Growing Enterprise Software Sales

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Value-based approach to sales acceleration
John Akbari
JohnAkbari.com

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Growing Enterprise Software Sales

  1. 1. Sales Acceleration Bring Value to Customers John Akbari [email_address] JohnAkbari.com +1 (917) 675 3197 May 2011
  2. 2. A buyer <ul><li>Risk averse </li></ul><ul><li>Not open to change </li></ul><ul><li>Easier to keep status quo </li></ul><ul><li>No “science projects” </li></ul><ul><li>Not buying </li></ul><ul><li>Not investing </li></ul><ul><li>Not looking </li></ul>Image http://www.healthdump.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Brain-Power.jpg
  3. 3. Buying has changed... ...including “no sale” Explore Problem What is technology x? Analysts Research I need x. Use Cases Metrics Benchmarks Research What product should I use? Solutions Tools I need a vendor. RFI PoC Investigate Solution Selection P&L Run the business Grow the business Improve the business Cash flows Risk Payback Hurdle rate IRR Time & money Barriers to Buying
  4. 4. ...so selling has changed <ul><li>Prospects are </li></ul><ul><li>Not aware of solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Not aware of good solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Not aware of your solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Not aware of you </li></ul>...including “no sale” P&L Run the business Grow the business Improve the business Cash flows Risk Payback Hurdle rate IRR Time & money Barriers to Buying
  5. 5. Something is missing Images from amazon.com
  6. 6. Improve your customer's business <ul><li>Add value to your customers , not your product. </li></ul><ul><li>Your real value is cash flow improvement for your customer. </li></ul><ul><li>Approach potential customers with a way to improve revenue. </li></ul><ul><li>Find potential customers you can help – before they find you. </li></ul><ul><li>Work with the customer, for the customer, on shared goals...revenues follow. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Barriers to Buying <ul><li>Our competition is not our (only) competition </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Other business drivers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other investments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>P/E ratios, cash flow, profitability </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Our offerings will be ranked by </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Investment required </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Timeframes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Risk </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Payback </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Overcome Barriers to Buying <ul><li>Suggest how we can help the business. </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on the business first, then the technology. </li></ul><ul><li>Involve the business early-on to earn and create budget. </li></ul><ul><li>Predict our impact, with specifics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Results </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Time to results </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Investments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Payback </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Risk of execution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What the prospect needs to do to achieve results </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Confidence through competence <ul><li>Sell to installed base and new customers by focusing on </li></ul><ul><li>Customer's revenues </li></ul><ul><li>Customer's risk </li></ul><ul><li>Customer's timeframes </li></ul><ul><li>By leveraging </li></ul><ul><li>Our knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Our experience </li></ul><ul><li>Our performance </li></ul><ul><li>Our commitment </li></ul>
  10. 10. Help customers invest to achieve results <ul><li>Avoid “no sale” -- approach all stakeholders early </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Business, financial, technical, operational, end users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leverage them as internal sale team </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoids “we'll get back to you” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Partner with prospect through an investment process </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Compare prospect's metrics with other customers' metrics (value)‏ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Proof of Concept as Proof of Value (reduce prospect's risk)‏ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Qualify upfront (improve close rate)‏ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid surprises (reduce vendor's risk)‏ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Win over other investments and create budgets by predicting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How much? (cost and payback)‏ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How long? (time to results)‏ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How sure? (implementation risk, costs, partners)‏ </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Consultative selling vs. revenue improvement Discover Diagnose Design Deliver Concept adapted from Exceptional selling , Jeff Thull Ask About possible projects Suggest Revenue improvement project
  12. 12. Revenue improvement project proposal delivery Time Value ? Hit and run Concept derived from The innovator's dilemma , Clayton Christensen deal signed
  13. 13. Over the long-term Value Time Short-term results over the long term Cumulative
  14. 14. Builds success... Time Cost of sales Project 1 Project 2 Project 3
  15. 15. ..to grow margins, deal size, close rate Time Customer and Vendor Cumulative Value Project 1 Project 2 Project 3
  16. 16. Revenue improvement is a cycle... Discover Diagnose Design Deliver Concept adapted from Exceptional selling , Jeff Thull Suggest Revenue improvement project
  17. 17. ...that grows into a tornado Technology Revenue improvement Trusted advisor Vendor
  18. 18. <ul><li>Capture your customer's metrics and their customer's early </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Proof of Concept should be Proof of Value </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Financial, technical, business, operational </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Analyze how a new prospect's metrics compare with your customer's metrics </li></ul><ul><li>Customize metrics per use case </li></ul><ul><li>Approach prospects with those metrics </li></ul><ul><li>Help your customer by helping your customer's customers </li></ul>Begin with customer and end-customer KPIs
  19. 19. Before/after KPIs are key
  20. 20. Sales acceleration <ul><li>Analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Sales, marketing, support </li></ul><ul><li>Win/loss </li></ul><ul><li>Financial details (ROI, RoR, TCO...)‏ </li></ul><ul><li>Customer feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Competition </li></ul><ul><li>... </li></ul>Use case 1 Use case 2 . . .
  21. 21. <ul><li>Repository </li></ul><ul><li>Selection criteria </li></ul><ul><li>References </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrations </li></ul><ul><li>Sales tools </li></ul><ul><li>Technical documents </li></ul><ul><li>Qualification matrix </li></ul><ul><li>... </li></ul>
  22. 22. Factory image http://www.flickr.com/photos/loryraffa15/4038160902/sizes/m/in/photostream/ Catalog image http://www.flickr.com/photos/theinspiredheart/5347766844/sizes/m/in/photostream/ Concept adapted from Consultative Selling , Mack Hanan. <ul><li>Approach customers and prospects </li></ul><ul><li>Warm calls </li></ul><ul><li>Leverage partners </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrations </li></ul><ul><li>Qualify </li></ul><ul><li>... </li></ul>$ Prospect A $ Prospect B $ Prospect C
  23. 23. Selecting revenue improvement projects <ul><li>Easier to quantify cost-savings than revenue increase </li></ul><ul><li>Cost-savings </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cash flows </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>RoR = Σ NPV year </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Payback </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Profit </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Revenues </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluating future potential, not actual </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many uncontrollable variables </li></ul></ul><ul><li>NPV expected from revenue projects </li></ul><ul><li>Profit index = ------------------------------------------------- </li></ul><ul><li>investment </li></ul>Concept adapted from Consultative Selling , Mack Hanan
  24. 24. Triggers for new revenue improvement projects Competitive analysis Financial filings Partners Contacts Consultants Contacts Contacts Annual reports
  25. 25. Evidence shortens the sales cycle <ul><li>Technical buyers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Architecture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Demonstrations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology press </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Benchmarks </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Business buyers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>References </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Value delivered </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Time to deliver </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Risk </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Press coverage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Endorsements </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Operations buyers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Time to deliver </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Migration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Training </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Risk </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Third-party support </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Finance buyers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Market share </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vendor financials </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Risk </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Third party support </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Core competencies -> partners <ul><li>Core products </li></ul><ul><li>Product 1 </li></ul><ul><li>Product 2 </li></ul><ul><li>Delivery </li></ul><ul><li>Professional svcs </li></ul><ul><li>Training </li></ul><ul><li>Partners </li></ul><ul><li>Solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Core technical </li></ul><ul><li>Client-specific </li></ul><ul><li>With partners </li></ul><ul><li>Support </li></ul><ul><li>Core product </li></ul><ul><li>Client-specific </li></ul><ul><li>Partners </li></ul>Supply Apply Partner Leverage
  27. 27. Image: http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/1998-09-06/
  28. 28. <ul><li>For recommended books and blogs on value-based selling, pricing, and competitive analysis, visit </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.johnakbari.com/resources/ </li></ul><ul><li>John Akbari </li></ul><ul><li>JohnAkbari.com </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>+1 (917) 675 3197 </li></ul>Resources

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