In order to get to “Yes”, Buyers must have an identified priority pain to solve, see how you can uniquely address their challenges, and believe you can deliver on your promises. So how well do our commercial teams do at helping buyers gain these key understandings?
Ask a seller and they believe they’re effective at communicating value, with 22% saying that communicating value is very challenging, according to Rain Group research. Ask a buyer, and a clear Value Gap emerges, with 64% of buyers saying that the sellers they meet with aren’t effective at articulating value.
For most B2B solution providers, what buyers say it takes to win their business is not what the commercial teams are delivering. As a result, addressing the Value Gap is a top strategic goal for many organizations, to transform their customer outreach and engagement from product-centric to value-focused.
To learn more, we interviewed Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) and GTM Strategic Advisor Sherri Sklar on the importance of a well-structured value program. Sherri suggests that building a successful value program should revolve around seven foundational elements, she referred to as the 7 C’s.
The 7-C’s of an effective value program includes:
1 – Customer – The customer needs to be front and center in any GTM strategy; it is essential to clearly identify your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) to ensure that you are targeting the right buyers who are most likely to benefit from your product or solution. It is equally critical to know your buyer personas within each ICP. Understanding the unique forces that motivate your buyer personas is the only way to align with your buyer, understand their pain points and challenges, allowing you to tailor your approach effectively.
2 – Competitive Strategy – Your products and solutions must stand out. They need to stand for something that is critical for your customers that nobody else can do quite as well as you. This is the strategy piece; and your products and solutions need to be solving for something customers need and in some cases, didn’t realize they needed. Understanding how your offering stands out from the competition is crucial. Highlight the problems you address, the unique value you provide, and how your solution solves specific pain points for your target audience.
3 – Competence – Building the right skills among your sales team is imperative. Confidence and trustworthiness are essential to be perceived as a trusted advisor by potential customers. Help your sales team be the best in the world at understanding your customers’ business and adding so much value to that customer, they cannot do without your sales team. This requires a sales enablement motion to educate and train your people.
4 – Coaching – Training programs and enablement are still not enough. You have to reinforce knowledge and the skills you are trying to develop with effective one-on-one coaching by your managers and involving your whole revenue team. Effective coaching ensures that your sales team not only learns but also practices the right techniques. Leverage call recording and intelligence tools to hear how the calls are going, inspect and rewrite and coach your people on all communications, including emails, texts, Linked In and other social media posts and DMs.
5 – Content – Value-focused content is the fuel that drives customer outreach, discovery, conversations, and engagements. Help the team by providing them with tools like stories, letters, diagrams, and value-based economics tools, like ROI calculators. Give them the situational fluency that helps them stand out amongst their peers. Well-crafted content provides the necessary information to ignite the buyer’s interest and action.
6 – Customer Success – Customer success should not be an afterthought but at the forefront of your program. After all, who impacts renewals, adoption, and expansion more than your Customer Success team? If you don’t have a Customer Success team and are still covering the post-sale part of your customer lifecycle with your sales or product team, this still applies. Leveraging real customer success stories and metrics helps generate value metrics, build trust, and showcase tangible results—all which demonstrate value to customers.
7 – Calibration – Measuring key performance indicators (KPIs) allows you to assess your program’s effectiveness. Tracking indicators such as your close rates, conversion rates, pipeline growth, size of deals, speed of sell cycles and revenue overall and more helps you make informed adjustments for improved performance.
Challenges in Implementing the 7 C’s
While these seven elements are essential for a successful value program, several common challenges can hinder their implementation:
1 – Lack of Executive Support – Gaining leadership buy-in and maintaining their patience during the change management process is critical. Initial results may start to show in the first few months, but executive focus and support must persist for long-term success.
2 – Incorrect ICP and Persona Targeting – Focusing on the wrong industries and roles can lead to wasted efforts and resources.
3 – Narrow View of Value – Concentrating solely on one aspect of the solution’s value or overlooking potential benefits to the customers business overall can limit your program’s effectiveness.
4 – Pricing Strategy – Not pricing correctly or failing to leverage the value delivered to establish the right price can leave money on the table.
5 – Sales and Marketing Misalignment – Inconsistent messaging between sales and marketing teams can confuse potential customers. Ensuring alignment and a shared focus on value is essential.
6 – Incomplete Customer Journey View – Neglecting to study a customer’s journey from end-to-end can hinder the program’s effectiveness, simply by missing key strategies that could make a huge difference to your customer. A coordinated effort across the entire buyer’s journey, involving marketing, BDRs, sales, consultants, customer success reps, and product teams, is necessary for success.
7 – Not Treating your Value Program as a Change Management Journey – Failing to view the value program as a change management initiative can lead to incomplete implementation and ineffective results. Continuous measurement, learning, refinement, and reinforcement are essential for long-term success.
Benefits of Getting It Right
Implementing the 7 C’s of a successful value program can yield significant rewards.
As demonstrated by Sherri Sklar’s recent program, organizations can experience improvements in various key performance indicators, including greater conversion rates (3% to 70%) from MQLs to SQLs, pipeline growth (from less than 1X to 5x pipeline coverage), new customer acquisition (93 new logos added to the pipeline in less than 4 months), deal size, win rates, accelerated closing times, better renewals and growth.
The potential benefits are substantial, making it worthwhile for organizations to invest in building a value-focused approach.
In an increasingly competitive business environment, focusing on value is not just a trend but a necessity.
The 7 C’s of a successful value program provide a structured framework to help organizations evolve from product-led to value-focused strategies. Just like any new program, change can have its challenges, but short-term improvements and the long-term benefits of getting it right are clear: improved performance, increased customer acquisition, and enhanced competitiveness.
As organizations embrace the 7 C’s and view their value program as a change management effort, they position themselves for long-term success in the evolving landscape of sales and customer engagement.
Checkout more of our interview content in our Value Coffee Talk podcast with Sherri Sklar – https://geniusdrive.com/episode-24-why-value-should-be-the-chief-revenue-officer-cro-focus/
And in our webinar here: https://geniusdrive.com/webinar-sales-executives-pivot-from-product-led-to-value-selling/
Connect with Sherri on LinkedIn
Sources: Rain Group – https://www.instagram.com/p/C252_qPt0G6/