2019 Sales Planning & Budgeting: Ask Your Customers Why They Chose You & Measure Value Creation
Sales Performance International surveyed nearly 800 sales managers and reps to better understand what they need in order to succeed in the coming year. This is the first piece in our 3 part Budget Planning series. Of the insights we gained, we discovered that one of the top needs for winning more deals is better understanding buyer behavior and justifying value to customers.
Ask The Million Dollar Question
As you begin planning for 2019, we recommend conducting regular win-loss interviews with your healthcare customers.
Many buyers go through a rigorous sourcing exercise to identify potential vendors. In the process, they become an incredible source of market and competitive insight into your strengths and weaknesses, and what really differentiates you from your competition.
Too few healthcare sales representatives ask buyers why they really chose you – or didn’t. Product managers will do this, but focus too heavily on product features and price, rather than benefits and value. And, they seldom share information with sales and marketing teams to improve win rates. In addition to product preferences and price, ask the buyer about their overall experience buying from you. Learn how they realized a need and went through their buying process. Often there is something beyond the product and price that tipped the decision in your favor. Don’t make assumptions!
Measure Value Creation
More than ever, buyers want to know the expected return on their investment in your solution. If your healthcare sellers don’t have this information, they will probably lose the opportunity to no decision, or perhaps worse, the competition. Or they will make something up that will come back to bite them come renewal time.
Justifying the value you deliver to your customers requires developing the discipline to measure the value you create for them. It’s easy to avoid identifying key performance indicators and collecting benchmarks because it creates extra work for you and your healthcare buyer. However, most customers will be receptive to this because it is also important for them to know the ROI of your solution. The extra effort will help you win
more business, and better retain and grow accounts.
Justifying value is best done from pre-sale to implementation and on-going application. These latter activities often fall into the realm of product managers and customer success managers. This will require a collaborative effort and a defined methodology for how you work with customers. Planning for 2019 is the perfect opportunity to rally the organization behind this effort and secure funding for the resources necessary for successful execution.