Author: Steven Goas

Sell me an outcome — not a product.

This is a blog takeover by Steven Goas, sales enablement leader at Capital One.

In the digital, customer-centric economy of 2021 and beyond, executives are not moved to action by your selling organization’s solution features, details or even benefits.

Your buyers, especially the C-suite executives (who have become even more invested in sales cycles), care about their long-term outcomes. What’s in it for their organization? What can your solution help them achieve? How will this be an investment, not a cost?

It is long past due time to modernize your value messaging strategy and focus on the customer first and foremost. You do this, and you support both content and pipeline enablement. How?

Below, I detail the proven outcome-selling framework.

Embrace A Foundation of Long-Term Value Messaging

Outcomes-based messaging typically inserts itself later into the sales process. Maybe your buyer just is not convinced. Potential outcomes then come into the discussion as a last-resort point to save the sale.

But with an outcomes-focused value messaging strategy, the potential gains a buyer can expect from your solution comes into the mix sooner and with greater impact. When you normally would be touting your features and benefits, you should also be leaning heavily into what your prospect can expect to gain over the long-term. There is profound impact in jumping past the immediate value you get from a product’s features and benefits to the long-term gains the wallet owners care about.

With this focus, both your salespeople and your buyers will be better served because:

  • Buyer outcomes are prioritized over selling a product — and Seek to Serve, Not to Sell™ always wins in the long run.
  • Sellers gain a deeper understanding of their target buyers’ needs and goals, and thus engage in more relevant and more valuable conversations — building long-term relationships that serve both parties.
  • Relevant customer scenarios are shared more effectively and become a major tool to your sellers.
  • Sales tools like value calculators are built more effectively, to provide a real picture of outcomes that a buyer most cares about.

Overall, outcome-focused selling encourages sales enablement and sales professional teams to develop highly personalized experiences based on where the buyer is in their journey and what could add value to them then and there.

Reap the Outcomes of Better Value Messaging

In terms of what we can realistically expect from being better with outcome messaging, it is more about the leading indicators. The right messaging with the right customer at the right time should help drive lagging indicators like win rates, gross revenue, deal size, etc. — but it will not help directly drive any of these.

Leading with an outcomes-based approach, you can expect to support pipeline enablement — driving conversions, deal-stage-velocity and shoring up the overall client experience.

Are you ready to see the results? Prove it. Not to us — to your buyers.

For more guidance on breaking out of harmful selling status quos, download the Mereo Seek to Serve, Not to Sell™ eBook.


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Sales Enablement Strategy

Value Messaging Buckets Transform Idealistic Strategy into Realistic Sales Enablement

This is a blog takeover by Steven Goas, sales enablement pioneer at TD Ameritrade.

The right value proposition messaging can work wonders in enabling your salespeople to connect, engage and seal the deal with your target buyers.

Many top sales reps already have a crafted and effective go-to narrative(s). They have spent hours of one-on-one time with buyers. They can recall real-world stories of messaging that captivated past buyers and spun into a deal — as well as those that did not. These top-performing salespeople are invaluable repositories of which value proposition messaging will land with different buyers, and which will pivot their decision-making at essential times.

While your messaging needs to be consistent, it is equally important it remains malleable and dynamic enough to work for different salespeople while hitting home with different target buyers, depending on their pains and needs.

Looking for a pro sales enablement solution? Consider bucketing your value proposition messaging.

Value Proposition Bucketing Instills Consistency and Enables Effective Messaging

value proposition messaging

Value message bucketing allows a sales organization to remain in control of a consistent, effective value proposition — one that swiftly leads a buyer to its differentiators — while realistically serving salespeople’s needs for something other than a “one-size-fits-all” message.Bucketing key value messaging points that is formally documented also calls out for your salespeople the most-impactful messaging for the majority of your buyers.

When salespeople have their hands on a library of proven, strategic messaging, they will better be able to steer clear of irrelevant messages that waste vital time in the buyer’s journey.

How to Bucket Your Value Proposition Messaging

value proposition messaging

When crafting value proposition messaging, each element must be considered by both its value to the customer and its defendable, unique quality.

In your value proposition messaging buckets, your essential messages and their characteristics are important for sales to be aware of and reference – in fact, it is vital to includes these elements in the overall message because they set the bar for a solution, bringing capabilities both you and your competition offer. These tell your prospect that you have a solution and should be considered as a contender. Yet essential messages fall short of game-changing impact that encourages prospects to take action.

Your proposition messaging buckets should mainly focus on essential messages and differentiator messages. Influencer messaging, less focused on the specific value to the buyer, helps establish domain credibility and separate you and your solution from the competition on factors that matter to sometimes just an individual member of the buying committee.

Differentiators, on the other hand, are the key tenets of your messaging strategy. Your differentiators meet at the intersection of buyer value and your unique differentiators. They matter to your buyer while also setting you apart from competitive options your buyers may be considering. This is also what Sorey and Bray refer to as the winning zone.

The differentiators are value points that help you get the ball across those last few yards to secure the win. Competitive battlecards and customer success stories are two executions of this value massaging bucket that make a big impact deep into the sales process to get past skepticism, inertia — or both.

While value proposition crafting is generally handled by marketing departments, for the most-effective messaging it is crucial to overcome common organizational gaps and involve sales early and as often as possible in the process. Sales has first-hand experience with the target buying audience. Though this messaging belongs on websites, in emails and in other communications materials, salespeople must also deliver these messages in the moment, as if they are their own words, instilled deep into their minds, sitting on the tips of their tongues. Their early involvement fosters buy-in and ensures consistent and strong delivery out in the field — where the “rubber meets the road.”

Training Your Salesforce to Win with Value Proposition Bucketing

Value proposition messaging alone will not carry buyers home to making a deal. Sales is both a science and art — and as such, your salespeople’s artful execution of the messaging is equally important as the message itself. I like to think of value proposition messaging delivery and cadence much like a friendly boxing match.

For the most part, boxers do not jump into the ring and throw a haymaker in the round one opening exchange (unless we are talking Mike Tyson). The knockout punch is still coming and still vital to the win — but first the boxer needs to get a sense of the rhythm, the energy, the pace of the fight. Most boxers need a chance to work the ring and throw at least a few combos (here your influential and essential messaging to builds-up your credibility and gives a taste of your value). By this point, the boxer can start to see the stage set for the knockout. The knockout in sales comes in the form of well-timed differentiation messaging. These are statements no other sales organization, no competitor — no one — can say. As such, this is the messaging that will put you over the top.

For more pro sales enablement strategies, follow me on LinkedIn.

Steven Goas Sales Enablement


Steven Goas is a sales enablement pioneer. He currently leads the sales enablement strategy at TD Ameritrade Institutional and is a committee member of the Sales Enablement Society NYC Chapter. Learn more about Steven and connect here. And discover more of his sales enablement thought leadership here.