8 Principles of Value-Based Selling and Framework Creation


Author: Kristin Kulpinski
Last updated: Published:
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Value based selling is an approach to sales that focuses on communicating the potential value your product can provide to a buyer. It requires an in-depth understanding of the buyer’s needs and matching them with the features of your product.

Statistics and technical specs often leave buyers confused. You can tell a prospect everything your product does, but they might still need help connecting the dots and understanding how it solves their pain points. This is where value based selling comes in and lets your product stand out from the competition and practically sell itself.

This post discusses value based selling and its principles. It also provides a framework to implement it in your sales process successfully.

Value based selling vs solution selling: What’s the difference?

You might already be familiar with solution selling — a strategy that involves digging deep into a prospect’s problem and pitching your product as the perfect solution.

So which one is better?

Well, that depends on which sales professional you ask. In reality, both strategies are viable and have their own advantages and disadvantages. Your choice of selling method will depend on your personal preferences, your industry, and the type of product you sell.

That said, value based selling is a more modern sales technique than solution selling. In this day and age, customers have already done their research long before talking to a sales representative. According to Gartner, B2B buying groups spend more time researching and gathering information than any other buying task. These well-informed prospects may not take too kindly to a sales pitch trying to force a solution on them.

8 value based selling principles to follow

An IDC report found that switching to value based selling led to a 70% improvement in close rates with net-new accounts for a SaaS company.

Here are 8 principles to keep in mind if you’d like to implement a value-based selling methodology within your sales team:

  1. Research your prospects: Before jumping into a sales call with your potential client, you should learn as much as possible about their role, their company’s current situation, and the industry landscape. Compiling this information onto a reference sheet to use during calls and presentations is also a good idea.
  2. Be a trusted advisor instead of a salesperson: Your goal should be to educate the buyer instead of just delivering a sales pitch. This principle of value based selling helps build trust and makes the customer feel comfortable asking you questions.
  3. Listen and ask open-ended questions: Learning directly from a potential customer is still the best way to discover their pain points and what they need to succeed.
  4. Gain trust by adding value to every interaction: Small gestures, such as providing helpful information and setting time aside to answer questions, can make the sales conversion process considerably easier.
  5. Be specific when communicating the value your product can bring to them: You must match your product’s relevant features and capabilities to the prospect’s pain points to stand out from the competition.
  6. Focus on the buying rather than the selling process: Things that seem essential to a salesperson might be annoying for a buyer. By focusing on the buyer’s journey, you can design your sales strategy to align with the buyer’s needs and close more deals.
  7. Provide success stories from previous customers: Providing social proof of your product’s value can be a powerful deal closer. According to Podium, 93% of B2B customers read reviews before making a decision.
  8. Keep an eye on trends and top sellers in your market: Learning from the best performers in your industry and acting on that information can lead to measurable improvements in your sales technique.

Here's a case study that reveals how a New York cybersecurity company communicates its product’s value to potential customers.

Building a value based selling framework

If you’ve been in sales for a while now and seen some success with your current strategy, switching to a value based framework might seem unduly complicated and unnecessary. However, as per ValueSelling Associates, 87% of high-growth companies take a value based approach to sales. That’s because value based selling involves spending a lot of time with customers and seeking to provide value, ultimately leading to stronger customer relationships.

To help you get started, here are 7 elements you can base your value based selling framework on:

  1. Know and believe in your unique selling point (USP).
  2. Focus on qualitative value.
  3. Use a value based approach to create product demos that convey your product’s relevant capabilities.
  4. Give customers financial incentives such as ROI.
  5. Align your product or service with what the customer wants to achieve.
  6. Have an angle to stand out from your competitors.
  7. Identify customer fears and what keeps them up at night. Use risk aversion as a way to sell your product.

Communicate value with personalized product demos

A product demo is the best way to show a prospect exactly how your product’s features solve their pain points. With Demostack’s demo experience software, you can effortlessly clone your product into a demo environment that you can personalize for each customer. Buyers can then try out your product and better understand its value to their business.

As if this wasn’t already game-changing enough, the Demostack platform also allows you to track metrics regarding prospect engagement and the features that interest them the most. Your value-based selling model can be optimized with this data to meet — even exceed — your sales targets.


What are the most common selling models?

A few popular selling models are:

  • Transactional selling: A selling method that focuses heavily on price and purchase urgency.
  • Value based selling: A sales method that focuses on emphasizing the potential value of your product or service to a prospective customer.
  • Solution selling: With this selling model, salespeople dig deep into prospects' pain points and offer customized solutions. This approach is best suited to products with many variables and add-ons.
  • Consultative selling: An approach to sales where the representative acts like a consultant and recommends solutions to a customer’s problem.
  • Provocative selling: This approach requires a salesperson to predict a problem the customer will likely face and use the opportunity to pitch the product. Innovative solutions are usually best suited to this method.
  • Social selling: A selling model that involves building an audience through social networks and leveraging it to increase sales.

What is value based marketing?

Value based marketing is a strategy that appeals to a customer’s values and ethics. It involves building a genuine relationship with the customer instead of focusing on a product or service.

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