ROI Selling Blog

How Sales and Marketing Can Increase Close Rates

Posted on Jul 29, 2015 9:00:00 AM by Darrin Fleming

Getting prospects to buy is a team effort between sales and marketing. If your organization is like most, there are probably some efficiency and skills gaps that are keeping you from closing deals. Here’s some of our best advice to increase close rates.

1. Figure out where your deals are stalling out.

Almost everyone struggles with customers who show a lack of urgency to buy. Maybe this manifests as voicemails or emails that ask for “more time” to make the decision. Or they say they need to circulate your proposal to more people, or push it higher up the food chain. Other times, they make endless requests for more information or updated proposals—with no deadline for a decision in sight. 

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Topics: ROI-Selling, B2B marketing

How to Get Customers to Take Soft Benefits Seriously

Posted on Jul 22, 2015 9:00:00 AM by David Svigel

Last week I worked with a client to finalize a list of cost savings and revenue gains provided by her company’s offering. During our review, she flagged the section where I had included “sales growth” as a revenue benefit. As she told me, “We’re not allowed to include soft benefits when we present business cases internally.”

As a value-based selling practitioner, I instinctively I knew what she meant. Buyers frequently have no trouble embracing what are often called “hard” or “tangible” benefits. These most often include such readily identifiable cost savings as reduced IT infrastructure, lower paper consumption, and less travel. Most B2B offerings have multiple core cost savings wherein, after the offering is implemented, the identified costs go down.

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Topics: Overcoming Objections

How One Company Underpriced a Product by $400,000

Posted on Jul 15, 2015 9:00:00 AM by Darrin Fleming

Is your offering underpriced? It happens more often than you’d think. For example, during a recent consulting project, I helped a particular business unit at a material manufacturer realize they were charging $100,000 for an offering that was delivering $1.2 million in value. How is that possible? Five primary reasons:

  1. They came up with their existing price of $100,000 based on how much it cost them to make the product (aka, cost-plus pricing).
  2. They were also using their competition’s price ($250,000) as a benchmark for their own price (aka, discount pricing). 
  3. The existing price provided over 60% margin, which was higher than many of their other products.
  4. They were focused on other areas of their business and never paid much attention to this particular product line.
  5. They had never stopped to consider or quantify how much value their product delivered to customers.

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Topics: ROI-Selling, Success Stories

Closing the Sale: What Your Prospect Is Comparing You To

Posted on Jul 7, 2015 9:00:00 AM by David Svigel

We recently wrote about the use case for an ROI tool vs. a TCO tool. Now let’s look at the ROI vs. TCO argument a bit differently, from the buyer’s perspective.

Buyers are usually in one of two frames of mind:

  1. Evaluating your solution against their current environment. I call this the “Do Nothing” scenario because your prospect is either going to buy your solution or take no action (i.e., live with their current state).
  2. Looking at your solution against a competitive offering or another alternative such as a homegrown solution. This is the “What Should We Do?” scenario, because the buyer has decided to act but is uncertain about what to do to solve his or her problem.

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Topics: ROI-Selling

The Etiquette of Talking about Your Competition

Posted on Jul 1, 2015 9:00:00 AM by Darrin Fleming

 
The way you talk about your competitors tells prospects and customers a lot about your company and the way you do business. Here are some guidelines sellers and marketers can use to avoid leaving a negative impression and potentially losing business.

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Topics: B2B marketing, Overcoming Objections

5 Indispensable Steps to Win More Often with B2B Buyers

Posted on Jun 24, 2015 9:00:00 AM by Darrin Fleming

What’s the best way to get a buyer’s attention, move deals quickly through the buying cycle, and increase close rates? Follow these five fundamental steps. (For a handy summary of these steps, download our tip sheet, "5 Steps to Close More Deals.") 

Step #1: Identify your buyer’s business problem.

B2B buyers don’t make purchases based on impulse or emotion. They only buy products that help them solve business problems. As a B2B seller, your understanding of that business problem will provide you with the opening you need to develop and expand a relationship with the buyer.

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Topics: ROI-Selling, Overcoming Objections, B2B Sales

Why Marketing Should Own Pricing (Not Sales)

Posted on Jun 16, 2015 9:00:00 AM by Darrin Fleming

One of my fundamental beliefs is that the strategic marketing team—not sales, finance, or operations—should own pricing.

What Happens If Sales Controls Price? 

Historically, most salespeople are compensated based on sales revenue. Because lower prices can 1) attract more customers and 2) help sales overcome customer objections, the sales team is naturally incentivized to lower prices. Even if a company has made a shift to compensating sales on margin or profitability, there are additional problems with sales owning pricing.

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Topics: B2B marketing

When to Use a TCO Tool Versus an ROI Tool

Posted on Jun 10, 2015 9:00:00 AM by Darrin Fleming

Quite often sales and marketing professionals are looking for a TCO tool when an ROI tool would actually be a better solution. Many people assume they need a TCO analysis to close deals, when an ROI analysis would actually be far more beneficial. 

I know this because I get frequent requests to create TCO tools, and my first question is “What problem are you trying to solve?” The answer to that question dictates whether a TCO or ROI tool would be a better fit. Unless the answer is some variation of “We are frequently in competitive bid situations against competitor X,” then it is likely an ROI tool would be a better fit. 

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Topics: ROI-Selling

4 Ways to Avoid Sticker Shock in Your Sales Process

Posted on Jun 2, 2015 9:00:00 AM by Amit Davé

This post was adapted from Sticker Shock: 3 Tactics to Avoid It in Your Sales Process on the salesElement blog.

It’s happened to the best of us: you tell a prospect how much your product or service costs and silence ensues on the other end of the line. This is known as “sticker shock” because car salesmen have become the salesperson cliché.

If you’ve done your job as a salesperson, your customer should never experience this. Why? You’ll have set up the value and discussed price early on and therefore eliminated any price sensitivity. However, there will be times when, despite your transparency with price, the prospect may not have been paying attention or started to think about pricing as part of the buyer’s journey.

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Topics: B2B Sales

4 Things Every B2B Sales Manager Needs to Know

Posted on May 28, 2015 9:00:00 AM by Darrin Fleming

What makes sales management such a tough job? There are many reasons, but a very basic one is that your success as a B2B sales manager depends on the performance of your sales team. If your sales team doesn’t perform well and make quota—despite your best efforts to coach, motivate, support, mentor, and lead—then you can’t succeed.

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Topics: ROI-Selling

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