What is Value Based Selling (And Why It's so Important)

What is Value Based Selling (And Why It's so Important)

When you’re marketing and selling your product, it’s important to know what to lead with so that you’re most likely to drive the sale.

Do customers love your pricing? Are your products or services higher-quality, with unique features? Or maybe you’re known for outstanding customer service and fast response times.

People make buying decisions based on a number of different factors, but your best chance at driving the conversion is knowing how to leverage value-based selling to get them to purchase from you.

In this post, we’re going to talk about everything you need to know to excel with value-based selling, including why it’s so effective and how to get started.

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What is Value-Based Selling?

Value-based selling is the practice of marketing the value that you offer customers.

And while this is simple in principle, it can sometimes be a little bit more complex when it comes to the actual execution.

It goes beyond saying “our solution works.” It needs to focus on a specific pain point or set of pain points and motivations that your target audience has. You need to be clear about how you can offer more and better solutions than your competition, and it’s crucial to highlight the value that this can offer users as a result.

If you’ve got a keyword research tool, for example, you can’t just say “we’ll help you identify the best keywords for your campaigns.” That’s generic, and every other keyword research tools on the market can do that (including free ones).

If you’re able to leverage a specific feature, however, that allows your tool to suggest keywords based on the client’s domain authority and their products, you can assure them that they’ll get results because you’ve taken the guesswork out of the equation.

Even if your tool costs more than some others, this value of practically guaranteed results for an audience that would otherwise struggle to accurately interpret data from standard keyword research tools can drive a huge chunk of sales.

Why Value-Based Selling is So Effective

Value-based selling is exceptionally effective when it’s executed correctly.

Keep in mind that brand is great, but relying on a unique site or a distinct brand voice alone typically isn’t going to be enough to cut it— especially in an oversaturated market.

Knowing exactly what you have to offer users and why they’ll be interested (and how motivated they’ll be to purchase) is crucial. It helps you tap into the right marketing messaging, and in some cases, it may even influence product development to strengthen that value-based offer further.

When you’re able to concretely explain why your solution is going to deliver the absolute best value and the right solutions to the specific problems your clients have, that’s how you’ll scale quickly, even if you’re in a niche market.

The 5 Factors That Go Into Value-Based Selling

Your value offer or value promise will take several factors into the equation when you’re working directly with customers to drive conversions.

It’s essential to remember that the value has to counteract certain objections, fears, or pain points. It doesn’t matter if your tool has state-of-the-art tech to revolutionize a client’s sales process if your product fails to integrate with their accounting software, for example, or is 2k a month out of budget.

There are five factors that you must keep in mind when leveraging value-based selling and marketing. Let’s look at each.

1. The Value Promise Itself

This is what we’ve been talking about so far: What unique value can you offer users? What is it that you’re telling them that you can deliver, and how does it benefit them?

Let’s look back at our keyword research tool example.

Our value offer is that our tool can take the guesswork out of keyword research; you’ll be able to have keywords auto-selected for you that you can actually rank for and that are actually relevant to your brand.

Since our tool providing concrete recommendations surrounding your specific brand’s circumstances, you can start optimizing for keywords you can rank for faster. This means less split testing and faster (and more significant results).

That’s your value offer— a more automated process, less time spent on your side, more accurate and personalized suggestions that all amount to better results faster.

2. Frustrations

What current frustrations do your customers have? What’s motivating them to look for a solution, and what problems do they need to solve?

This is a core part of creating a strong value offer and leveraging it properly for value-based selling. You need to understand what problems users need solved if you’re going to convince them that you’re the solution.

Going back to our SEO research tool example, customer’s frustrations may include the following:

  • Not ranking well in the search engines
  • Having trouble figuring out where to start for SEO
  • Being overwhelmed with information from standard keyword research tools and not being sure how to apply it

3. Fear

Too many marketers lump fear and frustration under the same umbrella, but they’re technically separate and it’s an important distinction to make.

Fears are typically going to be tied to the objections that you may hear during the selling process. Examples might include:

  • Customers aren’t sure if the cost is too high
  • They worry that the tool won’t provide the results they need
  • They’re concerned about specific needs like security, intuitiveness, adaptability, and scalability

One audience segment might be worried that the cost of your tool is too high, especially if they worry they won’t get the full potential ROI if results are lackluster. Another may worry that your tool won’t be able to grow with them, or that security problems may put their own business at risk.

Fears will be specific to your audience segments and the types of solutions you offer, but the above are common fears that will apply to most B2B brands.

4. Total Solution Cost

Cost. We mentioned it as a potential fear, but it’s really it’s own individual factor, too.

The reality is that there are going to be plenty of clients who would love the $800 a month tool, but they opt for a $50 a month tool because it’s the only thing in their budget. Especially when the $800 has 20 different add-ons, all of which cost money.

In general— the lower the cost, the more accessible your software will be, and the more value users may perceive to get out of your tool. This isn’t always the case— brands with big budgets may not be particularly concerned in this area— but it’s likely to be a factor you need to weigh when working with almost all small- and medium-sized businesses.

5. Friction to Change

Are your customers already using an existing tool? If so, how difficult will it be for them to switch to a new one?

Will there be resistance from their team to learning a new tool with a new interface? Will their work processes and systems need to be reevaluated with the new tool? And will it mean a loss of data, or a major headache to transfer that data?

Friction to change is real, and it’s significant. It can stop momentum in its tracks. It’s important to keep that in mind so that you can ensure that the value you offer while selling can overcome this core objection.

The Value-Based Selling Equation

Want to excel with value-based selling? You need to take a look at this value-based marketing and selling equation that will help you determine how effective your offers are, and how impactful your campaigns will be.

This is the equation we swear by here at Content Camel:

Value promise - (Fear + Frustrations) > Total solution cost + friction to change

So here’s what this means.

The value that our make-believe SEO research tool can deliver real, guaranteed results by giving you specific directions for keywords your brand can rank for is the value promise.

Take that value promise, and take a “hit” for the fear and frustrations users have added up together. This side of the equation must be greater than the cost of tool and the friction to change that users feel.

What this means is that your value offer needs to be powerful enough to override all those individual factors. And while this isn’t exactly a true mathematical formula where you can plug in values for a sure answer, it’s a good way to approach value-based selling and spot potential pitfalls that could hold you back.

What Does Value-Based Selling Look Like?

So far, we’ve talked about a hypothetical example of what value-based selling might look like, but let’s take a look at a real example from Zapier.

Zapier does an outstanding job stressing the time-saving value of their core feature: automation. They mention that it’s an easy set up with all of their integrations, reducing friction to change. There’s a free trial so that you can overcome fears by seeing how easy the software is to use, and custom options for high-value and scalability potential.

Messaging on their site reads: “From side hustlers to enterprise leaders, Zapier connects your work apps so you get more focus and less frustration.”




There are also free plans, trials, and demos depending on

That’s a clear value offer that’s hard to turn down, especially since they’ve addressed friction to change, fears, and frustrations directly. They effectively convince you that you need this tool ASAP, and that it will be easy to use in the process while offering immediate value.

How to Get Started with Value-Based Selling

Ready to get started with value-based selling? You’ll want to follow these three core steps.

1. Understand Your USP for Each Audience Segment

In order to successfully utilize value-based selling, you need to understand what unique value you actually offer your customers. That means breaking down your unique selling proposition (USP) for each individual audience segment.

Many brands will actually create individual key pages on their site that are featured prominently in their main navigation that appeal to each different core audience segment. This allows you to use value-based selling tactics that apply best to each individual audience at a more scalable and automatic value.


2. Consider Objections & How to Overcome Them

Cost, friction to change, and fears are significant negative motivating powers. Being mindful of standard objections your audience has allows you to overcome them automatically. When you address objections head-on in your marketing and selling materials, you’ll be able to put customers at ease before they can even talk themselves out of it.

A core part of our value-based selling strategy here at Content Camel centers around the frustrations we know our customers have with other sales enablement tools. We address frustrations, fears, and pain points directly, assuring potential users that what we offer really is different. We’re overcoming an objection right off the bat.


3. Use Visuals That Highlight Your USP & Ease of Use

Visuals can go a long way to really highlighting what makes you different and the value that you bring to the table. They’re easy to understand, they get to the point quickly, and sometimes they can help you explain your USP (and ease of use!) much more effectively than a block of text.

When you can use any kind of imagery to explain how you can resolve a frustration or pain point, it can be insanely powerful.

Take a look at the graphic below from Intercom. It does an exceptional job explaining a concept that would be difficult to articulate precisely with words alone. It’s persuasive and informative, and almost definitely helped with their value-based selling success.


Final Thoughts

If you want to hone in on high-value target audiences and effectively stand out compared to your competition, value-based is the way to go. It allows you to show users what you can offer and how it benefits them directly, making it feel like they need your product in their life.

And ultimately, as long as your core audience segments are at the center of everything you do, the product messaging will be off to a great start. You can always adapt and adjust as needed.

Looking to improve your sales enablement process? Learn more about how Content Camel can help here.