WHY is that important?”
If your audience is not able to answer these questions definitively, it’s a big red flag!
In all likelihood, you’re talking to the wrong people, perhaps project managers versus those managing the actual operations.
If the project team can’t or won’t give you an audience of businesspeople, it’s another red flag that basically puts you in a position of depending on someone else to carry your value proposition to the decision-makers and influencers.
As a sales team, you just have to decide how much time and effort you want to invest in an opportunity where you don’t know WHAT they’re trying to accomplish (business outcomes), WHY it’s critical to the success of the organization strategically, and WHAT’s stopping them?
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by John Mansour on April 13, 2022.