I’ve previously written about when and why you need a cost-justified business case to close deals. As a quick primer, the more your solution disrupts your customer’s business and as the size of the investment grows, the more likely you’ll need a business case.
Large corporations have the advantage of large budgets and the ability to staff sales and marketing roles in-house. They have employees to fulfill positions like:
- Front Line Sales Representative
- Product or Solution Expert
- Value Engineer or Value Consultant
Front line sales controls the sales process from the time a sales lead is handed off as a prospect to the close of the sale, while product or solution experts manage any demonstrations and field the feature and functionality questions.
In the meantime, the value engineer or consultant puts together a business case (a.k.a. a cost justification or a financial analysis). During this process, the value engineer identifies the customer’s pain points and calculates the financial benefit of solving those problems.
What Can Smaller Businesses Do?
Even as a smaller business, you still need these roles in order to sell to your customers, but can you really afford three different groups of people? Fortunately, there are tools available to fill the gap between an extensive sales staff and your budget. Not only will these tools allow you to provide a better selling environment and experience, your sales team won’t have to acquire financial or business case analysis expertise to successfully sell.
Software tools are available to help you and your team assess your leads, show buyers the cost of their problems, differentiate yourself from your competitors, and provide the cost justification for your products and services. These are practical tools you can leverage for any product or service with a selling price above $15,000 and/or that disrupts your customers’ workflows and technologies
Top Tools to Support Value Selling Skills
An assessment tool helps you give your customers insight into the scope and magnitude of their business issues. Visualizing problems and pain points provides a way to increase the customer’s sense of urgency to find a solution. Your sales staff can find prospects more readily and increase your sales close rates because the lead will be more highly qualified.
With a value calculator, customers can quantify for themselves the value your solution would offer their business. It gives you a starting point to begin differentiating yourself from your competitors who are not able to show value as clearly. If you can identify a pain point and calculate how your company can do more than answer that pain point, you will begin to grow a relationship that builds customer loyalty.
Total Cost of Ownership Tools
One of the most powerful ways to differentiate your products from the competition’s is to show how the benefits and costs of your solution stack up against theirs. It’s one thing to talk about features and benefits, but when you can show the numbers using a TCO tool, it makes a significant impact.
Just like visualizing the value and total cost of ownership, providing a calculation of the return on investment when using your solution shows your customers how soon and how many times over they can expect your solution to pay for itself. ROI is yet another perspective on the value of your product or service that can set you apart from others.
As a small business, you can stay nimble and answer to rapidly changing customer needs. And by leveraging available sales tools you don’t need a large sales force to do it.
Let your sales staff become experts on your customers’ pain points and how your solution can resolve them by giving them the tools to round out their value based selling skills.
Do this and you can have the equivalent of a big sales staff on a small business budget.