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Wilson Learning Reveals the Art and Science of Selling to Value

July 10, 2017

Studies show that buying executives desperately want salespeople to engage in business impact discussions, but find few ready and able to do so.

Wilson Learning explains how this gap between what buying executives want and what they get drives the need to teach salespeople to sell value.

Selling to value refers to a distinct approach to selling that focuses on aligning your offering to the business value it creates for the customer. “This approach,” states David Yesford, Sr. Vice President for Wilson Learning, “requires the sales practitioner to develop an ever-expanding mindset and skill set—and it requires a commitment to a purpose that goes beyond self-interest to include both the interest of the individual customer and the interests of that customer’s business organization.”

Selling to value needs to be reflected in all aspects of the sales process: prospecting, qualifying, contacting, proposing, and closing a sales opportunity. Michael Leimbach, Ph.D., Vice President of Global Research and Development for Wilson Learning, adds, “Selling to value has the greatest impact on how a salesperson discovers needs. Discovering needs is at the very heart of the selling to value relationship. When done correctly, it has a profound effect on the customer’s understanding of their business and where they can generate growth.”

In a more traditional sales process, discovery is focused on gathering information about customers’ needs and solving a business problem. This traditional needs-based discovery ignores additional sources of value that can be brought into consideration. At its core, selling to value is a thorough consideration of how the customer organization creates value for its customers. In this approach, the salesperson brings a broader and more informed understanding of the customer organization’s business context into a free-flowing exploration of the business impact of the customer’s buying decisions.

Customers increasingly expect selling organizations to use and sell to value. As Dr. Leimbach and Mr. Yesford explain: “This move, from a problem-centered approach to a business-centered approach, may seem easy, but it requires three things: a mindset change that places the customer’s business ahead of your own, new knowledge by exploring how the customer’s business runs, and new skills to follow the customer’s lead to the next question.”