If your company recently launched a new product or service, or is competing in a new category, you may be wondering how to convince prospects to consider your solution.
You haven’t had the opportunity to build up much evidence yet; you lack testimonials, and don’t have the data to show potential buyers how your solution can save money, build revenue, or help solve a problem.
The underlying challenge is that buyers don’t know how or why to buy your solution. Since it’s new, it’s different. Buyers are unsure where to start, especially if the value your solution delivers falls outside of traditional metrics and thinking.
What can you do when you don’t yet have a enough customers (or any) using your offering?
Provide your prospects with a framework for evaluating the investment themselves; it’s not as hard as most marketers think.
Create the Framework
There’s a reason value calculators and assessment tools are growing in popularity. Buyers can leverage them to answer questions specific to their business challenges. That’s much more compelling than downloading white papers that talk about theoretical results.
If you want to grab your buyer’s attention, you will need to show how your solution will directly impact their business. If you can provide them access to an interactive tool that allows them to enter their own real-world numbers, you can readily help them answer the age-old WIIFM question.
Buyer: “What’s in it for me?”
You: "Plug in your numbers, and you will see."
They own those numbers. There can be no question about where the data came from or whether it’s real. Buyers may now readily realize where they have performance gaps or lag behind industry peers.
Showcase the Value
Assessment tools and value calculators can also provide a platform to help prospects define their problem. They may be surfing the net looking for a solution without fully understanding their business challenges, and the impact those challenges are having on their business.
Many times buyers may be looking for something to address a business challenge, but they don’t always understand what that issue is costing the company or what it will cost to resolve it. Ultimately, the benefit of solving that problem will need to outweigh the cost.
You can help them define their problems as well as determine what it costs them to remain at status quo, and help them determine whether the benefit of your solution will exceed the cost. In the meantime, you’re building the foundation of a relationship while helping them discover what they need to know in order to make an informed decision.
This is even more important when your solution’s value can’t be measured in the traditional sense (and when value selling is incredibly beneficial).
For example, you may sell a solution used in data centers that is typically evaluated using a traditional total cost of ownership (TCO) approach (e.g., hardware, IT labor and energy consumption). But what if your solution also enabled the faster deployment of applications and services? The traditional TCO evaluation no longer applies and you need to educate buyers about the benefits of improved business velocity.
Ultimately, you don’t need to show how your solution compares within a traditional evaluation framework or how it helped others. You need to show how it will help your specific buyer. It’s nice to know how a solution worked for someone else, but no two companies are exactly alike, and for that reason the solution needs to match the buying organization’s unique problems.
Your buyers have the insight into their own business and its challenges, at least at a surface level, and providing deeper visibility into their business will reflect your solution’s value and mean so much more than anything else you can show them.