When you get right down to it, B2B deals are driven by the buyers’ desire to lower costs or grow sales. Even if they tell you they want to “mitigate risks” or “achieve compliance,” buyers still expect to achieve their desired outcome along with a positive impact to their bottom line.
All too often, however, sales teams never fully show buyers how their offering influences the bottom line. It should be standard practice to provide cost justification in the form of a business case to help gain approval from buying committees and finance executives. Additionally, presenting an offering’s estimated net value specific to each buyer accelerates the purchase decision by addressing each stakeholder’s needs.
The pitfall to avoid is presenting a business case that’s too simplistic or overly complex for the deal at hand. In general, B2B deals fall into one of three tiers: simple, standard, and complex. Let’s look at how to approach each for best results.
Tier I: Simple Business Case
Keep things simple if an offering is not a high-ticket item and does not cause much change or disruption to the buyers’ way of doing business. A simple calculation in a spreadsheet showing the current spend vs. projected spend, supported by case studies and customer success stories should do the trick. Anything more complicated isn’t needed to win the deal.
Tier II: Standard Business Case
A standard business case is appropriate for offerings that require a substantial investment, (typically $15,000+) and create a moderate level of change in the buyer’s business operations. Sales teams should prepare a business case that articulates the offering’s total return by calculating the value of all the available solution benefits. For example, a marketing automation solution shouldn’t just be measured on the projected sales increase, but also the value of the time savings expected in the marketing department.
Because a standard business case requires calculating and summing an average of 8 to 12 benefits, a software-based ROI tool is more advantageous and outperforms a spreadsheet. An ROI tool makes it easier for sales team to prepare a business case, eliminates the potential for errors, and offers better presentation output than a spreadsheet. The latter two points are especially critical to establishing credibility with buyers.
Tier III: Detailed Business Case
High-priced offerings that cause significant disruption to the buyer’s business absolutely require a detailed business case. In these scenarios, sales teams should collaborate with their internal solution experts (or outside consultants hired by the buyer) to evaluate current operations and the projected improvements.
The financial analysis is typically complex and requires a thorough ROI tool to manage the business value calculations. Without the right support and tools, success in these deals is limited. Professionalism, accuracy, and a clear value proposition are essential for persuading buyers to invest in your solution. You can click here to learn more about ROI Tools and see several examples.
Every B2B sale needs a business case, regardless of size and impact on the buyer’s business. Sales teams can close more deals by preparing a business case that provides an appropriate level of detail. ROI tools are essential for preparing standard and detailed business cases, enhancing your team’s credibility and accelerating the buying decision.