Sellers Want Help Differentiating Value to Succeed in 2017

On September 14, SPI released a research report entitled “Voice of the Sales Force,” which analyzed the compiled opinions of 565 sales professionals employed in a variety of industries, worldwide – one of the broadest studies of its kind. The survey solicited sellers’ perspectives about what they need to be successful in 2017.

The report’s findings are organized into four parts, each describing a critically important facet of sales performance:

  • Creating demand
  • Winning deals
  • Growing accounts
  • Managing performance


Sellers Want Help in Selling Differentiated Value to High-Ranking Buyers

The study provided respondents with a number of potential options for investments that would help them to win more sales opportunities. The report states, “Salespeople and managers tell us that they need the most help differentiating from competition, justifying value, and accessing executive-level decision makers, in order to win more sales opportunities.”

More than any other investment option for winning deals, sellers want more help in differentiating their solutions from competitive alternatives. The report suggests win-loss interviews with buyers and prospects in order to develop better insight on customers and how to differentiate capabilities more effectively.

The second most requested option for helping sellers to win more deals is more support in accessing executive-level decision-makers. Connecting with high-ranking buyers continues to be a vexing problem for most sales professionals. This is supported by the study’s findings for creating demand, described in our previous post, which listed account-based marketing targeted at ideal prospects as a top desire by sellers.

The next highest ranking request by sellers was for more help in justifying their solutions’ value to buyers. In our book, The Collaborative Sale, we describe the growing importance of the Value Driver persona – sellers who collaboratively develop value propositions with buyers. This research finding provides more evidence of the growing importance of this role for sales professionals.

In subsequent blog posts, we’ll share more details of key findings of this important research study. In the meantime, you can download a free copy of this research report by clicking here.

If your organization wants to invest intelligently and effectively to improve sales performance, we can help – contact us for a complimentary consultation at +1 (704) 227-6500, or by email to

Tim Sullivan is Director of Business Development with Sales Performance International. He is co-author of The Solution Selling Fieldbook, and more recently, The Collaborative Sale: Solution Selling in a Buyer-Driven World.

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