Maybe you've never heard of value engineering, but it's been around. A while. According to Stephen Morse, there is a direct correlation between a company's success and the focus they bring to bear on getting Value Engineering right. And on this episode of Helping Sells Radio, Morse helps us get it right.
Before we can get in to value engineering, it is helpful to understand sales engineering. On the surface, most of us think of sales engineering as bringing in a technical expert to help answer detailed buyer questions about the product. Or more accurately, to help answer the questions about the product that sales people cannot answer. There is some truth to this, but the real job of sales engineering is to help a buyer make a better product purchasing decision.
One way a sales engineer can help a buyer make a better purchase decision is to say, “No.” Sales teams have a bias to say, “Yes, the product can do that.” Sales engineers have a bias to say, “Not so fast.”
"It's good yin and yang of enterprise technology sales," says Stephen Morse.
After all, no one is happy when a customer buys a product then finds out it cannot do what what was expected. You think you are happy when the deal closes, but disaster might be just around the corner. Sales engineering is, to some extent, an antidote to the potential disaster of a product/problem mismatch.
So, if sales engineering is about helping buyers make better purchasing decisions, what is value engineering?
Value engineering: An evolution of the value proposition
For one thing, value engineering is the number one thing converging with sales engineering because value engineering takes the buying process to the next level and that is helping the customer understand how the product helps to address a business challenger or opportunity the customer is having. Value engineering is really about helping buyer “understand the value they will achieve if they use the product,” explain Morse.
If you think about it, it is also an evolution of the value proposition.
It answers the question, “What are we doing to address the business challenge or opportunity of the customer?” In a SaaS environment, you are continually investing in the problem you are solving, and how to continually add value and create growth within accounts.
As Morse points out, “We have to continuously help customers understand the value they can achieve with our software and communicate that somehow."
Maybe you convince a customer to buy your product to solve a single challenge, which is the main challenge your product is designed for AND the main challenge your customer bought your product to solve. That’s great, but in a SaaS world, that is only the beginning. “We have to go back the customers, over time, and continuosly offer other “value” opportunities they can take advantage of." This is a means of deepening the relationship with customers by helping them increase the value they realize from your product over time.
"Don’t be stagnate about that,” says Morse.
Learn more about Stephen Morse:
- Stephen Morse on Linkedin.
- His Linkedin post on value engineering.
- Stephen runs the SE Leadership Institute.
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