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Value selling: What it is and how to do it

Value selling: What it is and how to do it

min read

For most people, learning about the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine of the Toyota Corolla doesn’t spark much joy. Hearing that the car gets 32 mpg in the city, though, is enough to excite even a reluctant car shopper.

Savvy sales reps understand that most people aren’t interested in the general features of a product. Prospects want to know how the product will meet their specific needs and provide value to their business. Let's talk about what value selling is and the different approaches you can take to emphasize what your product or service can do for customers.

What is value selling?

Value selling is a sales approach that focuses on emphasizing the key benefits of a product or service. The idea is to develop a deep understanding of the customer’s needs, challenges, and goals, and then highlight how the offering can specifically address those.

Feature selling vs. value selling

The difference between a feature selling and value selling approach is clear in the name of each strategy; the former focuses on the specifics of a product or service, while the latter is all about how the offering will benefit a prospect or solve a problem.

Value selling typically takes more time and energy than feature selling, but you end up with a more convincing pitch. It's an effective strategy, especially when your target audience is at the top of the sales funnel. If you're having sales conversations with prospects who already know what they want, feature selling may help them decide on the right package or product that you offer. However, Luke Boddis, a member of the Forbes Business Development Council, cautions sales reps against using only feature selling because they risk coming across as either pushy or uninterested in developing relationships with their customers.

Value selling methodology

An effective value selling process looks different from customer to customer, based on their individual needs and current pain points. However, there are a few common points of value you should consider honing in on.

Financial value

Highlight how your offering helps people either reduce costs, improve efficiency, or increase revenue. Be as specific as possible by giving estimates based on public company data or sharing stories of how you've helped similar businesses.

Competitive advantage

What do your products or services offer that your competitors don't? Work to differentiate yourself from other businesses to not only attract net new business but also boost the loyalty of your current customer base. This approach to value selling requires ongoing innovation and adaptation to make sure you're always staying one step ahead of the competition and improving your current offerings.

Risk aversion 

Most leaders will jump at the opportunity to minimize risk. These risks can run the gamut from supply chain disruptions to compliance challenges to data breaches. Look into what anxieties your prospect might be experiencing, and create a sales pitch that makes your product or service the clear solution.

The value selling process

A strong value selling framework is a repeatable, consistent sales process that you can use and adapt with all of your prospects.


Do a deep dive into the prospect’s industry, challenges, and competitors. Identify key decision-makers and stakeholders involved in the purchasing process. The more you know about your customer's subject matter, the more you can tailor your offering.

Engage and build rapport

Establishing a positive relationship built on genuine interest is key to starting any deal. Prospects can see right through disingenuous attempts at getting to know them. Instead of trying to make a quick sale, focus on building long-term relationships. Initiate contact through email, phone, networking events, or even social media. Get to know your potential customer and uncover their unique challenges through open-ended questions and dialogue.

Customize your solution

Based on what you learn about your customer, create a customized value proposition that highlights how your product or service meets their unique needs. Include recommendations and options that align with their goals, budget, and timeline.

Communicate value

Present your customized solution to your prospect. Provide case studies, stats, and customer success stories to illustrate the value your offering has delivered to similar clients. To quantify the financial and strategic benefits of choosing your solution, partner with your customers to find their cost savings and revenue growth data, and ask them about the competitive advantage your product or service regularly provides them.

Close the sale

Once the prospect decides to make a purchase, walk them through the buying process so they can make an informed decision. Address any objections or concerns to ensure they feel confident in their decision, and involve multiple stakeholders to increase company buy-in.

Follow up

After the sale, provide ongoing support to ensure a smooth transition. Get the customer connected with the right teams or individuals to implement your product or service successfully. Although your customer success team will likely take over at this point, you can continue to nurture the relationship by periodically checking in. This also gives you the opportunity to communicate industry updates or suggest a new product that might meet their needs.

Value-based selling IRL

Value selling is an effective sales strategy whether you're in the B2C or B2B space. Check out these real-life examples of value-based selling using advertising and different sales tactics.

B2C value selling examples

These ads highlight the benefits and value each company offers its target audience.

Billboard advertisement for hello fresh's "family box," featuring an image of a prepared meal with the tagline "speedy on a school night" against a brick wall background.


Instead of telling you exactly how quickly you can create a meal using their recipes, HelloFresh speaks to the madness that is a school night dinner and shows a yummy homemade dessert — something that's normally not even an option on the average school night.

A blue 2017 toyota corolla is parked on a cliff overlooking a winding road and lush green landscape under a clear sky. text promotes toyota's safety sense feature, enhancing confidence and peace of mind while driving.


Toyota's getting a double shout-out in this blog post. This ad combines feature-based selling with value-based selling to tell customers why they need specific features of the Toyota Corolla. Here, they're saying the car will keep you safe and provide you with greater peace of mind while driving.

A diverse group of people in a vintage room, bidding with numbered paddles, focusing on a large iphone with text overlay saying "your data is being $old! privacy. that’s iphone.


Apple doesn’t explicitly state they offer App Tracking Transparency or Mail Privacy Protection, because few people would have a clear idea of what that means. Instead, they dispel the primary concern people have about their online data: that it's being sold to the highest bidder.

B2B value selling example

The following is how value selling might play out in the B2B world.

Let's say Sam is a sales rep for the (fictional) company OptiLogistics, which offers the cutting-edge logistics software OptiRoute. The software is designed to help companies streamline supply chain operations, reduce transportation costs, and improve delivery efficiency.

Manufacturing company Precision Manufacturing is an ideal customer for OptiRoute, so Sam starts preparing her sales pitch. First, she researches the company to understand its logistical challenges and operational inefficiencies. She also learns more about the Operational Director from the company website and his LinkedIn page, because she knows he will be the point of contact during the sales process.

Once she feels like she has a basic understanding of the pain points that Precision Manufacturing is facing, she reaches out to the Operational Director through email and requests a meeting. During the meeting, Sam focuses on asking questions and listening to learn more about the specific issues Precision Manufacturing is facing. The Operational Director shares that the company often struggles to make deliveries on time because they have a shortage of drivers. Over the past month, more than 30% of deliveries have been delayed, and Precision Manufacturing is hearing a large number of complaints from its customers.

As she prepares her sales pitch, Sam asks to jump on another call with the Operational Director. She dives deeper into the issue of later deliveries and finds out that not only does Precision Manufacturing have a shortage of drivers, but their routes change from week to week. Each delivery route is created manually in the morning.

Sam meets with the Operational Director and other key personnel to highlight how OptiRoute offers dynamic route optimization and real-time tracking capabilities. The route manager can input delivery addresses into the software and each driver will be provided an optimal route that takes into account factors like traffic congestion and road closures. The route manager will be able to access route information and update routes at any time. Plus, automatic syncing capabilities will keep everyone on the same page. Sam estimates that OptiRoute will save drivers an average of 55 minutes a day.

It's a no-brainer: Precision Manufacturing signs the next day because such clear customer value was presented.

Make value selling easier and scalable with Streak

As you can see, great listening and a value-based selling framework are the two things every sales rep should lean on if they're hoping to build stronger relationships with prospects. But doing this at scale is a ton of work. To keep track of every interaction you have, you need Streak. It makes it simple to manage your business contacts in Gmail, review all email interactions, and keep tabs on what stage every prospect is in within your pipeline. Streak integrates directly with Google for a seamless inbox experience.

Plus, Streak doesn't just store valuable information — it also helps reps take action. With Streak AI, sellers can even create custom call agendas that use a value-based selling methodology. With the time saved, sellers spend less time preparing for meetings and completing busy work and more time actually nurturing relationships with their prospects.

 Screenshot of a computer screen displaying a call agenda focused on value selling in coffee sales, highlighting steps to understand and address the prospect's needs and articulate product benefits.

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