5 Reasons ROI Calculators Outperform Spreadsheets

When buyers come to your web site, do you make it easy for them to see how much money you can save them? Do you have ways of clearly showing how much more revenue you can help them generate?

Moreover, when your sales reps interact with buyers, are they well equipped to quantify the value your offering delivers? Does their presentation help or hurt their credibility?

Whether for lead generation or closing deals, many sales and marketing teams create spreadsheets to illustrate the value of their offering. However, spreadsheets pose a number of problems; in the worst cases, these problems result in buyers moving on to the next vendor’s website or dropping out of deals altogether. Online value selling tools built using a dedicated platform can help you avoid these challenges.

Selling to the CFO: 7 Tips to Inspire Confidence in Your Solution

One of the greatest advantages in selling is the ability to understand how CFOs (a typical approver) think. That’s particularly true if you’re selling a technology solution. Why? Tech sales generally represent large investments, and the job of any CFO is to make sure that any major expenditure will yield measurable results and a good ROI.

As the steward of money within the company, CFOs wants to make smart investments. Your job as a seller is to provide proof of value. Although you might be extremely personable, likeable, and engaging, it’s important to realize that the typical personality of CFOs is not built to make decisions based on whether or not they like you.

4 Steps to Improve Your Value Proposition

In today’s economy, having a compelling business value proposition and being able to deliver against that promise is not a "nice to have," it’s the price of admission. Companies today constantly vie for business decision makers’ attention and the opportunity to sell their product or solution.

Unfortunately, once given the opportunity to present, many companies lose sales by failing to convey the business value of their offering in a way that convinces the business decision maker to act. While many sales and marketing staff tend to think of their value proposition in terms of discrete features, functions and benefits, business decision makers think about products and services in a completely different way.

Therefore, to be effective, sales and marketing organizations need to build a “business” perspective into their value proposition to appeal to business decision makers and ultimately close more sales.

How to Prevent Prospect Objections

Every sales rep dreads hearing prospect objections. From “Your price is too high,” to “Call me again in three months when I get my budget back,” it can sometimes seem like all prospects want to do is find reasons not to buy from you.

This is a frustrating situation for reps, especially when they feel, as the best do, that their product or solution could actually help the prospect and improve his or her business. So what’s the disconnect? If your offering can actually make life easier for this prospect, why is she spending so much time finding reasons to reject it?

How to Create a Compelling Value Proposition

How well can you describe the value of your offering to different market segments?

Correctly communicating value at the segment level is critical to any successful business strategy. Unfortunately, many B2B sales and marketing professionals communicate value in broad, generic terms, or fail to customize their language to appeal to different market segments.

To make a successful impact and convey your value effectively, you must be able to articulate how your offering will affect that customer’s specific business challenges. I encourage you to start moving away from buzzwords like “state-of-the-art,” which is more about you rather than your customer, and generic words like “quality,” which mean different things to different people. Instead, start using highly specific words that directly reflect your customer’s wants and needs.

3 Fundamental Drivers of Marketing Excellence

Fundamentals, in most competitive endeavors, are what we must first learn and master in order to perform well. They provide us with confidence in setting basic direction and a stable foundation when the going gets rough.

In marketing, sound fundamentals help set strategic direction, guide tactical plans and provide benchmarks for determining execution and performance. This article reviews three fundamentals to drive marketing excellence that span the gamut from strategy through execution: Innovation, Focus and Leverage.

When set as a foundation for your marketing efforts, they enable you to establish and fine-tune your marketing activities to drive superior results.

How to Help Buyers Make Better Purchase Decisions

During my 20-year career in sales, I’ve watched customers get smarter and smarter. As we all know, this is due in large part to the buyers’ ability to research products and solutions online. They visit vendor websites, follow vendors on social media, download content assets, tune into webinars, and attend conferences. In the process, they pick up a vast amount of knowledge about vendors and products.

Most salespeople today understand this. What they fail to understand, however, is that knowledgeable buyers are not necessarily more effective buyers. In other words, better access to more information does not always lead to better purchase decisions.

Don’t Panic When Your Prospect Asks You to Revise Your Business Case

At a certain stage of the deal, there are a few things buyers sometimes say that make sales professionals panic.

One of them is when the potential buyer comes back and asks you to rework the numbers in your business case. For example, let’s say you’re trying to sell a very expensive solution to a big account. Let’s say this solution will help save the prospect $1 million each year. However, your stakeholder comes back to you and suddenly asks for a business case to support $500,000 savings, rather than the full $1 million. At this point, many sales professionals start to panic or worry that their deal is losing credibility.

Do Sales Reps Need to Be Financial Experts?

I contend that your sales reps need to be financial experts about as much as your CFO needs to be a master of working a room. Recently I read a great post on Inc.com, “Selling in the Post-Internet Age” about how the Internet has fundamentally changed the buying and selling process.

As the author points out, customers today are better informed, and the buyer education process has been turned upside down. Customers are doing research on you and your solutions before you get a chance to talk with them. And you’re not necessarily in control of the information that’s out there for them to discover on their own.

Should You Share Your Pricing on Your Website?

Does it make sense to disclose the price of your offering on your website?

My thinking about this issue has shifted over time. I used to say you shouldn’t make prices available online. That’s because I strongly believe in value selling, the goal of which is to center the conversation on value first before discussing price. This helps you avoid becoming bogged down by lengthy price negotiations, price objections, and requests for discounts.

I still think it makes sense to establish your value before sharing price with prospects. However, there’s real risk in sharing your price too late. Here are at least four reasons why.