Ep. 1
How to Sell Based on Business Value with Darrin Fleming

The Sales Conversation

Episode Overview

Sellers struggle with selling business value. They are taught to sell products, but not how to sell based on business value. In this episode, my former college roommate, business partner, and lifelong friend, Darrin Fleming, speaks about why we should be selling based on business value. Darrin is the founder and CEO of ROI-Selling.com and a business leader with experience in marketing and sales across different sizes of businesses, from small companies to huge multinational corporations. He helps his clients build their strategic marketing capability, and is a specialist in honing his clients’ business value propositions and assisting sellers to sell based on business value.

Episode Timestamps

[1:55] How did you get involved in helping sellers with value selling?

  • Began as an economic evaluator for an engineering plant:
    • Evaluated projects and investments
  • Left manufacturing/engineering and moved into consulting:
    • He is now helping marketers and sellers with their value-based conversations.
    • He’s also helping sellers help buyers with deciding on whether the product is a good investment.
  • Tom Siebel:
    • He challenged his product leads to make sure they had a tangible ROI as part of their product value proposition.

[4:07] Why is having a business value discussion a critical ingredient to the sales conversation?

  • Customers at some point need to do their own cost-justification when investing in an expensive product.
  • It is essential to go beyond the product that you are selling, and it is necessary to talk about the problem that you are solving. It is even more critical to have a business case to garner buyer approval.
  • Being able to quantify value and having a hard ROI– the business case can be the #1 catalyst.
  • An ROI is a qualification tool that can help you focus your efforts on customers where you are going to deliver the most value.

[8:14] What are the different inhibitors that get in the way of sellers having a business value conversation?

  • Darrin spoke about a joke he uses when training sales reps mentioning he tells them the goal of the training program is to turn them into “accountants,” and that includes removing their personality. Again, it’s just a joke.
    • There’s a fear of working with quantifiable numbers.
  • Thinking about the way a company works as not a financial discussion:
    • How does a company make money?
    • What are their drivers of financial success within their organization?

[14:03] What are the practical steps for helping sellers gain the ability to carry a business value conversation?

  • A lot of sales discussion is modeled around solving a problem from the customers perspective
    • Need to ask the questions:
      • How big is the problem?
      • How much is it costing?
      • What can we eliminate?
        • Is it a cost problem? Time problem? Quality problem?
    • To do this, you need to understand your customers business and how they make money.
    • Approach with an income statement perspective.

[20:28] What should the audience do to learn more about value-based selling?

  • Darrin’s blog focuses on different aspects of value-based selling.
  • Darrin’s Linkedin group helps to engage in conversation with topics on value-based selling.

Additional Resouces

To learn more about upping your game in selling based on business value, please visit Darrin’s website and join him on Linkedin.

Darrin’s Website: http://www.roi-selling.com/resources
Blog: http://www.roi-selling.com/blog

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Sound editing and show notes produced by – ChirpSound