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How, When, and Where to “Prime” for Higher Prices

As we all know, buyers evaluate prices relative to their perceptions of value. We also know that buyers’ value perceptions are malleable and can be shaped with the right information and education. And that’s why it’s so important to develop rock-solid value cases, in advance, to ensure that the most important information can be conveyed in the most compelling and credible ways.

Traditionally, salespeople have been the primary mechanism for conveying these value-enhancing arguments and messages to prospects and customers. But over the last few years, buyer behavior has been changing so dramatically that if you’re only focused on arming the sales team with this information, you could be overlooking a major source of pricing influence.

As we explain in 5 Pricing Trends You Can’t Afford to Ignore, today’s buyers are very comfortable gathering a lot of information on their own, through various websites, collateral materials, and so on. And as a result, they tend to be much further along in the buying process by the time they actually engage with a salesperson.

In the past, salespeople were involved in many of the earliest buying stages:

2010marketingbuycyclechart

Today, however, prospects and customers in those early stages are relying much more heavily on the tools and mechanisms of Marketing:

2016marketingbuycyclechart

As you can see, by the time a salesperson is actually involved in the buying process, the buyers’ perceptions of value have likely already been established to significant extent. And while it may indeed be possible to change those perceptions in the end-zone, it’s clearly much better to promote and shape positive value perceptions from the very beginning.

The bottom line is that just arming Sales with strong value cases is no longer sufficient. If you really want to enhance value perceptions and “prime” your prospects and customers to be willing to pay more, you also need to focus on Marketing.

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