Buyers make data-driven decisions. That’s why the vendor that can present a convincing business case showing the value of making a change has the advantage.
At every stage of the sales funnel, your company and sales representatives will need to convince a different group of people with different agendas. That’s where data driven content comes in.
Advancing Buyer Knowledge
The primary purpose of data-driven content is to educate the buyer. You can use it to:
- Assess the buyer’s results against industry benchmarks and competitors
- Define the problem
- Calculate how much the buyer’s business loses for every day the problem remains unsolved
- Prove your solution’s total cost of ownership is lower than a competing vendor’s
- Determine the ROI of your solution
At every step of the way, you’re using data to show the value of your solution over the status quo and other solutions.
How Buyers Select a Solution
What are buyers looking for when they shop for a solution? They are looking for ways to justify the purchase and the value of making a change. The buyer wants to know:
- How much will the solution help me?
- Is it worth the disruption of implementing the solution?
- How can I measure the value in terms of productivity and money?
You need to be able to show value from the very beginning before the buyer contacts your company. Buyers want data to work with before they call you, so you need tools they can use on their own to assess their problems and how your solution might be able to solve them.
Building and Aligning Messaging, Content, and Tools for Salespeople
Every piece of content you develop should be achieving a specific goal. These might include:
- Lead generation
- Lead conversion
- Justifying the cost/showing value
- Closing the sale
Early in the sales journey, you can show buyers how they rank against benchmarks by offering an assessment of their present processes in comparison. Once they’ve seen where they fall short, you can calculate the value of your solution in terms of it bridging that gap.
- The buyer will discover the size of the problem and how solving it will improve the bottom line.
- You acquire specific data about each lead to help you start building a business case to move the sale through the funnel more quickly.
At this point, buyers typically contact a short list of vendors according to their research. With a customized assessment and a value calculation in hand, they’ll look to you to expand on their initial justification and help them convince the other stakeholders that your solution is the right one.
Content for the later stages must show the return on investment and the total cost of ownership, the final two barriers to the sale. The decision-makers are looking strictly at the financial picture.
Place tools in the salesperson’s hands that calculate both the TCO and the ROI, once again using data from the buyer. The reports complete the business case and illustrate to the stakeholders how much money is being lost by not fixing the problem, how your solution stacks up against a competitor's regarding lifecycle cost, and how quickly the buyer's investment will be made back.
ROI Selling Tools Enable Buyer Decisions
To generate and convert leads that have yet to contact a sales rep, you can add an assessment tool and a value calculator to your website or social media page. During the initial search, the potential buyer can obtain customized answers to the problem at hand and the value of the right solution.
Later, give your salespeople access to the initial data from the assessment tool and value calculator to begin building a convincing business case. Then provide them with a TCO tool so they can calculate how your solution compares to a competitor on a complete cost basis. An ROI tool allows them to show the buyer how quickly the investment will be paid back or how many times it will be returned.
In short, there is a value selling tool available for every phase of the sales funnel that streamlines the sales process, deflects price objections, and closes the sale more quickly, enabling sales growth for you and your team.