What is ValueSelling, and why is it ideal for B2B SaaS?
What is ValueSelling, and why is it ideal for B2B SaaS?
B2B SaaS companies often sell functions and features. Your start-up or scale-up may also do this. But do your customers really care about them? Your clients are probably less feature-oriented than you think, which means that you may need to reconsider your sales method. In this introduction, we look at the how and why of ValueSelling.
Every software and fast-growing company has sales challenges. For this reason, Fortino Capital employed sales trainer Bart Van Eijck to strengthen the sales expertise of Fortino’s portfolio companies.
"Scale-ups are generally composed of a variety of people who have different visions and do not share a similar sales strategy. Often, they don't even think of developing one", says Bart Van Eijck. Van Eijck is an associate at ValueSelling Associates and helps C-Suite and executive leaders worldwide achieve ambitious sales targets and stimulate team success. During a Fortino sales training session for its B2B SaaS portfolio companies, Van Eijck taught young and driven sales professionals his methodology.
“From selling software to creating valuable partnerships, that is what top performers do,” says Jeroen Van Godtsenhoven, Operating Advisor at Fortino Capital. “At Fortino we believe that we can hack time by providing more than capital. We give our companies access to top-notch know-how to accelerate their growth.”
What goes wrong in scale-ups?
"Technically driven organisations are understandably proud of what they have developed.” explains Bart Van Eijck. “That is why they promote their functions and features in the sales process. However, the well-informed customer is only interested in how the proposed solution helps to solve concrete problems. If this added value is not addressed in the sales process, it is more difficult to win new customers."
Why do you need a solid sales methodology?
A solid sales methodology is a growth accelerator. Thanks to a common framework, every prospect and client is treated the same. As a result, they experience consistency and gain confidence in your business.
“Since most customer interviews are done online nowadays, a consistent methodology is even more important than before,” says Van Eijck. “If everyone sells in their own way, the customer will drop out.” ValueSelling offers this uniformity and methodology
What is ValueSelling?
ValueSelling is a proven sales method that helps salespeople close deals faster, with clients who could have a significant impact on their turnover. Selling is no longer about arguments, price and discounts. ValueSelling focuses on selling values that match the motives of the (potential) client.
“In ValueSelling, seller and customer don't confront each other as one would in hard negotiations,” says Van Eijck. “The idea is that they stand side by side and walk the path together.”
Do not expect a fixed course either. Rather, the ValueSelling Framework provides tools that work and that leave room to create your own process. “The crucial element is the common plan you draw up and realise together with prospects and customers. It results in a transparent framework in which the main challenges and possible problems are identified, solutions are offered, and the steps needed to achieve them are outlined.”
How to start with ValueSelling?
First of all, stop saying that you have the best solution. Van Eijck's advice is: “Ask prospects and customers which solution they think is best.”
Another important aspect of ValueSelling is looking beyond the needs that lie at the surface. The customer's motivation is the main focal point. Van Eijck encourages sales professionals to ask about the customer's values and what they wish to achieve. With this information, you can formulate a mutually beneficial solution. The secret lies in adding value to the business of the customer, at every stage of the process.
Van Eijck gives an example: “One of the participants of the ValueSelling course has a training skills assessments company. When she meets an HR director struggling with high staff turnover, she starts by uncovering the underlying problems. Perhaps staff members are not receiving enough training or are working in a demotivating environment.
“Understanding the HR director's concerns and the reasons for the turnover will help with the AI solution pitch. For example, she can explain to the HR director that satisfaction will rise, and that turnover will fall if he invests more in the right skills. Her software helps to detect the needed skills and missed competencies and therefore is an indispensable tool to reduce turnover.”
What results do you achieve with ValueSelling?
The effect is that you qualify your customers more strictly, resulting in a narrower pipeline. One hundred leads might become fifty. As a result, the average negotiation time decreases while the number of deals and their turnover increase. The fifty leads might bring in twenty customers, which is better than the ten customers out of a hundred leads, as was the case before.
“ValueSelling can yield an enormous acceleration in performance", confirms Van Eijck. “Our training and methodology are simple and transparent. As a result, we see positive effects within two to three months after the training. The sales figures rise. One of our participants doubled his turnover within sixty days. Soon we'll see the sales results of the current group of trainees, and I can't wait to see them.”
About sharing expertise
Fortino not only trains customers in ValueSelling, but also invests in sharing expertise. Fortino shares its own expertise with customers and amplifies it with expertise from companies in its network. “That is how we let our companies benefit from our growing community,” says Patrick Van Deven, partner at Fortino Capital. “We identify companies with similar challenges and let them exchange experiences. In that way, entrepreneurs can learn from each other.”
If you’re a Europe-based B2B SaaS company looking for advice and potential investment, we can help. Get in touch, and let’s get the conversation started.