Product, solution, value - you decide


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Joe, Sally and Greg are three sales professionals with a great sales opportunity. See how each one proves their worth, leverages marketing and gets the deal, in this fun and important story.

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Product, solution, value - you decide

  1. 1. Copyright © 2012, Alinean Inc. All rights reserved.
  2. 2. Let Me Tell you a Story In a land not too far away, in a time not so long ago, a sales team learned that three prospects were in immediate need of tools for a critical building project. It’s been some time since such an oppor- tunity has been available, and the sales team springs into action. Meet Joe, Sally and Gary, the intrepid sales team.2
  3. 3. Joe Springs Into Action … Joe, one of the more forward sales reps, is able to quickly get a meeting with the first prospect. After nice introductions, knowing the prospect needs tools for his building project, Joe doesn’t waste time and immediately takes the tools from his sample bag and with a cacophony of action, begins demonstrating how his tools are superior: his saw at cutting wood his wire cutters at cutting wire his hammer at hammering nails his trowel at spreading concrete3
  4. 4. … To Hammer a Deal Home The prospect likes the demonstration, and immediately wants to purchase the wire cutters, but demands a discount, as wire cutters can certainly be purchased for less at the hardware store. Salesperson Joe doesn’t have much argu- ment for that, so acquiesces, providing a 20% discount to get the deal. Without haste, the customer starts building and Joe returns to the office to do the “I got deal dance”.4
  5. 5. Sally Takes Her Turn … Sally, the next salesperson, gets an appointment with the second prospect soon after. Rather than jumping right into the demonstration, Sally knows she needs more information about the building project in order to recommend the right set of tools.5
  6. 6. … Asks the Right Questions … She asks the prospect what they need to build, and the prospect describes their need for shelter. Instead of just selling one tool, Sally follows marketing’s advice and bundles the tools together into a building solution so that the prospect has all of what they need. The buyer sees the benefit of not having to piece together the toolkit to serve his needs.6
  7. 7. … And Nails A Solution Sale Sally gets the deal, and hardly has to discount to get there. The customer gets busy with building his shelter, and upon returning to the office, Joe’s reception is rather cold know- ing he has been bested by Sally and her solutions approach.7
  8. 8. Gary Moves Beyond What to Why … Gary, the last salesperson, meets with the final prospect. Like Sally, Gary is eager to learn about the prospect’s building project. Upon hearing they need to build a shelter, however, Gary doesn’t stop there with his questions. He doesn’t just want to know what the buyer wants to build, but why he wants to build it. Does he need shelter from the rain, from the cold, or something more? He knows that sometimes buyers might have issues, but don’t understand the priority / urgency of various factors, or worse, have not real- ized they have other issues that might be even more urgent to address. The prospect tells Gary that indeed, he needs to build a sturdy structure to pro- tect from the cold temps just around the corner.8
  9. 9. … Challenges the Buyer But Gary, with provocative research facts from marketing, politely challenges that a house often means much more. Gary communicates the latest security figures, and how build- ing a lesser home might leave the buyer vulnerable. Gary compares and contrasts the costs of various shelters, and how often the more expensive approach yields lower total cost of ownership and better value in the long term.9
  10. 10. … Plays to Left (Logical) and Right (Emotional) Brain And the story Gary weaves is not all facts and figures, because he knows buyers use their entire minds to make a purchase, relying not just on the logical, but the emotional. Tugging on the buyer’s heartstrings Gary implores that this house must be built right, for it will remain in the family now, and for generations to come.10
  11. 11. … And Sells the Desired Outcome The prospect lights up with the vision Gary painted, the fiscal sense it all makes, and the urgency the better alternative commands. Gary is not just able to sell the tools, but much needed design-build services, so the prospect is not just enabled to address the shelter opportunity, but on a turnkey basis can get the house they really need. Gary returns to the office with a deal 30 times larger than Sally and Joe, and a trip to winner’s circle in the bag. Better yet, the customer gets just the right house to provide the protection they need.11
  12. 12. Value Selling – Everyone Wins Grabbing coffee in the office a month later, the sales team is startled by the front page of the local paper. There on the cover are the three customers. A picture of the first in front of a house of straw, a picture of the second with a house of sticks, and a picture of the third, with his design-build house of bricks. The head- line: Big Bad Wolf Rampage Destroys Two Homes, Two Pigs Narrowly Escape Death. A product, solution or value selling approach– the three little pigs teach us that the latter is not only better for your sales revenue, but better for your customers as well!12
  13. 13. Value Selling & Marketing13
  14. 14. Buyers Have Fundamentally & Permanently Changed Meet Buyer Frugalnomicus The methods of five years ago won’t work any longer because your buyers have fundamentally and perma- nently changed. Frugalnomics is in full effect, with your buyers: • More EMPOWERED with information about op- portunities, solutions, products / pricing and the competition … as a result, your buyers are firmly in control of the buying lifecycle, and inviting sales later into the decision making • More OVERLOADED, forced to do more with less as a result of cutbacks, with less time than ever to uncover issues, explore opportunities and drive towards purchasing your solution • More SKEPTICAL of your claims and traditional sales and marketing pitches • More FRUGAL, demanding quantifiable proof of bottom-line impact on your proposals; want- ing to be sure each decision is delivering the lowest price / best value possible14
  15. 15. Evolve to Value Focus to Fight Frugalnomics Your buyers require a new more value-focused sales and marketing approach. Product Selling Solution Selling Value Selling Back in the day, when the vendor was in This advanced from a product to a more But with today’s buyer, these approaches control, you could walk in with a traditional solutions-oriented approach, where prod- are not effective. In many cases your over- product approach – presenting on the lat- ucts were bundled into solution sets and loaded buyer might not be aware that the est features and functions of your solution. aimed at solving a specific set of customer pain you are addressing exists. For these It was up to the buyer to figure out how to problems. The sales person engaged by buyers, diagnosis is key – to uncover the best apply your product to solve their busi- asking the buyer what their pain was; what issues your buyer didn’t know about, and ness problem, and determine the outcome / was keeping them up at night. help them prioritize the pains they already value that could be derived. knew they had. And if they know the pain, your buyer of- ten has already researched the solutions and competitors and is beyond the tradi- tional product / solution approach, instead needing more consultative information on potential outcomes, risks, investment re- quirements, and a business case.15
  16. 16. Value Focus a Requirement, But Gaps Exist When we look to see how many salespeople have advanced to a value-focused approach, we find that a serious gap exists. ✔ They are gunuinely interested in partnering with us to make sure our initiative is successfull 6% Outcome ✔ They try to understand our challenges and offer suggestions, even if they don’t sell the product/solution 6% Consultative – They are legitimately interested in trying to help us understand how their solutions can help 20% True Solution ✘ They only want to tell me about their products/services 27% Transactional ✘ They listen for a keyword or two so they can give me a prepared pitch 41% Buzz Word Solution According to Forrester, 68% still use an A mere 20% have advanced to a true so- More is needed to help evolve your sales outdated product selling approach, focus- lution selling approach, while a scant 6% and marketing to meet the new buyer chal- ing right away on a traditional products / have actually advanced to the most effec- lenge and fight Frugalnomics. services pitch, or paying lip service to the tive value (outcome) focused approach. buyer by asking a few questions before launching into a standard canned presen- tation.16
  17. 17. Your Buyer’s Journey is Complex Your buyer follows a series of steps to arrive at a “YES” decision. The journey represents a complex change management process, which just won’t happen unless it’s facilitated. Discovery Consideration Decision Understand the Issues & Commit to Prioritize Possible Solutions & Justify the Decision & Make the Changing the Status-Quo Commit to an Approach Solution Selection Why Change? Why Now? Why Your Solution? Your buyers need to be convinced that the Your buyers need to commit to change and Your buyers’ procurement teams must reach status-quo should change, and that the prioritize the project. Once the buyer has consensus on a particular proposal, and change is worth it. In today’s do-more- committed to the change, the decision gain selection approval from the many with-less environment, most organizations makers need to research possible solu- stakeholders involved in the decision mak- are doing all they can to keep the lights on. tion approaches and create a short-list of ing process. Finance in particular now In such a stressed environment, your buy- specific providers. During this phase it is demands economic justification and is ers might be feeling pain, but not have the difficult for your buyers to wade through heavily involved in the final vendor selec- resources to address the issues. After all, the copious amounts of research and mar- tion process, providing more price pres- for most organizations it is easier and less keting materials to understand the various sure and financial diligence requirements. risky to do nothing, than to change. advantages that each solution approach might provide. Your Opportunity Your Opportunity Your Opportunity The opportunity for your sales and market- The opportunity for your sales and market- The opportunity for your sales and market- ing teams during the Discovery phase is ing teams during the Consideration phase ing teams during the Decision phase is to to spark innovation and change, and help is to help your buyers understand the value provide a detailed ROI analysis, CFO ready with issue diagnosis and prioritization. of specific solution sets and compare and business case, and competitive total cost contrast different competitive approaches. of ownership / value comparison.17
  18. 18. Engage Earlier & Consistently to Facilitate Your Buyer’s Journey Discovery Consideration Decision Understand the Issues & Commit to Prioritize Possible Solutions & Justify the Decision & Make the Changing the Status-Quo Commit to an Approach Solution Selection Why Change? Why Now? Why Your Solution? 65% 35% Of Decisions Won / Lost Based Of Decisions Won / Lost on Bake-Off on Who Helped Establish Need Examining the first phase of your buyer’s journey, during Discov- In the later bake-off phases, during Consideration and Decision, ery when the vision for the project is defined, most buyers are Forrester indicates that 35% of vendor selection decisions are researching options on their own, and do not involve sales in the made, making it more important to get connected and engaged process. However, it is during this early phase that your buyers in earlier phases. However, many of your deals get stalled by a establish strong provider preferences, with Forrester indicating failure to overcome objections and drive consensus during this that 65% of vendors who create the buying vision during these early phase, making it vital to effectively address. phases of the journey, end up getting the deal. For many solution providers, lack of engagement means a “failure to launch”, miss- All Phases of The Journey are Important ing out on the deal entirely, or playing catch-up the entire way. So in the end, all phases of the journey are important. However, we find that most marketing and sales efforts are aimed at later stages, with gaps in early engagement methods and tools.18
  19. 19. Interactive Sales & Marketing Tools to Facilitate Tools map across your buyer’s journey to facilitate each stage These tools can be used by your sales Interactive White Papers professionals, in interactive workshops, to Help your buyers get a personalized assessment of their opportunities provide diagnosis, analysis, justification, differentiation and consultative advice – helping to drive a value-focused approach. As well, the tools can be made customer Benefit Estimators facing, to help provide your prospects with Estimate for your buyers the cost of doing nothing and the value of change direct access to completely personalized decision making analysis and guidance. Diagnostic Assessments Get into more detail with your buyers about what ails them, conducting a diagnosis to help identify new issues, prioritize opportunities and recommend relevant solutions ROI Analysis Create the business case justification for your proposed solutions TCO Comparison Don’t lose the deal on price, instead you can elevate the discussion to differenti- ate total cost of ownership (TCO) and incremental value19
  20. 20. Next Steps The Overview Optimize your Content to Fight Frugalnomics Value Marketing The Solutions Value Selling The Proof The ROI of Alinean Value Sales and Marketing Tools Resources & Fight Frugalnomics Resource Center Insight Ask the ROI Guy Resource Center20
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