Over the last couple of weeks, we have done a deep dive into product equity and brand equity. However, we have yet to further discuss the most important kind of equity— sales equity! Sales equity is defined as “the tangible and intangible value a buyer receives from his perception of the relationship he has with his sales and account service teams, including their integrity, competency, recognition, proactivity, savvy, chemistry, etc.”
Product equity and brand equity are the minimum requirements in B2B. If you want to create exceptional buyer value, you have to create sales equity!
Let’s say your company has developed a good product and brand. Unfortunately, the same can be said about your competitors, thus making all of you the same. The majority of companies can no longer achieve profitable growth relying on product equity or brand equity alone, especially in B2B markets. For the majority of B2B companies, the only way to differentiate your business is by building a solid account team who can create sales equity with a buyer.
It is hard to replicate sales equity, but easier to differentiate. Your experience is not the same as another company’s experience. Because of this, organizations will cater to the client’s needs, making a customized and outstanding experience for them. Companies will compete by wrapping their product and brand in a client-focused delivery, which creates greater perceived value for the buyer; this builds sales equity.
Take insurance for example. Insurance can easily be compared to product equity: a certain amount of coverage and deductibles are offered for a given price. Additionally, the industry is populated with numerous strong, stable, well-respected brands. Consequently, the industry has evolved into a price battle. It is easy for a buyer to comparison shop and switches insurance companies at each renewal date.
Even in B2B commercial insurance where annual insurance premiums cost millions of dollars, the buyer will ask their insurance broker to “market their account” every couple of years. Basically, buyers will ask a few insurance companies to bid on their program to see who offers the lowest price; they believe that the product and brand equity of competing insurance companies is largely the same.
Yet, a lower price may not be compelling enough for buyers to switch their insurance. Why?
Because many businessmen are willing to sacrifice money for trust, good communication, and an understanding of their company’s goals. For example, if your financial advisor or accountant left for another firm, you would probably follow them. Basically, relationships matter; your clients are paying for a service and a relationship.
And this should be what you want from all of your salespeople and account teams— account teams that create exceptional value for each individual customer. Enough value that buyers are willing to pay more than they would for the same product from your competitor! Ultimately, to create value for your company, building relationships and sales equity is a must.
Tell us three ways you have built or experienced sales equity in the comments below! For now, follow us on Linkedin at “The Brookeside Group” and “Encompass CX,” and stay tuned for next week’s article!
Co-written by Alexis Audeh