This is the second in a series of articles brought to you by Robert White - CEO of Lucidus Ltd dealing with the subject of 'Value' in the sales process.

In the previous article, we discussed some of the problems surrounding selling that Value Based Selling tries to address. In this section, we will concentrate on spotting the symptoms that show you have the selling problem.

Symptoms and Causes

The symptoms themselves and their costs are easy to spot and calculate. Everyone suffers from the sales forecast. The question is, can it become predictable through an improved closure rate?

We very often see single products being sold when an opportunity exists to sell the whole suite across the enterprise. Quite often we will see a customer come out for an enterprise-wide solution, only to end up doing nothing because the confidence to invest was not created - or worse they failed to understand the value of the solution and simply bought on price.

Ever lost an order to a competitor that you know has inferior products or services? Some vendors will buy the business through untenable discounting, which can also have the effect of causing you to discount.

Do you ever feel there's far more customer value in your products and services than you can quantify - or communicate convincingly to your potential customers?

We come across many vendors who recognise these symptoms and have put improvement programmes in place but then rather frustratingly, they seem not to be getting the results that they expected at the pace they expected to get them.

Causes - Three Hurdles

Okay, you have some symptoms. Let's try for a diagnosis. What could be some of the underlying causes? There are three basic hurdles to be overcome;


So that's our view of the symptoms and the causes. In the next part we will deal with one of those hurdles, unidentified value and how we might go about identifying it.