SSA#19 Vendor Of Choice

How to run sales demos that win deals.

Happy Wednesday to 9,792 SaaS sales professionals!

This week's topic is Value Mapping. This is a powerful technique to position yourself as vendor of choice and build a strong demo flow.

Let's dive right in👇


The Business Value Map (BVM)

The BMV is one of the signature slides I learned to use at Salesforce.

It's at the core of the demo deck and works as an executive summary for the entire discovery process.

A good BVM demonstrates

  • you understand the client's top objectives
  • you understand the client's pains & challenges
  • you understand the root causes of those issues.

This builds credibility and trust. Further:

  • You align your product capabilities to those root causes
  • You back it up with value proof, ROI or case studies.

This demonstrates to the executives: you are capable of solving their problems. As a result, you position yourself as the vendor of choice.

Let's walk through how to build a BVM step-by-step.


Step 1: Understand Company Objectives

First, you need to understand where the customer wants to be.

What's their desired future state? And what are the strategic initiatives to reach those targets & goals?

This ensures the problem you uncover during discovery is front and center.


Step 2: Uncover Pain

Secondly, you must uncover potential obstacles. Because they may prevent the customer from reaching their targets.

These obstacles must be painful. There is a clear Cost Of Inaction (COI) if these issues aren't solved.


Step 3: Identify Root Causes

Pains & challenges are only symptoms of a larger problem.

You must peel the onion and identify the problem behind the problem.

For example: the customer tells you they have a "problem with inaccurate forecasting." But what's the root cause? Is it

  • lack of forecasting functionality in the CRM?
  • lack of training on forecasting methodology?
  • a flawed forecasting process?

Root causes can be tools, people or processes.

Understanding root causes validates if your solution can actually deliver value (or not).


Step 4: Match Capabilities

A product pitch will fall on deaf ears most of the time.

A much more powerful way is to match your capabilities one-by-one to the root causes of the client's problems. The magic happens in the matching:

You only show in the demo what exactly solves their problems

You avoid redundancies or inflating your pricing model


Use Value Statements during your demo flow that leverage human loss aversion. Value Statements use the word STOP + the negative impact of what they're currently doing. This highlights the Cost Of Inaction (COI) once again.


The forecast tab is a dynamic, consolidated overview of your pipeline. So that you can stop wasting valuable executive time spent on manual forecasting.


Step 5: Proof Statements

Your demo is already visual proof that you can solve the client's problem and add value to their business.

In addition, it's helpful to show them how other businesses have done it before them. That's called Social Proof. The best way to provide Social Proof? Case studies of relevant, similar customer references.

A good alternative to Social Proof is Financial Proof - in other words, ROI figures. Make sure these numbers come from solid sources. For example: annual customer survey with 3,500 participants. These ROI numbers can also be the foundation for a more detailed business case.


Final thoughts: COI is always more powerful than ROI. COI reflect's the customer's business. ROI reflects data from other customers. Think about that next time you are trying to build a credible business case.


That's it! Now you have my full process to build powerful Business Value Maps.

Use them to build a strong demo flow. All you have to do is to go from left to right, line item by line item. Check out the example below (this is NOT a customer facing slide)👇


Want to work with me as your sales coach in 2024?

Book a free Strategy Call with me to see if you're a fit for my private coaching program.




SSA#37: Enterprise Sales Secrets

May 21, 2024

SSA#36: Cost Of Inaction

May 15, 2024

SSA#35: SPIN Your Discovery

May 07, 2024

Sign up to receive 1 new sales system in your inbox every week.

Christian Krause

© 2024 Christian Krause. All Rights Reserved.

website by I Know A Gal