The other day I got a call from a client asking for my help with a sales problem. His company sells document management solutions to property and casualty insurers, and he said reps were having trouble with a specific set of sales objections. Here's what he said:“Our reps are really comfortable using an ROI calculator to cost justify the selling price based upon savings in areas such as office supplies, document storage, and employee time,” he said. “The problem is that they’re not sure how to justify the top line growth delivered by our solution. They tell the buyer that our document management solution will increase how much business they can write. The buyer hears this and raises an eyebrow, and they back away.”
I’ve seen this issue before with other clients. Their reps are rock stars when it comes to proving cost savings in a business case. But they’re thrown by revenue benefits.
In my opinion, this happens because reps fail to use specific language to back up their claims. In this case, I suggested that my client use the following three statements and supporting details to justify the revenue benefits of their particular solution:
Statement #1: “Our solution will help you get more new clients.”
It’s easy for a buyer to object that a document management solution isn’t going to help bring in more new clients. But wait; imagine this scenario: The document management solution improves workflows in the underwriting department and reduces the time required to make an underwriting decision. Now the producers (think of them as sales reps of the insurance world) can get more proposals in front of prospects and in a timelier manner. This can only increase the chances of adding more new clients.
Statement #2: “Our solution will keep you from losing clients.”
In this case, the buyer might have a feeling that a document management solution can reduce customer attrition, but a little convincing can’t hurt. Here’s an example. Efficiencies in the claims department can result in less hassles and faster payments for the insureds. This leads to higher customer satisfaction, which in turn leads to better client retention.
Statement #3: “Our solution will help you sell more to existing clients.”
This one is probably puzzling to the buyer. Think about cross-selling and consider that the insurer has made efficiency gains across multiple departments as a result of the document management solution. One way those efficiency gains can manifest themselves is through a faster product development cycle. With products going to market faster, it provides more opportunities for cross-selling that otherwise would have never existed.
The Key Takeaway
The common tactic in all three scenarios above is providing supporting evidence for how the document management solution is going to improve revenue. If you were the buyer at an insurance company, what would you believe more:
- “We will increase your annual premium by one percent” or
- “We will increase your annual premium by one percent through faster underwriting decisions, shorter claims processing time, and reduced product development cycles.”
The key is to avoid generic claims and instead focus on how your solution is going to enable revenue growth. There are numerous ways (e.g., increase in leads, decrease in the sales cycle, higher customer satisfaction, faster geographic expansion, and greater market coverage) technology solutions can increase customers’ sales. Learn how to articulate those benefits clearly, and don’t leave it to buyers to figure it out on their own.