Many of us make fun of salespeople especially because they are always asking for discounts. Can’t they sell value? If they lose a deal, they often blame price. Price, price, price. If we listen to sales we’d believe that every customer only wants to pay the lowest possible price. Yet, it is true that every customer wants to pay less. But pricing (and selling) isn’t about what customers want to pay. It’s about what they are willing to pay.
You know the above paragraph is true. So instead of making fun of sales, let’s take a long honest look at ourselves. What are we doing to help our salespeople win at the price we think we deserve?
If we want our salespeople to win at higher prices, we must give them the knowledge and the tools.
Your salespeople probably don’t know as much as you do about the value of your products. When you complete Value Based Pricing exercises you compare your product to your competitors and look at the relative value. This is the information that your salespeople need to have at their fingertips. To win at higher prices sales must understand and be able to communicate your value relative to your competitors’.
Why can charge more than a competitor? You probably have more capabilities that the competitor. Make sure you document these differences and make them easily available to your salesforce. Maybe you have a lower total cost of ownership. Document and share it. Maybe you have the best lifetime value. Get that out to your salespeople.
Salespeople want to do what’s right and best for the company (and their pocketbook). However, they are not going to do the hard work of comparing your products to your competitors. They have other products to sell. It’s your job to make sure sales has the ammunition to succeed.
Your price and your value is relative to each one of your competitors. You will want to document what your value is relative to each and justify that price. Even when you are at a disadvantage, be honest with sales. They are on your team and you want them exerting effort on deals they are more likely to win.
The other key advantage to sharing this with sales is they will share back with you what your customers really think. This is great information as we try to tweak our prices.
My recommendation: Commit to giving sales the knowledge and tools they need to communicate your value to potential customers. Then make it happen.
Oh, and if you know any good sales jokes send them my way. 🙂