The last thing most companies want to do is spend more money, the opposite of how many of us act in our personal lives — I know as I have an obsession for new surfboards.
Sales discussions can often become focused on features, like what is the customer looking for and do you provide that functionality or service? Instead we want to shift the conversation to outcomes which can be generated from those features.
Two important levers in this realm are cost savings and revenue generation. It’s one thing to prove that your product can do what the customer is looking for, but it’s even better when you can highlight that they will save money and make more doing it. In order to do this most effectively, we can introduce ROI (return on investment) metrics into the equation.
To determine how much money you could save the client, ask questions like:
- How much does it cost you to do this now?
- How long does it take your current team to do this and how many people are involved?
- Are there any other codependent processes/technologies that may be made redundant through this new solution?
For example, an SEO (search engine optimization) agency might create an ROI cost savings equation by calculating the cost of staff wages in marketing to monitor SEO movements and the cost of any SEO software to analyze their website to present potential savings of $5,000 - $10,000 per month for the average client. Or, if it is a local agency, for instance, a Minneapolis SEO company, it might also consider calculating the local currency to create an optimized ROI.
This can then be combined with questions surrounding how much additional revenue could be generated through this purchase like:
- How many more new customers could be gained?
- Could you charge more for your product/service?
- Could you speed up the time it takes to deliver your product/service
Following the same example, the SEO company could prove that they could deliver 10 new customers per month at an increased revenue of $1,000 per customer, effectively $10,000 per month of additional revenue!
Given the above, if they were pitching a product worth $5,000 a month without the above ROI analysis, it would be much harder to prove why any company should go ahead with their services, right? Try and create money for your clients whenever you ask them to spend it.
Try and get senior leadership to come to the table
Despite your hard work, at the end of the day it’s generally one person that is the signatory on the deal you need to close.However, it can often be months before you get in front of them to pitch your solution or you may never secure the meeting and the deal will be signed in the background without your knowledge. Avoid this by involving senior leaders passively in the deal early on in the process.
Two proven methods for myself and team include adding senior decision makers on LinkedIn with a message like “Hi _____, our companies are chatting at the moment about how best to solve your _____ project? Have you heard anything at the water cooler or in internal meetings?”
The other is by sending messages which complement the performance of team members under their management, with the person you spoke to Bcc’d. This creates an internal dialogue where you become the catalyst for that individual receiving praise from leadership and in turn explaining who you are and how your offering helps.
“Hi _____, I just wanted to quickly mention that I spoke for an hour today with _____ on your team. In my role, I speak with hundreds of IT leaders and I felt they stood out with their experience, demeanor, and knowledge of the market. Notes like this are uncommon in this day and age, but thought you’d want to know as I appreciate messages like this about people under my management.”