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SiriusDecisions Interview: From Selling Products to Articulating Value and Quantifying ROI
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SiriusDecisions Interview: From Selling Products to Articulating Value and Quantifying ROI

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"We need to move from selling products to solutions.” …

"We need to move from selling products to solutions.”

This seems to be the current rallying cry for every b-to-b marketing and sales leader today. However, this has been easier said than done.

Today, moving from pitching products to selling solutions is not just a rallying cry, but a cry for survival, as ever more frugal buyers demand to understand the business value / ROI a solution will bring before making a purchase.

Simply put -- if you want to grow revenue, your sale reps have to evolve from pitching products to clearly articulating and quantifying the value your solutions deliver.

In this Interview with Edge Coble, Analyst for SalesEnablement Strategies for sales and marketing research firm SiriusDecisions, reveals the very latest research on why Value Communication is so important, and outlines proven best practices to address the challenge and use it to your revenue growth advantage.

Published in: Sales, Business, Education
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  • Sales people being invited later and later. Varying claims in the research indicate anywhere between ½ and 2/3rds of the process complete prior to sales being invited. What’s the real number?
     
    67% indicated they are brought in when the buyer has already established a clear picture of the solution they want.
     
  • ~58% of deals don’t close / stall because value has not been effectively presented.
    ~60% of time spent not selling – on overhead tasks.
  • 9 months average ramp up time, but can take up to 36 months (3yrs) for some markets
  • This sounds bad, but is it in all cases? What’s the tangible impact of this late involvement?
     
    Typical pipeline of any salesperson ….
    Certain number are with existing buyers, have a short list to select you or near competitor… high velocity, greater percentage close…. So not bad at being brought in late.
    How you stack rank
    Reframe if not to your advantage …. Reframe the problem and the solution to solve that problem
    Differentiate costs and value
     
    Buyer initiates the relationship …. Call in interested in solutions. Why interested, how far down the path.
    Need is already identified
    If looks like our solution, all set
    If not, reframe provocatively business problem and solution
    If they do late in the process differentiate
    If its early, you want to influence the picture of solution
     
    Those deals where sales rep / marketing team initiated early proactively
    Why change? Why now?
    Move off the status quo?
     
    Can’t meet the growth goals typically with just one, or even two of these. Want to win all three of these.
     
    House painting analogy …. 10 on a street …. Challenger works well in some situations, but not all.
     
  • So how do you arm your sales folks with the ability to deal with these dramatically different buying scenarios and add value to each engagement?
     
     
    Don’t challenge right off the bat if they’re already in your camp.
    Existing clients - Articulate value you provided, value you can continue to provide. Don’t want to give them a reason to look anywhere else … need to remind buyers of the value you provide. CFO – why spending the money ….
    Interested prospect –
    Early - assess the issues their solving versus your solutions, reframe if you can in your favor, justify your value
    Late – differentiate; prove your lower TCO, higher value
     
    Missionary prospect – provocative approach to their challenges….. cost of do nothing and value of change.
  • What do all of these approaches have in common?
     
    Deals are won or lost on the conversation … the better, more appropriate the conversation, the better. Assets and content in order to facilitate this. Most important issue to resolve.
     
    Once in middle of decision process …. You need to sell the value story to the buyer.
     
    Need to have the right story / justification for the right step in the process
     
    Points of value … roles – technical, business, financial
     
     
  • Think adoption first
    Super easy for the reps to use …. They avoid any tool on competence and confidence … super intuitive, super easy to use
    Flexible, as the dynamics change, they can use it in an agile way
    Anything that makes you look less than competent you wont use it … has to be foolproof.
     

    Think across the journey
    Guide to the right individual tool
    Adapt to the right step in the journey
    POV
    Relevant to the specific role and the challenges to solve
    What’s important to them
    Objections – do nothing / risk in changing, misunderstanding, drawback (it is what it is), skepticism … offer a proof source to overcome the risk and skepticism, competitive considerations.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Thomas Pisello CEO & Founder tom@alinean.com @tpisello @AlineanROI www.alinean.com From Selling Products to Articulating Value Edge Coble Research Analyst,Sales Enablement edge.coble@siriusdecisions.com @gecoble @SiriusDecisions www.siriusdecisions.com
    • 2. Sales invited later into Decision Making Process? Exploration Evaluation SelectionIdeas More than 1/2 to 2/3rds decision process complete? 67% Sales reps invited when Buyer has already established a clear picture of solution.
    • 3. 24% lengthening of sales cycle duration over past two years Sales Taking Even Longer to Close?
    • 4. Why? Top Business Issues for Sales in 2014? Enough Leads? Social Selling Capability? Enough Content? Sales Training? Top Issues: Business Value + Wasted Time
    • 5. #2 Opportunity: Ways to Improve Sales Productivity? Enablement Quadrant Value Articulation Reduce Wasted Selling T
    • 6. Reduce Wasted Selling Time? On-Boarding New Reps Customized Presentations, Proposals & Financial Business Cases Dynamic & Intelligent Content
    • 7. #1 Opportunity: Improving Value Articulation? Traditional Sales & Marketing Prospects
    • 8. Business Value Selling Scenarios? Existing Customers Buyer Initiated Provider Initiated Realized the Gain? We Can Deliver More! Prove not the Same We Deliver Better Value! Quantify the Pain We Can Help Identify Challenges! Justify the Gain We Deliver Bottom-Line Impac Illuminate the Rain Insights for you!
    • 9. How does Value Selling Map to Buyer’s Journey? Exploration Evaluation SelectionIdeas Renewal / Addition Existing CustomersBuyer InitiatedProvider Initiated Realized the Gain We Can Deliver More! Prove not the Same We Deliver Better Value! Quantify the Pain We Can Help Identify Challenges! Justify the Gain We Deliver Bottom-Line Impact! Illuminate the Rain Insights for you!
    • 10. Value Articulation & Productivity: Enable the Conversation? Sales Enablement Content from Marketing Yes! Sales
    • 11. What Investments are Not Working Today? Traditional one- size-fits-all content Sales Messaging Guidebooks Traditional Sales Training 87% forgotten within week 90% content never used – not Sales Ready 1/3rd selling time wasted searching for / recreating content Death by PowerPoint 1/3rd would rather go to Dentist
    • 12. Roadmap to Improve Value Articulation & Sales Productivity? Storytelling + Insights + Quantification + Intelligence Guided Value Conversations Yes!Guided Selling ntelligent Playbooks + Content
    • 13. Best Practices? Adoption & Change Management Unique Point-of-Value Exploration Evaluation SelectionIdeas Renewal / Addition Guided Value Conversations Throughout Entire Buyer’s Journey
    • 14. Thomas Pisello CEO & Founder tom@alinean.com @tpisello @AlineanROI www.alinean.com From Selling Products to Articulating Value Edge Coble Research Analyst,Sales Enablement edge.coble@siriusdecisions.com @gecoble @SiriusDecisions www.siriusdecisions.com

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