We’ve shared a lot of great advice this year, and in case you missed it, we wanted to present you with the highlights.
Here are our top seven ROI selling tips of 2016 and how to apply them to your own business.
1. Move conversations from price to value.
In today’s economic climate, where most buyers are only interested in price, it’s essential that you have a way to move their focus from price to value. Do this by first building rapport, then asking the right questions, counteracting resistance, and quantifying value to showcase ROI.
2. Provide proof of value to the CFO.
In order to invest in your solution, CFOs need to see a sound business case, including hard facts and evidence. To help effectively persuade them:
- Quantify the benefits of your solution
- Show why it’s a good use of funds
- Prove its value
- Show professionalism
- Show your work
- Incorporate an unbiased perspective
- Balance positives with negatives
3. Know how to talk about ROI.
Don’t talk about ROI inaccurately; it makes you look bad and unprofessional. For example, oftentimes people will express ROI in terms of dollars (e.g., “Your ROI is $10,000”) or a period of time (e.g., “You’ll get a five month ROI with our solution”). This is problematic because ROI isn’t a dollar amount or time period, it’s a percentage. More specifically, it’s a percentage that represents what your net gain will be on any investment.
4. Create a compelling value proposition.
Correctly communicating the value of your offering to different market segments is critical to any successful business strategy. It’s important that you customize your language to appeal to different segments to convey your value effectively. To do so, ask yourself:
- What are the unique benefits of my offering?
- Which groups of customers have similar sets of needs, and can therefore become our market segments?
- How will each segment receive value from my offering?
5. Present your value proposition in a way that convinces the decision maker to act.
Build a business perspective into your value proposition to appeal to decision makers. To help move these decision makers from doing nothing to purchasing your solution:
- Provide a framework to describe the the potential business impact of your solution.
- Predict value by calculating how much money decision makers will leave on the table by not purchasing from you.
- Identify where value isn’t being captured and how the decision maker can take corrective action.
- Present the shared risk, reward, and gain sharing arrangements to help decision makers be confident of the value being delivered.
6. Prove cost effectiveness using Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and Return On Investment (ROI).
Both TCO and ROI are great ways of proving cost effectiveness, but each performs best in different situations. Whereas TCO should only be used when your solution is being directly compared to a competitor’s, ROI should be leveraged to keep from losing deals to “no decision”, engaging in price discounting, and delaying a sale.
7. Avoid these terrible pieces of sales advice.
During one’s sales career, you often are given some less-than-stellar sales advice. Make sure you don’t slam the competition, only talk about yourself, rely on a personal relationship to close a deal, assume the deal is closed, treat all your prospects the same way, believe your product will sell itself, and more.
Hopefully these seven tips will help you better articulate the value of your own offering and manage your current opportunities. We’ve seen a lot of success using these techniques, and can’t wait to see how they’ll continue to be effective in the coming year!