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Value-Based vs. Solution Selling: Which Wins?

pushing a sphere and pushing a box
Thad KingThad King
September 1, 2023

When it comes to pricing and selling, your approach to sales can make a big difference in your success and in a customer's perception of your business. Although there are many sales methodologies out there to try, sales professionals often say that it comes down to two popular choices: value selling vs solution selling.

Both of these options can provide cost savings for you and your customers depending on how you position your brand, but they have very different core goals. Below, we’re going to take a look at value selling vs solution selling to see which one is best for brands and which one wins over customers.

Deciding between these two effective selling solutions often comes down to your industry and business model. With that in mind, by the end of our analysis, you should be better equipped to make the call that’s right for your business and its customers.

What is Value-Based Selling?

Scale - Price vs value

Value-based selling is a sales technique that involves positioning the value of a product or service above all else. This is sometimes done by highlighting the features of a product or by accentuating the collateral benefits of a service.

The reason value-based selling is popular is because it speaks to the need customers have to get value for their money. By showcasing all of the added benefits of a product or service and not just focusing on the major problems that it solves, customers see that they are getting more for their money compared to buying a product that only offers one solution. Even if your competitor offers a similar product or service, you make your solution more enticing because of the value-based positioning.

What is Solution-Based Selling?

Solution based selling is a model in which you focus on addressing the major pain points of a customer. This selling model concerns itself with crafting a sales pitch around resolving the biggest issues the customer needs addressed.

Solution sellers, for example, may spend time talking to leads and asking open ended questions to learn about the things that are causing trouble maintaining the bottom line. A sales rep can then customize their sales pitch to address these specific concerns with a product or service. In this way, the seller focuses on meeting the needs of a buyer by targeting the things that have caused the buyer to look for solutions in the first place.

The Pros and Cons of Value-Based Selling

Sales Representative selling to a couple

As a sales methodology, value-based selling opens up opportunities to pull in leads who may not have been to the point of buying without a sales rep “sweetening the deal”. Because value based selling focuses on calling attention to all of the additional benefits of a product or service, a hesitant buyer may be more likely to become interested in an offer or become swayed to purchase if they see all that they’re getting for their money.

On the other hand, spending so much time focusing on value and added benefits can turn buyers away if they already know what they want and need. As an example, if you’re starting a pallet business and you spend all of your time talking to potential buyers about recycling pallets for the environment and reusing pallets for other things, this may not go over well with a potential customer who is concerned with finding a quality pallet because their pallets keep breaking. In this case, the customer doesn't care about the added benefits. They want a reliable solution to their problem.

The Pros and Cons of Solution-Based Selling

A solution based framework can drive sales conversions because it lets sales professionals get in the mindset of a customer. When you know specifically what the biggest challenges are that a buyer faces, your sales conversations can hone in on those issues, thereby meeting the customer’s need quickly. Focusing on the solution customers want can move the sales process forward with the right type of buyer since it doesn’t beat around the bush.

Conversely, you may fall into the trap of being in a race to the bottom with your competitors when you use solution-based selling. This happens when you offer a comparable product to a competitor. Since you both offer the same product, solution-based selling may not be the way to go since you both have the solution the customer needs. From there, you may end up getting into a price-cutting war that forces you to bring your prices lower than expected in order to win the customer over. Once again, this only results in a race to the bottom.

Which Approach Works Best?

If you’re still trying to figure out which approach works best, perhaps you should consider a hybrid approach. The goal of sales is to solve customers’ challenges while making money for yourself and your company. Give customers what they want by appealing to both value-focused customers and those who want a targeted solution.

SEO Search Engine Optimization

You can do this by using different sales channels to target different markets and customers. For example, your website could be used to sell to solution-based customers who find you via search engine optimization (SEO) strategies, but your social media channels can be used to espouse all of the added value that your products and services offer.

To know which approach to take, get to know your customers as well. What works in one industry or market is not guaranteed to work in others. Some professionals in specific industries want solutions, but others are looking for value and added benefits when comparing two similar companies or products. When you know your customer, you stand a better chance of meeting them where they are already.

Contact Pallet Marketing to Get Expert Help to Generate Leads and Increase Sales

The debate between value selling vs solution selling is as old as sales itself, but at Pallet Marketing, we specialize in helping professionals in the pallet industry make decisions that support the bottom line. At the end of the day, your sales process is about connecting customers searching for pallets with your products, and we offer digital solutions to support your efforts.

To learn how our digital experts can boost your pallet business, contact us today by calling (626) 406-2610, or click to use our contact form to schedule a no-obligation consultation online right now.

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