Sales and marketing have always been spoken about as though they were a single entity, even while each lived in its own little country. Neither knew nor cared what the other was doing when they really should have been working as closely together as the term “marketing and sales.”
If you haven’t noticed yet, the entire business of marketing and sales has changed. There is no room for silos, only for collaboration.
It is now a sales and marketing ecosystem in which buyers take a journey through the marketing funnel and sales cycle. You and your buyer must partner to solve the business problems at hand.
Value selling tools are available to help you succeed in each region of this ecosystem.
At the front end of your search for prospects, you need something with a powerful gravitational pull that will attract the right prospect to your solution. Educational content is often used to barter for information for your drip campaign.
Not everyone is willing to give up their email address for an eBook or a white paper that is still only partially relevant to their business problem. Tools that provide customized information, however, can be irresistible.
Prospects know they have a problem. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be searching for a solution. An assessment tool helps them identify the problem and clarify what a potential solution would look like.
Potential leads can input information specific to their businesses and receive a customized report showing them how they compare to industry benchmarks, where the gaps are, and how your solution could be the one they seek.
Assessment tools are only one side of the equation. On the other side you can have value calculators, which make a strong case nearly invincible. Again, prospects can input their own information and receive a customized result showing how much better their business would be if they could solve their problem.
A value calculator helps leads visualize revenue gains and cost savings that could be obtained by solving their business problems.
What could be better than knowing exactly what your problem is, where you stand in the scheme of things, and how much you stand to gain?
Both tools can capture lead information from your prospects that you can use to personalize a drip campaign to keep them aware and interested in you as you demonstrate how your solution is the best for their problem.
In the meantime, you are gathering data through these tools and putting together an accurate picture of the lead by integrating this information inside your CRM. Once the picture is as complete as you can make it, you can hand it off to sales as a highly qualified lead.
When sales receives a qualified lead, they know the lead has already defined his or her business problem and seen how your solution could help solve it. They have ready-made talking points and clues to the type of information the customer needs to move closer to becoming a buyer.
Now it is time to help that lead put together an airtight business case.
ROI (Return On Investment) tools calculate how much money the solution saves or how much more revenue the business will bring in. This is the tool that continues to move you past questions about price by showing how quickly and how many times over they will make that money back. (The value calculator has already shown them that price is not what matters.)
Solid numbers are always a hit with CFOs and buying committees because they don’t have to think. The ROI tool does the hard calculations for them, decreasing the time to decision.
TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) tools come in handy if you are in a close race with a competitor because you will be able to compare the lifetime value of benefits and costs for one solution vs. the other.
Using the right value selling tool at the right time helps you build a relationship as a valued partner. It puts you in a position to help your customers see value in a form everyone understands by building the business case for them so they can present a successful proposal to the people who control the purse strings.