B2B Selling: Show Them The Money

Last Updated Dec 1, 2009 4:55 AM EST

We've found that B2B sales performance can be significantly increased by presenting actual, enumerated value to the client and not just the general features, advantages and benefits of a product or service.

Once you've proposed the value, you need to sell the reason for it, the proof it exists, the way it will be captured and why your company plays an essential part in getting it.

There are two important parts to business-case selling:

  • A well researched financial case. The financial case must always be client specific. The acid test is, does it meet the prospect's hurdle rate, is the value big enough to demand executive attention and is your solution consistent with your prospect's business strategy? You can answer these questions by reading their annual report, company websites, analysts' reports and press releases.
  • A clear description for why and how value can be realised. This has four components. Here's an example of how it works, from Shelton Systems, which provides automated inspection equipment to fabric-makers. Its prospect supplies high-performance waterproof fabric to clothing manufacturers.
  1. Why will there be value? Shelton's reply: "We have already done one project in your UK factory that delivered £800k in annual benefits".
  2. What's the actual value potential? Shelton's reply: "If we create a program covering all your sites in North America and the Far East you could get at least £6m and possibly £12m in annual benefits".
  3. How is the value realised? Shelton's reply: "We will produce a plan to roll out our technology across your business. A This will include user training and a performance monitoring program. Value will come from fewer returns and penalties from your customers, lower staffing cost in the quality assurance department and higher quality leading to more market share".
  4. Call to action Shelton's reply: Gain executive sponsorship, agree a joint study and planning exercise and make sure goals and objectives are aligned
Before you engage your prospects, work out how you can deliver value. Anticipate the objections and prepare yourself for a simple, short and compelling discussion. Check your facts, practice the conversation with qualified people and get their feedback before you go to sell.