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Sales Influence Video Tip #45 – Selling Price, Profit or Positioning in B2B Sales

by Victor Antonio

Here’s a video reminder about how the conversations you’re having are determined by who you’re speaking to within an organization.

  • If you’re talking price, then you’re most likely speaking to someone whose job it is to focus on reducing price.
  • If you’re talking value, then you’re probably talking to the right person who understands how you can help them grow their revenue and market share.

Conversations matter!   Watch the video and ask yourself, “What kind of conversations am I having with my client?”

IT Study – Motivating Factors as to Why Client’s Buy

by Victor Antonio

Sales Consultant, Victor Antonio, Value Centric SellingLast week I posted a video titled “Reduce Costs or Increase Revenue” which highlighted the three primary motivating factors for a client to make a buying decision:

– Increase Revenue (sales)

– Reduce (cut) Cost and

– Avoid Missed Opportunities

I stated that the most impactful of the three was showing clients how they could ‘reduce cost’ because clients can quantify, control and make permanent those cost reductions.

I’ve had a few people question whether leading off a presentation with Reduce Cost scenarios has more impact than Increasing Revenues projections.  So I dug a little deep and found this IT survey done on small and medium size businesses (SMB) that further validates this point.

A sample of 500 SMBs where asked to list the top 3 motivating factors for buying new technology.  As you can see from the graph, second to “Increasing Productivity” (which is a cost cutting measure to increase cash flow) is ” Cut Cost”.  You’ll note that “Increase Revenue”  (sales) comes in sixth in terms of motivating factors.

(Click on image to enlarge)

 Value Centric Selling - IT-Buyers
Survey of IT Buyers

source: marone-lunsford (2005)

It’s important to emphasize once more that addressing cost cutting, increase revenue and avoid miss opportunities are all relevant and warrant a discussion with the client.  The only point I wish to make here is that putting more emphasis on how your product or service can help them reduce costs will probably resonate more with your client.

ROI – Defining the Impact Areas

By Victor Antonio


Sales Consultant, Victor Antonio, Value Centric SellingIf you’re in the ‘Systems Automation’ business, then one of the best ways to prepare for a sales presentation is being able to define the areas of impact your product or service will have on the client’s direct costs or operating expenses.

A mistake many B2B salespeople make during the presentation and proposal phase of the sales process is to present their product/service/solution and slightly touch on a few possible impact areas.   Mistake!  Don’t make the client work at having to connect the dots between what you offer and their problem areas; that’s your job!

To be able to do this effectively requires some upfront thinking and preparation.  Start by listing out all the possible areas of impact your product or service addresses.  For example, let’s say you offer an automation product or software that will automate steps in the client’s manufacturing process or automate steps on the processing-side of a service-based business.

Here’s a short list of some the areas are you most likely to impact:

  • Reduce Rejection Rates
  • Reduced (Wo)Manhours
  • Reduce Headcount
  • Reduce Maintenance Cost and/or Fees
  • Reduce Number of Suppliers (in supply chain)
  • Reduce Material Expenses
  • Combines Processes to Reduce Cost
  • Reduce Human Error (reduce handling)
  • Reduce Utility Cost
  • Reduce Workstation-System Workspace (area)
  • Reduce Software Application Licenses

Can you think of a few more?

Once you’ve compiled a complete list of impact areas, the next step is to analyze and assign each impact area a value (e.g., estimated number of hours reduced, dollars saved, days reduced, area utilization, and so on).   Lastly, incorporate these reductions and savings into your presentation and proposal.

If done correctly, you’ve just moved up one step on the VCS Value Ladder.  What is the Value Ladder?  Well, that’s another posting altogether 🙂

Profit Improvement Challenge

by Victor Antonio

Sales Consultant, Victor Antonio, Value Centric Selling

I have a challenge to my B2B salespeople reading this post.  In order to prepare yourself well before your next presentation, here’s what I’d like you to do.  I would like you to take a moment and list out, in detail, how your product (or service) can help improve your client’s margins.

If you offer a new technology product or service, list out every way you can conceive of that the product can either INCREASE the client’s revenues or REDUCE the client’s direct costs or operating expenses.  No soft science here!  I’m looking for you to qualify the area of improvement and quantify by how much you can improve on it.

Here are some examples that might stir some thinking:

  • If you offer a product that could help the company sell more, describe by how much?
  • If you can help the client sell more, faster, by how much will that impact their inventory turnover time?
  • If you can reduce the client’s production cost, quantify by how much?
  • If you offer a service that will allow the company to outsource or automate, how much will that mean in savings and/or revenues?

If you can demonstrate how you can improve the client’s margin, take that information and put it into your presentation.  There’s nothing more powerful in selling than showing a client how they will win if they buy from you.  The most vital part of the sales process is the presentation.  Don’t blow it by doing what the majority of salespeople do; a product presentation that ends with, “What do you think Mr. Client?”

Winning the deal means taking the time to research, understand, and socialize your client’s business problems and integrating those concerns into a presentation that details how your products or services address those concerns.  A great B2B sales presentation has the following ingredients: one part understanding their business, one part knowing which products (or services) to suggest and one part analysis on Return On Investment.

Product versus Profit Presentation

by Victor Antonio

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Sales Consultant, Victor Antonio, Value Centric SellingIn any B2B sales situation, it is incumbent upon the salesperson to improve a client’s ability to circulate their capital quicker. This can be done through increasing sales, shortening account receivables or increasing inventory turns.

The ability to increase a client’s sales revenues or decrease their cost are the two main pistons that power any company.  The engine that drives these pistons is the ability to turnover (or accelerate) capital in the most cost effective way.  B2B buyers want to buy products or services that can help them achieve those goals.

So before you give your next sales presentation, here are some questions for you to consider:

  • Does my product (or service) help increase revenue or decrease cost?
  • Does my presentation describe how it does that?
  • Can I quantify those increases or decreases in terms of the client’s business?
  • If so, how soon can the B2B client expect to see a Return On Investment (ROI)?
  • Do I provide the B2B client with proof on how my products help increase revenue or decrease cost?

Whether you’re dealing with the CXO or a Product Line Manager, both want to know the same thing; how can you help me grow?  Your ability to qualify and quantify your proposal in terms of the client’s business unit is the key differentiator in any sales scenario with your competitor.  Selling in today’s environment has changed.

Value Centric Take-away:  Clients no longer want only a product presentation, they also expect to see your profit presentation!

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Note: I’ll be posting a video in a few days to illustrate this point.

The Value Conundrum: Cost Savings v. Revenue Increases

by Victor Antonio


create value by cutting costWhen selling a client on value, you’re left with either showing the client how you can reduce their cost or increase their revenue.   Either way, what you’re proposing is a way for the client to improve their profit margin.  Convincing a client that you can help them reduce cost is a far easier sale then convincing them you can help increase their revenue.

Which creates a ‘value conundrum’ when it comes to selling value.  More often than not, clients value a company that can show them how to increase their revenue more than they do a company who can help them reduce their cost.   That said, leading off with a strong cost saving strategy for the client will give you more sure footing than trying to convince the client that you can help them increase sales.  Three reasons why this is so:

1) In general, cost savings are always easier to quantify as compared to a potential revenue increase.  Because they’re easier to quantify (i.e., more objective and tangible), the client is more inclined to believe what you the salesperson (or Business Development) is proposing.

2) Clients know that they have more control over reducing cost than increasing revenue.  Showing the client how your product(s) can help them control their cost give the client a sense of control and ownership of the results.

3) Cost reduction are perceived to have more permanence compared to increase sales/revenues.  When a cost saving measure is implemented, it’s more permanent compared to an increase in potential revenue.

So although cost savings take a backseat to increase revenues when it comes to positioning your product, having the former gives you a stronger position from which to present from.  When selling the advantage of your product or service, lead with cost saving metrics because they’re easier to justify and defend compared to promises of increase revenues if they buy.

Value Centric Take-away: When presenting to your client, lead with cost saving proof and then introduce potential revenue increases they’ll derive from buying your product or service.