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Striking the Optimal Balance: The Ideal Ratio of Value Engineers to Sellers in Modern Commercial Teams

Value Engineering Ratio

Every sales organization we talk to is under more stress: to deliver better growth with less resources and support. 

When you are trying to evolve sellers to move from product pitches to engaging with a more outcome-based approach, the resource constraints can dramatically slow these evolutionary efforts. Your buyers need to understand the cost of “do nothing” and potential value of your proposal, and existing customers the realized ROI achieved, otherwise you will face more stalled deals, competitive pressure, discounts and canceled or downgraded renewals.

Value Engineers have played an essential role in supporting the evolution of commercial teams to this outcomes-based approach,  supporting better account planning, value discovery, financial justification and executive presentations. 

With the budget pressures however, every sales leader is asking, how much support is enough, or too much?  Establishing an efficient and productive ratio between Value Engineers (VEs) and commercial teams is paramount.to success. In this effort, crafting a balance between expert support resources and technologically-driven self-service solutions ensures that your commercial team is most efficient, AND delivering value to your clients. 

Here’s our take on achieving the most effective VE to seller ratio in varied scenarios.

1. The Hands On Scenario: 1 VE to 15-20 Sellers

In traditional settings where VEs are heavily leaned upon, handling the bulk of the value discovery, analysis and business case presentation, the ratio typically hovers around 1 VE to 15-20 sellers.

This highly hands-on approach assures clients get personalized, expert insights and solutions but comes with a high cost and an inherent limitation: the scalability issue. There’s a tangible cap on how many clients and queries a single VE can handle without diluting the quality of their work, which in turn restricts the volume of operations for sellers.

2. The Larger Deal Ratio: 1 VE to 30 Sellers

For numerous organizations, a middle-ground approach, balancing personalized engagement and scalable operations, has been found in a ratio of 1 VE to 30 sellers.

This model allows VEs to engage deeply with high-value or complex clients while also giving them the bandwidth to cater to a wider range of queries and issues, albeit with a slightly diluted personal touch. The sellers and success reps, can leverage the expertise of VEs to enhance their client interactions and value delivery, while also managing a broader client base.

3. The Value Automation Ratio: 1 VE to 75 Sellers or more

With automated value proposal software and enablement for self-service a 1 VE to 75 seller ratio or more can be achieved.

This ratio maximizes scalability and allows companies to handle large volumes of client interactions and transactions by leveraging automation and self-service tools for lower-value or less complex deals while the VEs focus their expertise on the highest-value clients. This means value in almost all deals and ensuring that the quality of engagement remains high where it’s most needed.

In this model, a Value Office is established, responsible for value governance and enablement: selecting, customizing and deploying the value automation tools, rolling out continuous training and assuring proper adoption, use and support, all designed to empower self service throughout the commercial teams.

THE BOTTOM-LINE

Striking and sustaining the optimal ratio of VEs to sellers will require a selection of the right engagement strategy for your business, and leveraging of automation, training and support services to help empower self-service and scale.

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