Selling value – an innovative framing

Selling value

Every once and while, we stumble across someone who takes a fresh look at something and adds a particularly interesting twist. We found one around selling value.

Recently we had that experience when reading an article by Michael Schrage of MIT,  a research fellow at the Sloan Center for Digital Business. Schrage was exploring how smart companies increasingly recognize that their own futures depend on how ingeniously they invest in the future capabilities of their customers.  He was interested in that topic from a  “creation of innovation” perspective.  Let’s look at Schrage’s key points and then translate it to the world of sales.

Schrage noted: “When I look at what historically — and sustainably — works as a strategic innovation investment mindset, a single question dominates: “Who do our customers want to become? The better we know and understand what customers want to become, the better we can invest and develop the innovations necessary to get them there.”

What if sales people asked themselves that same question … Who do our customers want to become? … What would be the implications for selling value?

  • Sales gets a seat at the innovation table. With a better understanding of what customers want to be, Sales can provide Marketing and Engineering ideas about future innovations. This means Marketing and Engineering aren’t the only source to identify future innovations for products and solutions.  Sales gets a seat at the table because they are sharing what innovations would bring value to their customers.

Selling value versus selling product and price has been and will continue o be an important cornerstone for sales success.  So taking a fresh perspective from time to time on how to get better at is probably time well spent.

Some other blog posts around selling value you might find interesting are:

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About Janet Spirer

For more than 30 years Dr. Richard Ruff and Dr. Janet Spirer - the founders of Sales Horizons - have worked with the Fortune 1000 - such as UPS, Canon USA, Smith & Nephew, Boston Scientific, Owens & Minor, Textron - to design and develop sales training programs. Janet has followed two different, yet complimentary paths. First, as a B-School Professor she taught marketing, sales, and business strategy courses. She also managed a consulting practice focusing on sales productivity and marketing – working with a variety of clients ranging from Xerox to IBM. She translated those experiences into a book – “Parlez-Vous Business” – that helps sales people develop the business savvy to sell successfully. Since co-founding Sales Momentum® in 2000 with Richard Dr. Spirer received her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, an M.P.A. from The University of Texas at Austin, and a B.A. in Economics from Brooklyn College. She holds the appointment of Professor Emeritus at Marymount University.
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