How to Quantify the Buyer's Problem Using an ROI Tool

Posted by David Svigel on Dec 6, 2016 9:00:00 AM
David Svigel
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quantify buyers problem roi tool

Ah, the good, old days; the days when you could approach a prospect with a list of all the great features your solution had. Maybe you added a little about the benefit of each feature.

The economy was good and had been good for a while; it wasn’t hard to get a signature on a purchase contract without having to do anything more than make it sound like it saved effort or increased throughput. 

Suddenly, the economy went south for an extended stay and businesses became frugal. It wasn’t enough to show how fast an employee could perform a process with your solution; you had to find a way to convince your prospect that your solution would be worth the amount you were charging.

That tendency has become enshrined into today’s buying processes. Add in the customer’s new ability to research solutions without involving you personally, and selling becomes a whole new ballgame.

Why won’t selling on features and benefits work anymore?

Our Example Solution

Your company sells a customer service and support software solution. It is meant to replace a home-brewed legacy solution that your target buyers had written by an in-house software team five years ago. 

Selling with Features and Benefits 

Your marketing and sales department put together a handy piece of sales collateral that listed all the features and benefits of your customer service and support software. It may have looked a bit like this.

Feature

Benefit

Automatic issue escalation

Hot issues will not fall through the cracks and be missed

Automatic ticket routing

Tickets did not have to stay in a queue waiting to be assigned; your department saved time by not having to manually assign an agent to each ticket or hire someone to monitor your web portal for customer entered issues.

Alerts for increased activity

You will find out about backed up ticket queues quickly and get more people on the phones right away.

Ability to open multiple tabs

Your support agents will have all the information needed right in front of them.

KPI Monitoring

You can measure each metric to see if you are meeting deadlines and quotas.

Those all sound like great benefits to the customer service manager who must make do with a solution that requires tickets to be manually escalated and routed, that can’t create a notification of any sort, and has limited space on the screen for anything more than basic information. Monitoring key performance indicators to help improve service is out of the question. 

To the manager, your solution sounds like it will solve all the customer service problems in one fell swoop. She presents it to upper management who says, “Will it pay for itself? Give us the numbers.”

You cannot give them those numbers. So no sale.

Selling with an ROI Tool 

With an ROI tool, you can solicit information from your buyers that is specific to their companies. You can ask a range of questions designed to determine what the current process is regarding the number of complaints handled per day, the number of customer support agents on duty each shift, what industry they serve, and how long each ticket remains open. 

You can delve into how many tickets are elevated to a higher tier of service and how those assignments are performed. At the end, you show how much it costs annually to provide customer support at that level with the current solution.

You can then calculate how much it would cost to provide the same level of support using your solution. Compare it to how much it would cost to deploy your solution and calculate their net benefit.

Notice how none of this information pertains to any specific features because if your solution is being considered, it’s likely your prospect already knows what you offer. At this point, you are on a short list, and you need to show the CFO or financial team how much money your solution could save their business on customer service and support costs.

The ROI tool makes the calculations simple and provides a clear report that can be used as part of a business case for proving your solution. The cost of implementation is part of the calculations, and you can use the tool to showcase how quickly the investment would be returned to your buyer's company. 

Now the CFO and finance team will have the type of data they crave and can work with. They might not know what it would mean to be able to assign a ticket automatically, but they do understand if you tell them your solution will do it for less per ticket than they are paying now.


When you can show your buyers how much they are spending now and how much they could save with your solution using their own numbers, you will have a solid business case that your competitor will not be able to match. 

After all, they are selling features and benefits. You are selling value.

Growing and Accelerating Sales with Value Selling Tools- ROI Selling

Topics: ROI Tools, Sales Enablement Solutions