Over the past month I’ve had the opportunity to participate in some Webinars given by Alinean. Alinean is a firm that provides value based sales and marketing tools to help economically focused prospects and sales teams better understand things likeTotal Cost of Ownership (TCO) and ROI.
For one, I was really impressed by some of the research, ideas and tools that they presented, but I also know from long-term experience selling complex solutions at theC-Level that they were right on point. If your a sales person or manager who is concerned with selling in today’s market, where it seems like things are taking longer and it’s a lot more difficult to demonstrate value and compete in these economically challing times you need to check this out now! Right now!
One of the over arching premises of their solutions and strategy is that the buyers (CFOs and department heads) are to put it simply–frugal! They call it fighting frugalnomics in today’s market. The buyers need to know that the pay off for your solution is quick and that if they’re going to adopt a new solution and scrap old processes or products that the Total Cost of Ownership is not going to break the bank and be manageable long term.
The webinars not only present some interesting research findings among buyers but also test some long held principles that I thought had a lot of merit. For one it’s no longer ok to present your TCO and ROI later in the sales cycle, but critical to do it sooner, and with tools that are not only interactive but where the customer can be self sufficient (in other words the CFO wants to run through an ROI analysis on a Saturday morning at home in his pajamas and doesn’t want to wait or be pitched by the sales person–they simply want to do it when they want to do it!)
One of the ideas here, is if you wait to present these tools, your competitor might beat you to the punch and establish credibility with the prospect. In addition, the buyer is so focused on TCO and ROI that you can’t sell yourself out of a position where you’re not competitively priced–you cant just WOW them anymore with more functionality or extraneous bells and whistles that they know what to do with (of course this was never really the case anyway, but the point holds).
Bottom line, and I think this has always been true, in today’s market in particular you need to be more outcomes based from the clients perspective and be a “go to” resource. You can’t just wait for the cues in the conversation to launch into your Power Point slides, or worse, care more about getting your message across versus understanding their needs, budget and how they want to engage in the sales process.
Great stuff! Go take a look!