<img alt="" src="https://secure.half1hell.com/195196.png" style="display:none;">

How to Leverage an ROI Tool in the Sales Process

Posted by Jim Sargent on Nov 18, 2015 10:05:14 AM


An ROI tool is the best and most efficient way to build a winning business case. Before you can effectively use an ROI tool, however, there are several critical steps you need to take, starting with your lead-generation efforts. 

Because your typical customer does so much research online before talking with you, the process starts with marketing and the tools they make available on your website. Ideally, you want to make a value calculator available so that customers can find it during their research phase. Their inputs into that value calculator will provide critical insight into the current state of their business, which is key to building a business case to support purchasing your solution.

It is nearly impossible to provide accurate ROI calculations use in your business case without first assessing the current state of the customer's business and establishing the value of your solution. What’s the best way to assess your customer’s current state? Manual audits are one common option. But I don’t recommend them for a number of reasons.

The Problem with Manual Audits 

For one thing, they can take weeks, depending on the complexity of the deal. That’s because an audit involves interviewing key stakeholders (from customer personnel in production, to executives for between 30 minutes to an hour). It could also involve up to five people on your own internal team. Which means your labor cost is high (and I’m not even including travel expenses).

Laying the Groundwork to Use an ROI Tool

Compared to this manual effort, commercially available value tools researched and written specifically for a vendor’s solution is a minimal expense. Let’s review an example of how this plays out in contrast to a manual audit. 

  • The customer finds the value calculator on your website and inputs key data about his or her business. Value calculators provide visibility to your solution and allow buyers to easily quantify the value of your solution as it applies to them. (Bonus: often customers are far more likely to provide factual data. Many times this isn’t the case during a manual audit, because they don’t yet trust you.)
  • The customer provides contact information to receive a detailed report as a download. As a result, you receive the customer’s contact information for follow up.
  • The customer sees that the report shows significant dollar savings if his or her company implements your solution.
  • The customer invites you to engage in a discovery call. 
  • Your sales rep introduces an industry assessment tool validating the data from the value calculator. The difference is that value calculator is solely focused on your solution as it pertains to the customer’s need.
  • A few days to a week later, you provide a custom product demonstration, inserting the value drivers at key points and highlighting where the savings come from. (The demonstrator should drop some landmines for your competitor during the demo.)

At this point, you’ve hopefully sidestepped having to undergo a proof-of-concept proposal. However, if all else fails, you can produce the proof-of-concept but set boundaries to control the scope of it.

Preparing to Wow the CFO 

By this time you will have worked your way through a tough couple of months. You've overcome objections, negotiated several technical hurdles, and developed a champion. The good news is your champion is now feeding you actionable intelligence, in order to prepare for the economic buyer’s presentation. 

Here’s where I have really good news for you: because you’ve uncovered a lot of pain, quantified the customer's current state with an assessment tool and validated the value of your solution with a value calculator, now your rep can use an ROI tool to pull the data together and make the final entries.

Let’s consider the information the sales rep has at his or her fingertips when preparing to use an ROI tool to create a business case:

  • The original data the customer provided via the value calculator, way back before you even met him or her.
  • The assessment data filled out in collaboration with the customer during discovery. (True, this may have been adjusted over time, but it remains definitive.)
  • A champion to review everything and provide critical internal support.
  • Pricing entered as an investment into the ROI calculator.

With one click, the rep gets a branded, professional PDF document, with all the data required for the customer’s CFO to evaluate the deal.

In the end, you get an advantage because your business case is based on hard data and a virtually indisputable set of numbers to support the price, value, and ROI. All because you laid a trail of foundation stones in the form of an assessment tool on your website.

Sample the ROI tool from ROI-Selling.com

Topics: B2B Selling