ROI Selling Blog

When is the Right Time to Lengthen the Sales Cycle?

Posted on Nov 25, 2015 8:00:00 AM by Darrin Fleming

Most sales teams aggressively adopt any tool, methodology, or tactic that promises to shorten the sales cycle. The reason is obvious: the shorter your sales cycles, the more deals you can close and the more time you open up for prospecting.

Believe it or not, however, there are a few situations where lengthening the sales cycle can work in your favor. Here are at least two scenarios in which it might be advantageous for you.

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Topics: B2B Sales

How to Leverage an ROI Tool in the Sales Process

Posted on Nov 18, 2015 9:05:14 AM by Jim Sargent

An ROI tool is the best and most efficient way to build a winning business case. Before you can effectively use an ROI tool, however, there are several critical steps you need to take, starting with your lead-generation efforts. 

Because your typical customer does so much research online before talking with you, the process starts with marketing and the tools they make available on your website. Ideally, you want to make a value calculator available so that customers can find it during their research phase. Their inputs into that value calculator will provide critical insight into the current state of their business, which is key to building a business case to support purchasing your solution.

It is nearly impossible to provide accurate ROI calculations use in your business case without first assessing the current state of the customer's business and establishing the value of your solution. What’s the best way to assess your customer’s current state? Manual audits are one common option. But I don’t recommend them for a number of reasons.

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Topics: B2B Sales

Remove “ity” Words from Your B2B Value Proposition

Posted on Nov 11, 2015 9:00:00 AM by Darrin Fleming

By Jeff Bennett and Darrin Fleming

This week we're republishing one of our most popular posts about value propositions. We'd love to get your thoughts on this topic; please leave a comment or contact us directly.

When building relationships with buyers, it’s important to choose your words carefully. We’re not just referring to small talk or the language of negotiation. We’re talking about the specific words you use to describe your offering and what differentiates it.

A lot of sellers and marketers make the mistake of using what we call “ity” words when attempting to convey the value of their offering. For example:

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Topics: B2B marketing, Value Proposition

Do Customers See Your Salespeople as Sales Demo Robots?

Posted on Nov 4, 2015 8:00:00 AM by Darrin Fleming

It’s been a little more than a year since I first wrote about how it’s almost always a bad idea to lead with a sales demo. Yet a lot of salespeople are still out there kicking off conversations with, “I’d love to get fifteen minutes of your time to show you our demo.” Then they’re surprised when the prospect shows no interest or wants to jump immediately to a conversation about price.

I suspect that salespeople simply walk away thinking, “The problem isn’t me. It’s the prospect. These people just can’t recognize a great solution when they see it.” In some cases, that may be true. However, in most cases, prospects just see you as a demo robot, spewing information about how great your product is and how it works.

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Topics: B2B Sales

How to Define and Refine Your Buyer Personas

Posted on Oct 29, 2015 8:00:00 AM by Frank Geric

Buyer personas—those semi-fictionalized representations of your ideal buyers—should be the driving force behind your messaging and marketing initiatives. Without understanding what kinds of topics they want to learn about and what current challenges they want to overcome, your efforts are a shot in the dark.

When I worked in a marketing role, I found that conducting interviews helped my team develop and refine our buyer personas successfully. Generally I advocate for talking with three different groups.

  1. Your sales team
  2. Your customers
  3. Prospects who chose not to purchase from you

Based on my years of conducting interviews with these three types, I gained a few key insights.

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Topics: B2B marketing

3 Ways Marketers Can Stay Ahead of the Competition

Posted on Oct 22, 2015 8:00:00 AM by David Svigel

If you find yourself regularly fretting about your competition, you’re not alone. According to a study conducted last year by B2B International, 45% of decision-makers and influencers (among 226 companies in the U.S. and Europe) cited “countering the competition” as one of their top business challenges.

What can marketing teams do to compete effectively? Here are three suggestions.

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Topics: B2B marketing

The Hidden Advantage of Selling with a Business Case

Posted on Oct 13, 2015 8:00:00 AM by Frank Geric

As a former salesperson and sales manager, I know how much effort it takes to close a complex sale. Although it took extra work and time to create a business case to prove the ROI of investing in my solution (an ERP system), I always felt the process was well worth it. 

There are a few reasons I advocate using a business case as part of the sales process, particularly for long and/or complex sales cycles. One reason is obvious: a business case includes ROI calculations that prove to your customer the financial logic of investing in your solution.

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Topics: ROI-Selling

3 Key Ways B2B Marketers Can Succeed with Today’s Buyer

Posted on Oct 8, 2015 8:00:00 AM by Darrin Fleming

It’s an accepted fact that today's buyers conduct research online, independent of you. In fact, there can now be several paths to purchase. With that in mind, here are three key ways B2B marketers can succeed with buyers.

1. Always make your buyer’s business problem your primary focus.

This is a fundamental principle for marketing teams. Ideally, you shouldn’t even begin to develop a product or solution until you identify and understand your prospective buyer’s business problems. 

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Topics: B2B marketing

3 Lead Gen Tools to Increase Website Conversions

Posted on Sep 30, 2015 8:00:00 AM by David Svigel

Your website is valuable real estate. According to a recent report from the Acquity Group, 94% of B2B buyers say they conduct some form of online research before purchasing a business product, and 83% of buyers visit vendor websites directly to find information.

All this sounds great, right? Buyers are proactively seeking you out. But wait. According to a Forrester Research brief, “B2B Content Fails The Customer Engagement Test,” more than 85 percent of the sites included in the research received a failing grade. One of the biggest faux pas is not providing value in helping prospects solve their problems.

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Topics: ROI-Selling, B2B marketing

Where’s the Value in Your Value Proposition?

Posted on Sep 23, 2015 8:00:00 AM by Darrin Fleming

Great value propositions are essential if you want to prospect effectively and win more customers. Despite this, we’ve found that these propositions can be tricky for both marketers and sellers alike

Often they simply aren’t sure what their value proposition is. This is common at companies that sell complex products and/or have multiple product lines/business units. Such companies could have hundreds of different propositions aimed at their different market segments. In other cases, marketing and sales teams don’t know their value propositions because their companies have never embarked on the proper process to formulate them.

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Topics: Value Proposition

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