Showcase Value in All Your Sales Process Stages

by | 5 minute read

Can we talk about your sales process? It seems that every orga­ni­za­tion has invent­ed its own sales process stages. Some of them are extreme­ly com­plex; oth­ers are as sim­ple as three steps. What­ev­er your process looks like, the most impor­tant thing is to under­stand where your buy­er is. You need to align your sales process with your buyer’s process to be rel­e­vant and to cre­ate val­ue.

Sales Process Stages

No mat­ter how you’ve con­struct­ed your sales process, it essen­tial­ly cov­ers five steps. First, you have to open a sale. Then you deter­mine the needs of the buy­er. Next, you deliv­er a pro­pos­al and, after that, you address any objec­tions or han­dle any nego­ti­a­tions. Final­ly, you close the sale. What­ev­er your sales process is, it includes:

  • Open
  • Assess
  • Pro­pose
  • Address
  • Close

Your job is to lead your buy­er through these steps. The word “lead” orig­i­nates from “leden,” which means “to guide.” As a leader, to advance the sale, you’ll guide your buy­er through all the stages of the sales process. You'll be more suc­cess­ful in doing this if you’re aligned with where your buy­er is in his or her own buy­ing process.

That’s the first part of bring­ing val­ue. Next, you’ll incor­po­rate val­ue into every sin­gle step of the process. Val­ue belongs at the fore­front, no mat­ter what stage of the sales process you're in and no mat­ter where your buy­er is in their own jour­ney.

The Value in Each Process

Let's take the five steps of the sales process and see how val­ue belongs in each one of them.


When you open the sale, you demon­strate the val­ue that proves you're worth talk­ing to. You dif­fer­en­ti­ate your­self so you're not like every oth­er sell­er that’s dis­rupt­ing the buyer’s day. You know what your buy­er val­ues because you've done a lit­tle research to find out the mis­sion, vision, and val­ues of their com­pa­ny. You may also know what’s impor­tant to this indi­vid­ual. You open by refer­ring to what’s val­ued, show­ing how you can dig­ni­fy and align with what your buy­er val­ues. That way, val­ue is estab­lished right from the start.


In the next phase, as you assess the needs of the buy­er, you're going to cre­ate val­ue pure­ly by ask­ing ques­tions. The ques­tions them­selves will cre­ate val­ue out of thin air. These need to be pur­pose­ful ques­tions that open up a two-way dia­logue. The best ques­tions will make your buy­er think. They'll be thought-provoking. Your buy­er will be engaged because they'll be so inter­est­ed in the conversation.The more engaged and inter­est­ed they are, the more they're going to buy in to what­ev­er solu­tion you bring back lat­er.


When you’re propos­ing a solu­tion, you still need to be cre­at­ing val­ue. It’s not just the val­ue of the prod­uct that makes the sale. You’ve got to bring addi­tion­al val­ue to the table in the form of an expe­ri­ence that the buy­er enjoys and par­tic­i­pates in. You're going to use the buy­ers own words (that you cap­tured dur­ing your needs assess­ment). You're going to be show­ing that you under­stand the buyer’s needs and make clear and com­pelling links to every part of your solu­tion. The solu­tion is wrapped around the needs of the buy­er as if they could no longer be unbun­dled. Along the way, your buy­er is involved to shape the solu­tion and leave their own per­son­al imprint on it.

What’s more, you're going to be co-creating a vision. Togeth­er, you’re craft­ing the big pic­ture of the ide­al future state for your buy­er. You'll be cre­at­ing val­ue because you're the per­son guid­ing them to that future state with a solu­tion that you have con­ceived and cre­at­ed togeth­er.


When it's time to nego­ti­ate and over­come objec­tions, you're still going to put val­ue at the fore­front.  Remem­ber, any­thing they offer as an objec­tion could be a clue about what they val­ue, so be sure to incor­po­rate it and respond to it as some­thing that's impor­tant to the buy­er. As you answer the objec­tion or work through the nego­ti­at­ing, don’t for­get pri­ma­ry, most impor­tant, val­ues the buy­er has shared with you when you assessed their needs. That's the one thing that's big­ger than the objec­tion — even the price objec­tion.  We will all find bud­get for the things that mat­ter most to us. Be sure to talk about what they val­ue and to explain how what they val­ue is big­ger than the objec­tion. You can ask “Which mat­ters more to you — the improve­ments in data secu­ri­ty that will help you avoid future breach­es or the sav­ings you might get on a less effec­tive solu­tion?” Close

At the close, put that spot­light right back on val­ue. What does it mean to the buy­er to wrap this up and begin with the solu­tion you've pro­posed? Be sure to link that action to the vision you cre­at­ed — that ide­al state of the future and all the val­ue that comes with it. Be sure to wrap up by includ­ing the val­ue of YOU — that you're here to help bring this to fruition and to help your buy­er through every stage that they might have inter­nal­ly as they com­plete their own buyer’s jour­ney.

Now Deliver — in All 5 Stages!

Val­ue is absolute­ly essen­tial in every step of the sales process. Don't ever let price become the focal point because it shouldn't be — not for you and not for the buy­er. What mat­ters most at all times is the pri­ma­ry val­ue to your buy­er, the one they acknowl­edged as the most impor­tant ben­e­fit. Deliv­er it and show­case val­ue through­out the sales process.

Deb Calvert

Deb Calvert

Deb Calvert, “DISCOVER Ques­tions® Get You Con­nect­ed” author and Top 50 Sales Influ­encer, is Pres­i­dent of Peo­ple First Pro­duc­tiv­i­ty Solu­tions, a UC Berke­ley instruc­tor, and a for­mer Sales/Training Direc­tor of a For­tune 500 media com­pa­ny. She speaks and writes about the Stop Sell­ing & Start Lead­ing move­ment and offers sales train­ing, coach­ing and con­sult­ing as well as lead­er­ship devel­op­ment pro­grams. She is cer­ti­fied as an exec­u­tive and sales coach by the ICF and is a Cer­ti­fied Mas­ter of The Lead­er­ship Chal­lenge®. Deb has worked in every sec­tor to build lead­er­ship capac­i­ty, team effec­tive­ness and sales pro­duc­tiv­i­ty with a “peo­ple first” approach.