Cuvama’s Value Selling Framework to scale value-based selling

Value selling Framework

Most B2B sales leaders know that value based selling can significantly increase their win rates and deal sizes. It can lead to dramatically higher win rates and shorter sales cycles (both Forbes and Gartner have written about this extensively). The benefits of value are undeniable, and not just for sales – your whole organization can reap the rewards of being aligned to value as we’ve argued here. But actually implementing value selling across an entire business isn’t easy, which is why we created the Cuvama Value Selling Framework.

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The Goal of Cuvama’s Value Selling Framework

Often the challenge with value selling is knowing where to start, or how it can be applied at different stages of the sales process. Whether it’s prospecting, qualification, discovery, pitching or closing—value selling plays a role.

The goal of Cuvama’s Value Selling framework is to help you actually implement best practice. You can use it to plan, develop, and roll out value selling (and the enablement to support it) across your sales team and sales process. Reps can also use it as a guide to prompt them on the different actions that they need to take at each stage of the sales process.

Value selling and MEDDPICC

How to Use the Value Selling Framework in Your Sales Process

Our value selling framework divides the value selling process into 11 stages -nine during the sales process and two post-sale (read why value is important post-sale here). In each stage, we’ve included a description of the value selling activity that should take place, followed by bullet points explaining best practice.

If you’re setting up a value selling methodology for the first time then implementing all stages at once is likely to be overwhelming. We recommend starting by mastering one stage. You can then gradually introduce value selling to the rest of the process.

Your sales team can also use the value selling framework as a cheat sheet when they are selling, to prompt them on what action to take at each stage of the sales process.

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Best Practice Value-Based Selling

Different people and organizations have different views on what value selling is. It’s worth understanding what true value selling is before we explain each stage of the value selling framework in detail (you can read our Ultimate Guide to Value Selling here for a deep dive).

Sell value, not products

Value is not the benefits your product offers a customer.

This misconception is common among sellers that use traditional, product-focused sales techniques. Salespeople who take this approach usually:

  • Immediately talk about product features and functions.
  • Spend too little time understanding prospect business challenges.
  • Articulate generic benefits, making it difficult for prospects to tell the difference between the salesperson’s product or service and their competitors’.

As a result, cost becomes the only differentiator, which leads to commoditization.

Value is not just an ROI calculation

Another common misconception is that value-based selling is purely based on financial returns.

But focusing on financial gains essentially reduces value to a financial calculation used to justify the solution’s price.

Salespeople who take this approach often rush to present big numbers. They don’t spend enough time understanding the prospect’s problems and business goals.

This means the calculation is usually based on generic, high-level information provided by the prospect, and therefore it isn’t credible.

Value selling means discovering and selling Success Outcomes

At Cuvama, we believe that effective B2B sales isn’t about what you sell, but how you sell it.

An effective value-selling strategy involves:

  • An approach centered around deep discovery: This enables the salesperson to fully understand the root cause of business challenges.
  • The customer defines value: For value to be meaningful to the prospect they have to define it—not the salesperson. The salesperson’s job is to guide the customer through discovery questions to uncover that value and co-create a value case.
  • Delivering value through Success Outcomes: Salespeople collaborate with prospects to understand their business challenges and align on KPIs and Success Outcomes that matter to them.
  • A personalized sales process: The sales rep can personalize the sales process and build their proposal around it because they understand the prospect’s problem.
  • Value defined in the sales process drives the entire relationship: The value story is visible to all departments and is used to track and support successful delivery (aka value realization).
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The Five Principles of Value-Based Selling

There are five principles you need to apply to sell value:

  1. Earn the right to do discovery by first providing value: Prospects have to give up their time to go through deep discovery. They won’t do this if they don’t think the rep is credible. Sales reps can create credibility by coming to each meeting with a value hypothesis. This is their view on the typical business challenges and Success Outcomes that similar companies face and want to achieve. Read more about creating a value hypothesis.
  2. Uncover the customer’s specific business problems: This means understanding the prospect’s specific challenges at a business, function, and personal level. The rep should always dig deeper to understand the root causes of those problems. This enables them to frame their product or service as the best option to solve the problem.

  3. Ask and align on the key performance indicators (KPIs) or outcomes the customer is looking to achieve: Value selling should be about achieving Success Outcomes—not just ROI. This can be achieved by asking the customer which KPIs will impact those Success Outcomes. These KPIs can be tracked by Customer Success once the prospect has become a customer.

  4. Link achieving those outcomes and KPIs to the unique aspects of your solution: Use your discovery findings to personalize demos and show how your solution’s unique strengths will help the customer achieve each KPI.

  5. Monitor ongoing success realization: Create a digital record of the customer’s discovery, KPIs, and Success Outcomes, and make these available to both the customer and your Customer Success teams. This ensures that the value conversation continues throughout the customer lifecycle. It also allows Customer Success to begin having conversations around delivering value from day one.

11-Step Value Selling Framework Explained

This section briefly explains each stage of the framework, including:

  • The goal of each stage
  • Why you need to include value
  • The benefits of using value correctly
Value Selling Framework

1. Prospect engagement

Goal: To find a way of engaging your ICP (Ideal Customer Profile) with a message that stands out from the noise, resonates with their problem and compels them to respond.

Why include value: Prospects are bombarded by generic benefit messaging that’s not relevant or targeted, to the point that all solution providers become noise. Fundamentally, prospects don’t care about features or generic benefits.

To get their attention, you need to give them a reason to speak to you. And the only reason they will take time out of their busy day to speak to you is because you can provide them some value. This means value needs to be included from the first interaction – not just left to  consultants or super-experienced sales reps further down the line.

Benefits of getting this right: By demonstrating credibility and showing that you can impact the prospect’s problems, you get better response rates to your outbound messaging.

2. Lead qualification and conversion

Goal: Ensure the right deals make it through to discovery and the pipeline by qualifying out prospects that don’t fit your ICP (Ideal Customer Profile), and demonstrating why good-fit prospects should continue to engage with you.

Why include value: Using value to qualify instead of just high-level traits forces a rep to really understand a customer’s reason for change and the impact they’re looking to get from a solution. In the process, they can spot red flags that would otherwise be found after you’ve wasted a lot more time and resources on the deal.

An example of value forcing better qualification is a rep being able to qualify out those prospects that have unrealistic outcome expectations for a solution, or don’t have a strong enough reason to change. In both cases you want to know this ahead of time, so as not to inject risky deals into your pipeline.

Benefits of getting this right: Win back time and resources by qualifying out deals. Make your pipeline more efficient and predictable, by making sure only good fits make it through.

3. Initiate outcome-centric sales cycle

Goal: To frame your selling process and sales conversations as strategic and important to the prospect’s business. Then earn the right to ask questions by providing value to gain credibility.

Why include value: The prospect will want to rush to talk about a price or see a demo. If this happens then you’ll struggle to differentiate, and your product will become commoditized. You’ll also struggle to pull the conversation back to value.

The problem is that the prospect is unlikely to engage in value-based conversations unless you can prove your credibility by providing them with useful new information. So value is needed here to set up the right sales process to follow, but also as a way of earning the prospect’s time.

Benefits of getting this right: The sales rep immediately sets themselves apart from those who rush to a demo. They gain permission to go through a value selling process and do discovery.

4. Uncover business challenges

Goal: Really understanding the reason a customer should change. Identifying and emphasizing the pain in order to create urgency.

Why include value: The biggest reason deals fall through is that sales reps don’t do deep enough value discovery—by which we mean discovery into a customer’s pain and the impact of solving that pain.

A prospect needs to have a pressing problem they feel is hurting their business—otherwise they won’t consider changing. The salesperson needs to understand the root cause of that problem so that they can position their product or service as the best solution for it.

Taking time to really understand the prospect’s problem, its root cause and the impact it has on a prospect allows reps to more closely align to a prospect’s needs. It also:

  • Differentiates them from the other sales reps competing for that buyer’s attention
  • Makes them more trustworthy and credible because they’re able to speak the prospect’s language
  • Allows them to create urgency because they can zero in on the pain and highlight the impact of not solving it

Benefits of getting this right: Ultimately the biggest benefit is an increased chance of winning. And winning not just against competitors, but also against the status quo (i.e. the customer choosing to do nothing).

5. Align on KPI impacts and outcomes

Goal: To understand and align on the impact/outcome—or value—the prospect wants to achieve with a solution.

Why include value: Customers buy outcomes, not products. They want to realize an end state where some part of their lives or business has been positively impacted. This can be a financial ROI impact or a softer benefit that isn’t directly financial – such as an improvement in employee satisfaction or customer experience. However, in the current market financial ROI is becoming more important. CFOs are scrutinizing more spend and want to understand the impact.

Benefits: Understanding exactly what positive change looks like shows that the rep truly understands the prospect. It also allows them to deeply connect their solution to the prospect’s needs at the next stage, creating a real incentive to change. Furthermore, the salesperson will gain a competitive advantage simply because most other reps fail to take this step.

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6. Link the value story to your solution’s unique capabilities

Goal: Connect the prospect’s problem to your solution, positioning it as the best way to achieve their desired outcome.

Why include value: Without this connection a rep may have uncovered pain and created a reason to change, but the prospect has no reason to change to your solution. It’s important that a rep frames and positions your unique capabilities as the best solution to the root cause of the prospect’s problem—otherwise it could lead to a competitor’s solution. 

Benefits: By connecting their unique capabilities to solving the prospect’s problem, the rep positions their product as the favorite solution. This removes competitors from the shortlist. It also sets your business up for charging a premium price. Customers are likely to pay more to achieve their desired outcome, rather than buying a collection of features in a product.

7. Co-create a business case

Goal: Build a credible business case for your prospect around your solution.

Why include value: Most vendor business cases are created with generic information from the prospect. They are often one-way—in other words, based on the vendor’s product and used to justify its price. Business cases need to be credible, and the only way to do this is to co-author them with the prospect. It should be their business case, not the rep’s.

Benefits: By making the business case believable, credible, and powerful the salesperson also makes it more likely that the prospect will champion it and be able to sell it internally.

8. Empower your champion

Goal: To enable your champion to sell your solution internally to stakeholders.

Why include value: Deals that are a good fit are often lost due to a lack of alignment between stakeholders at the prospect’s company. You need a champion within the prospect company to gain consensus on your solution among stakeholders. But it’s harder to get buy-in from senior stakeholders if your champion isn’t equipped to sell the value of your solution.

Benefits: The prospect business is more likely to adopt your solution if an internal champion presents a convincing business case. This leads to faster deals and a higher win rate.

9. Negotiate, win and close

Goal: To justify the cost of your solution and avoid discounting by anchoring price against the unique value you will deliver.

Why include value: If salespeople fail to connect their solution to the prospect’s problem then they become commoditized. This gives the prospect more scope to negotiate on price.

Benefits: Higher average order value/selling price, less discounting to win, faster deal cycles.

10. Create success plan

Goal: Build a success plan aligned to deliver the outcomes that the prospect bought your solution to achieve. 

Why include value: Customers bought your solution to solve a problem and deliver some form of impact. The value story needs to be captured, distilled into a success plan and handed to Customer Success so they can realize value and reinforce it. If this doesn’t happen Customer Success is reduced to talking about features, usage and service delivered.

Benefits: Enables Customer Success to improve satisfaction and retention, and to grow the account via upselling and cross-selling.

11. Track and reinforce value

Goal: To track and reinforce the value you deliver to ensure retention and account expansion.

Why include value: Customer Success needs to remind customers of the value they receive. To do this, they need to track and measure the impact they deliver. Failure to do this could lead to your solution becoming the victim of customer budget cuts.

Benefits: Builds trust with the customer, improves renewals and sets the account up for expansion.

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Using Technology to scale Value-Based Selling

This framework will help your sales team to sell value rather than features and functions. It’s a great first step toward value selling, and it’s a helpful resource to share with your team.

Once you’ve tried out the template and you’re ready to start implementing value-based selling in your company, the best way to do so is to use Cuvama’s Value Selling platform.

It guides reps through the value selling process in real-time, ensuring they have the right value conversations. It makes value-based selling easy, allowing all reps to discover, sell, and quantify value at scale—helping them to become rock star sellers.

The Cuvama platform achieves this by:

Find out more about Cuvama’s Value selling platform

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Exit Intent - Free Value Selling Kit


  • The Ultimate Guide to Value Selling – Taking you from what selling value really means, to how to implement it
  • Value Proposition Guide – How to structure your value prop to enable great value selling
  • Value Discovery Guide – To drive deeper discovery and better sales discovery