Trying to convince management to invest in new sales performance tools to make salespeople's lives easier is no walk in the park. While you understand how much certain sales applications would improve sales productivity, management expects you to demonstrate the value of any new solution. The big idea is—in order to make sales easier on you and your team, you need to do what you are supposed to do as a sales professional: align the value of the solution with what your customers want to achieve. Here are six guidelines to follow when you’re pitching new solutions to management: 1. Get agreement on what management wants to accomplish If your CEO wants to increase sales by 20% without a significant increase in cost, do the math for a few what-if scenarios, such as:
- What if we had technology that could improve the number of qualified leads by 100%?
- What if our demand generation team had technology that made them 200% more effective?
- What if we could deploy technology that shortened our sales cycle by 50%?
- What if we cut the time it takes our sales team to write proposals from hours to minutes?
- How will the new technology change our processes?
- How will our salespeople react to a change in process AND technology?
- What will be the user adoption process?
- Study the workflow of your salespeople.
- Ask them to prioritize their 3 biggest time wasters.
- Invite your sales team to a 1-hr "gripe" session to voice what they dislike most about their jobs.
(cost to acquire + cost to maintain during expected life)
(money saved per month + increased abilities per month)
(number of months to cover costs)Other tips:
- Allow for hidden costs, such as customization, the cost of consultants and the cost involved in training and coaching.
- Know when to say no—if the solution doesn't pay for itself in under a year, you’re better off working on another pain point.
- Talk to at least 3 references—if they haven’t been able to measure ROI, you probably won’t either. Time to walk
- Business strategy integration
- People overestimate the value of what they have
- They also underestimate the value of what they may gain by giving up what they know.