Value Strategy: The Foundation of Collaborative Account Development
Communicating the value created is the key part of collaborative account development. Many salespeople believe that if they win opportunities in the sales process and their account teams implement the solution for the customer flawlessly, the customer will automatically recognize that value has been created.
This is a mistake. Value not communicated is value not perceived by the customer.
Four Factors Make Up a Value StrategyIdentify the business environment and business needs: There are trends in the customers' industry affecting their business. In addition, the customer has company goals, objectives, and challenging issues. Out of these trends and challenging issues arise opportunities to work together to improve the customer’s performance. This includes identifying, and formulating, how the customer defines value.
Generate new ideas: One of the key behaviors of trusted advisors is that they bring new insights and ideas to their customers. These insights and ideas seek to change the status quo to help the customer keep up in a fast-paced and challenging business environment.
Communicate the value to the customer:How can your company deliver value to the customer? Be sure the customer also is told, and understands, how your salespeople can deliver value to their stakeholder, including the customer's customers.
Deliver: After your salespeople have worked hard to identify and generate new opportunities, your account team needs to deliver the solutions that deliver value to the customer. This part of the value strategy is largely out of your control as company specialists take the lead in implementing the solution. Remember, though, that high-performing salespeople stay in regular contact with their customers to monitor customer satisfaction and correct any problems that might arise.
Your customer will see your salespeople as providing value to the business when they:
- Help plan proactively for change, threats, and opportunities in the business environment. Understand the industry in which the customer works.
- Have a deep understanding of what the customer's business needs to perform better.
- Build a persuasive business case that gets senior company leaders’ attention
- Advocate strongly for customer interests within their company.
- Assemble an expert account team that works well with customer teams
- Make the customer feel they have the authority to make decisions, or at least strongly influence decision making.
- Improve the customer experience with your company.
- Help the customer be more effective and efficient in their business.
- Create a strong sense of urgency to seize opportunities in the customer market or markets.
- Provide an objective, strategic view of customer business that is both accurate and informative.
- Have a compelling vision for how customer and the salesperson’s company should collaborate to co-create value.
- Solve problems and issues promptly and fairly.
- Meet and exceed agreed-upon performance requirements on a regular basis.
- Navigate company organizational politics in a way that gets things done.
- Act as a catalyst to create consensus among multiple stakeholders
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