Selling a product or service ultimately depends on convincing a customer that it will increase revenue or save costs; in other words, that the customer will have more money in the future. You might call this “theoretical money.”
The trick is helping the customer see this “theoretical money” as something substantial and believable that can be used to sell your solution to the other stakeholders inside their company.
Buckets of Theoretical Money
When you sell value, you talk about more than price and cost. In fact, you don’t want to talk about price and cost too soon. So you wrap everything in the concept of value, which can come from a variety of areas:
- Lower Cost of Goods Sold
- Operating Cost Savings
- Sales Growth
The buyer you are working with may understand, in a vague way, that these buckets really are full of real, if future, money. But they may need your help in framing that concept to other stakeholders within their company who are not as adept at translating all this value into actual greenbacks.
For example, if your solution replaces a paper-based workflow you might claim that customers will see cost savings due to higher employee retention, increased productivity, and flexibility in the workspace. The people in procurement hear those terms but can’t connect them to anything concrete. It’s your job to quantify those cost savings and show your prospect how much money they will save if they implement your solution.
Similarly, the CFO doesn’t want to waste time deciphering vague information. Finance may know how much it costs to acquire a customer but not how much customer churn costs the company or the savings from customer retention. Again, you need to calculate how much higher sales revenue could be if your solution was implemented.
Turning Theory into Reality
You can make that theoretical money much more real by using your value-selling tool set to take the concepts of labor savings, customer acquisition, and sales growth from vague to specific. Demonstrate concrete financial gains by taking the data gleaned from past performance and running it through the tools to show dollars saved.
To begin, bring in procurement, the finance organization, and other stakeholders so they can give input into the value model. These groups can help ensure accurate model mechanics and assumptions as well as define measurable results.
Mechanics and assumptions differ from customer to customer, but your value selling tools should be flexible enough to customize the underlying models to a specific scenario. Results can be framed into the key performance indicators most important to each company.
Monetize benefits by providing a number instead of an idea. Even concepts like reduced liability, improved governance, and increased sustainability can sometimes be broken down into dollars spent and saved.
A majority of stakeholders within your customer’s company will not be convinced with “theoretical money” that you say will be saved or made through solving their problem with your solution.
You can help build a business case using value selling tools to tell the story using real numbers. You want to make it as easy as possible for your buyers to present concrete evidence so their internal customers don’t have to think.
Turn theoretical future money into solid terms. You will close deals faster and build solid relationships while doing it.