Moving to Value-Based Selling: How Credo Reference’s Shift to Value-Based Selling Teamwide Led to a Growth Shift
“Winalytics allowed us to build broad sales team strength, making almost all of our sellers consistent producers and creating more sales revenue predictability.”
- Year over year growth in individual seller revenue productivity averaged 25%
- Discovery call conversion went from 27.5% to 35%
- Forecast accuracy on late stage pipeline went from 39% to 59%
- Shared selling system led to the successful on-boarding of new sales talent and broad team strength
Credo Reference is the industry leading provider of digital reference, research and information literacy skills instruction to libraries. Partnering with more than 2,500 libraries, Credo offers reference and research skills solutions that accelerate student success while reducing libraries cost of service. The company boasts a 95% renewal rate on its subscription services.
While having a strong, core business with high renewal rates, Credo believed there was an opportunity to continue to grow by shifting from a predominantly account management sales model to a more proactive approach to the market. Building a team with the skills to effectively prospect new customers accounts in addition to prospecting within existing accounts presented the opportunity to create a more productive sales force while also increasing the success of new products launches.
Credo’s CEO hired Winalytics in Q3 2014 to develop a consultative selling process and build a sales team with the talent to sell in a more strategic, value-based way that could support growth in the library market. The engagement started with building a shared, consultative sales approach including a shared sales process, a shared value messaging framework, a prospect qualification toolkit, and an activity success formula to guide pipeline growth. The heavy lifting in the engagement started in Q4 2014 and continued into 2015 and was focused on retraining existing reps, hiring and on-boarding new sellers, and shifting the existing sales culture from a focus on selling on features and benefits to a focus on selling on value. New seller hiring and on-going skills coaching continued for 9 months until the whole sales team had coalesced around the new approach to selling.
The new selling system lead to year of year sales performance gains of about 7% and also had a dramatic impact on sales productivity. The team produced 7% more revenue at a 27% lower cost structure with each seller raising their productivity an average of 16%. Discovery call conversion went from 27.5% before the engagement to 35% six months into the engagement as the sales team got better at organizing their discovery work around establishing value and fit rather than promoting features and discounts. Forecast accuracy on late stage pipeline deals went from 39% to 59% as the team got better at qualifying and progressing the right prospects. About 60% of the new sellers hired became productive team members compared to a 30% hire-to-success rate before the shared sales system was put in place. Four of the 5 top spots for sales bookings in the first half of 2015 were occupied by sellers hired and on-boarded into the new selling system.