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AND, not OR: Balancing Features and Functions with Value in Selling


When it comes to value selling, some people believe it requires a complete shift from the old ways and a complete adoption of the new. While there are changes, it’s not about abandoning features and function selling. You still need to demonstrate and prove that you have the right solution for the customer.

The Add, Not The Replacement

Value selling is about changing what you lead with. Instead of focusing solely on your company and your solution, it’s about understanding the challenges your customers are facing, the pain points, and the cost of doing nothing. It’s not about abandoning demonstrations, but rather adding value, outcomes, and ROI to the process.

Of course to most sellers, they hear the word “add” and rightfully so, they want to run the other way. Already full up, who wants to add anything else to the process. And won’t value just slow down the whole process, with something new now in the mix?

I argue that value selling is not really adding at all. When we look at the typical B2B buyer’s journey, your buyers have to provide financial justification to their execs and CFO for approval. You can leave it up to the buyer to put together the justification business case, but they often struggle with the analysis and report, taking months to pull together the information.

As you are not part of this internal justification process, you don’t know what or how the results are presented. Moreover, you don’t know whether your differentiating value story is coming through. The CFO and execs might confront your buyer,  questioning whether they can get the same benefits and ROI from a less expensive provider.

It is so much better if you add value selling to the mix, collaborating with the buyer on the business case. The benefits are many.

Your value selling efforts will reduce how long it takes the buyer to pull together the financial justification on their own – 2 months on average from our analysis of decision stalls and sales cycle extensions that can be eliminated. You can assure the business case results are realistic, credible and achievable, helping to reduce buyer regret and renewal issues later.

You can assure the business case is tied to strategic initiatives, essential for approval prioritization, and an element many buyers don’t realize until it’s too late and the initiative canceled or dramatically stalled.

By adding value selling to the mix, you can differentiate yourself from competitors. The buyer will see that you care about more than just how the solution works, but also about delivering positive outcomes, savings, and rewards. Properly presenting your differentiated value story can help avoid generic business cases and being seen as a commodity.

The Bottom Line

Value selling is not an “OR” but an “AND.” It’s about balancing the technical path of proving functionality with the business path of aligning solutions to strategic initiatives and documenting the outcomes and value. By taking a parallel path, you can help the buyer understand the importance of the solution in reducing pains, aligning with key strategic initiatives, and delivering value outcomes.

Checkout these services to help improve and activate your Inspired Value Storytelling.

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