Infinite Value: Competing on More Than Price

Author: Katie Andrews, Manager, Marketing Automation

Posted On: February 23, 2022


Deciding to compete based on value—rather than price—is a calculated strategy. To win using a value-based sales strategy, an organization should adopt a new perspective on the co-created nature of “value.”  This involves re-thinking their time and decision-making strategies.

For years, organizations have often relied on marketing teams tasked with determining their value-add client offerings. Without involving the sales department and real-time customer feedback, the question remains: Do clients demand these offerings in the first place? It shouldn’t be too surprising that this can create a rift between marketing and sales departments in which both parties suffer.

An alternative is to view value-based selling as an act of co-creation between an organization and its clients. This requires a shift away from territorial supply-side thinking and toward demand-side thinking. This shift also acknowledges an important truth: Customers buy progress, not products.

A sales rep’s ability to deliver value is based on their specific understanding as to why a client selects one distributor or product while intentionally avoiding others. By collaborating, a sales rep and a client should determine the specific, measurable types of progress that the client would like to make — as well as the obstacles that prevent progress. That is the basis for a new model of value building.

To compete based on value rather than price, many sales reps may also need a new decision-making framework. Sales reps commonly design their sales strategy by starting with accounts … and only then considering the time required. Instead, they should invert this model and ask a different question: “How can I concentrate my time to create the best outcome?” 

This strategy also means rethinking the rationale for allocating time to certain accounts. For example, which category does an account fit in?

  • High Growth/Low Effort
  • High Growth/High Effort
  • Low Growth/High Effort
  • Low Growth/Low Effort

The first two categories represent the greatest opportunity for value-based selling—assuming the sales rep maintains a disciplined focus on progress and profitability. These accounts are also most likely to enthusiastically accept value-based training and motivation.

The remaining two categories often have a lopsided perception of partnership or a definition of value that is at odds with the sales rep’s strategy that the “juice isn’t worth the squeeze.”

Spending more time developing the right accounts while spending less time with the wrong accounts allows a sales rep to deliver value daily. A company’s brand is its most valuable value-building asset and is also the surest defense against competitive attacks. Organizations that deliver incredible brand and customer experiences leave nothing to chance.

To create and deliver these valuable customer experiences, every client interaction needs to be considered, planned, and designed. This is the starting point for getting it right at the interaction level. Your customers lead busy, often stressful lives. The last thing they need to worry about is difficult AC and furnace replacement, a broken air conditioner unit, or an unethical HVAC manufacturer. The simplest way to add value is to make their lives easier. Few things offer more goodwill and create more repeat business than being easy to do business with.

When you’re deciding how to grow your business, deciding how you are going to add value is important. Selling based on value makes you different and helps your company grow outside of the box. Contact us to learn more about how to differentiate yourself in the HVAC industry.