The #1 Way to Improve Sales Performance: Focus on Value Selling Adoption

Selling B2B Tech Is More Challenging Than Ever

B2B sales teams are struggling to hit revenue targets. Buyers are sticking with the status quo, as 61% of deals are lost to no decision. And when a deal does close, it’s discounted by an average of 21% (Pavilion).

The cause? Recovering from the years of ‘growth at all costs’, recent layoffs, and high interest rates, companies are now facing economic uncertainty. This has left many reluctant to spend money on more technology.

Companies will only invest in new technology if they’re convinced it will really drive value. To make matters worse, over 88% of executives can’t justify the current investments in their tech stacks, creating an even more skeptical audience that sellers need to persuade (PwC).

Salespeople are therefore faced with the immense challenge of convincing reluctant buyers that another piece of technology really is worth investing in.

The good news is that our latest research (in partnership with Genius Drive) with over 100 B2B SaaS companies reveals that there is a solution – Value Selling. Following a value selling approach helps overcome a lot of today’s challenges in B2B selling… But only if you get the formula right.

Download the Full Research

Value Selling Adoption & Impact Report

Value Selling has a Huge Impact on Sales Performance

96% of participants in our research said that salespeople following value selling practices consistently outperformed their peers.

And they did so by a significant margin. Where Value Selling was applied to a deal, companies reported:

  • 48% improvement in win rates
  • 35% increase in deal size
  • 25% reduction in sales cycle length

Yet adoption is Shockingly Low in Sales Teams

Despite its proven benefits, value selling adoption was revealed to be alarmingly low. Our research showed that on average only 19% of sellers regularly sell based on value.

That’s not to say that businesses haven’t invested in Value Selling. 89% of respondents said their company had a Business Value Engineering (BVE) team, 75% had invested in some form of self-serve Value Selling tool for sellers, and 58% had invested in Value Selling methodology training.

Yet in spite of all this investment in enablement, and the proven impact value selling has on sales performance, over 80% of salespeople do not regularly adopt it.

Download the Full Research

Value Selling Adoption & Impact Report

Value Selling Adoption: One of the biggest opportunities for improving sales performance

Simply put, our research revealed that for every 1 in 10 sellers who sell based on value, companies will see an average of 10% increase in new business revenue.

Of all the go-to-market investments a company can make, there are few that will deliver this magnitude of business impact. Certainly when it comes to sales team performance, a focus on a sales team’s adoption of Value Selling has to be one of the biggest needle movers.

But to increase adoption, companies need to rethink their approach. Our research revealed that those who did get more than 50% of their sales team selling value had one thing in common – they all focused on enabling the 80% of their team not selling value (rather than the 20% that currently do).

In doing this they followed three key strategies that prioritised enabling their average salespeople, rather than their BVEs or their top sellers.

Three Strategies to Improve Sales Team Adoption

1. Focus on Simplicity, Not Complexity

Traditionally value selling platforms and enablement have focused on complex financial modelling, calculating metrics such as NPV and TCO. The problem is that these are often too complex for the average seller to use credibly, so most of these tools end up being used by the BVE team or Presales Consultants.

For sales reps to adopt value selling, enablement needs to be intuitive and straightforward. 

Our research found that Value Automation Platforms which simplify the value selling process for sellers had the highest impact on win rates of all enablement (a 52% improvement) and improved adoption by 4% over ROI focused tools.

Those who got the highest adoption in our research (+50% of the sales team selling value) ensured that Value Selling tools and platforms focused on salespeople as the primary users.

2. Align Value Selling Enablement to the Full Sales Cycle

Historically, Value Selling has been seen as the presentation of ROI in the form of a business case at the end of a sales cycle. While the presentation of quantified value back to a prospect is important, Value Selling needs to be embedded throughout the entire sales process to be credible and adopted by sellers.

Value Selling involves initiating the prospect interaction with a value hypothesis, discovering a prospect’s burning pains and desired outcomes, and building a compelling value story for a solution using this information. The business case and quantification of impact is merely the final part of the Value Selling process.

Value Selling platforms, tools and enablement, therefore, need to be support the full sales cycle to get sellers to adopt it. While Value Selling is confined to just producing ROI numbers or business cases, sellers will be wary of adopting it for fear of presenting numbers that they can’t explain or aren’t credible.

Our research also showed that these ROI/ business case focused tools perform worse too in terms of sales performance – improving Win Rates by 19% less than enablement focused on supporting the full sales cycle.

3. Make Value Teams Accountable for Sales Rep Adoption

Business Value Engineers have a big impact on the adoption of value selling. However, the research also showed that the BVE function can’t support every deal, and they can’t scale linearly with a growing sales team.

The data revealed that as sales teams grow, the ratio of BVE to salesperson drops from 1:7 to 1:50, and so does the percentage of the pipeline that they are able to cover (from 36% to 25% of sales opportunities).

On average across the companies we surveyed, 74% of deals could not be directly supported by a BVE.

This means that the only way to increase adoption to the 80% of sellers not Value Selling today is for BVE teams to have a player/coach role in the organization.

In essence, they need to not just focus on direct deal support, but also prioritize enablement and platform adoption by salespeople.

Those who saw the highest levels of adoption in our research ensured their BVE team had three main functions:

  1. Strategic: Actively supporting the largest deals (>$1m) where they help lead discovery and build strong value stories to ensure the highest possible success of the deal closing.
  2. Evangelism: Acting as Value Selling evangelists, helping the organization at large understand why it’s important to sell value and coaching the sales team to have the right mindset.
  3. Orchestration: Ensuring platforms, tools and enablement are focused on supporting the sales process and are built to be easily adopted by salespeople.

The Key Takeaway

Our research demonstrates that value selling has a significant impact on Sales performance for B2B SaaS companies. But to see the benefit, businesses need to prioritize salesperson adoption. That means focusing on enabling the 80% of sellers who are not currently selling value by making it simple and aligning enablement and tools to the sales process. In addition, by having Value teams focused on seller adoption and not just supporting deals, businesses will be able to scale Value Selling past the 20% of reps currently doing it today.

Getting this right has a significant and needle-moving impact. For every 1 in 10 salespeople adopting Value Selling, a business will see on average a 10% increase in revenue. That’s worth repeating.

Download the full research

Read the full report to understand:

  • The typical impact Value Selling has on Win Rates, Deal Size and Sales Cycle Length by different team size
  • Benchmarks for Business Value Engineering teams of different sizes
  • The detailed breakdown of what Value Selling enablement has the biggest impact on sales performance
Value Selling Adoption & Impact Report

Watch the Webinar

In our recent webinar we walkthrough the research, covering:

  • What impact Value Selling has on Sales performance?
  • What combination of enablement has the best results? 
  • How do you drive the best sales team adoption? 
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Before you go...

Download Our FREE Value Selling Toolkit (with templates!)

Exit Intent - Free Value Selling Kit

Includes:

  • 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