Wednesday, January 11, 2017

2017 - “The Year of Business Value”

As you and your team kickoff the New Year, there are some important research findings you should factor into your 2017 sales enablement and content strategy.

From SiriusDecisions research, we learn that:
  • 59% of your sales reps are predicted to not attain their quota goals in 2017
  • 71% of executives indicate that the quota shortfall isn’t due to a lack of enough qualified leads, lack of social selling skills, or too little sales training, but an “inability for sales reps to effectively articulate differentiating value”
  • And this Value Gap issue has been persistent, as the top quota challenge for the past six years.
Despite these challenges, most organizations are not investing enough time and effort into their value messaging and selling initiatives, with 60% of companies indicating their programs need improvement, or moreover, a major redesign.

Unfortunately, you can’t leave Business Value / ROI to chance. The facts are that:
  • Customers will significantly delay decisions and won’t get to “Yes” unless you help them understand and quantify your differentiating value
  • Sales will struggle in communicating and quantifying your unique value without your providing provocative value messaging, tools and consulting support.
The good news, the research is crystal clear. Those that get Business Value / ROI selling “right” can overcome these challenges and reap significant rewards. Based on independent research from MHI Global / CSO Insights, taking your value marketing and selling to the next level can:
  • Reduce the number of deals ending in “No Decision” by 30%
  • Improve win rates to 51% (a 40% improvement)
  • Boost the number of sales reps meeting / beating quota to 69% and increasing the average annual revenue attainment to 87%.

What does a great Business Value / ROI selling program look like?

As you look to elevate your Business Value / ROI selling capabilities, these are the seven habits we see from the best Value marketing and selling practices:
  1. Engage early – Not waiting until asked for a business case, instead use diagnostic assessments, benchmarking and value communication and quantification proactively and early in each engagement.
  2. Go beyond the numbers – Realizing that the numbers are there to support the unique value story, not to be the story unto itself.
  3. Cover more and scale better – Leveraging value in more than just the largest deals. Arm your customers with the tools they need to assess themselves (as many prospects don’t want to engage with sales) and expand the value selling / ROI programs by getting sales reps and channel partners to participate, without the need to have a value consultant engaged in supporting the approach with each prospect, or isolated to just the largest deals.
  4. Consistently deliver – Implementing value communication and quantification, from marketing and inside sales, to channel, partner and account execs, to business consultants and value engineers. The best programs start with a solid Value Messaging & Quantification Framework, and to that, add a standardized set of interactive value marketing, sales and consulting tools and engagement methodology, so everyone knows the prescribed method for engaging, and content is leveraged and not recreated for each deal.
  5. Build trust – Providing 3rd party insights and research, customer case studies and proof points helps validate potential results with prospects and drive credibility.
  6. Certify – Educating and certifying sales reps, channel partners and consultants on the engagement model, tools, delivery and conversations, and providing support and coaching on an ongoing basis to assure the certified skills are being applied.
  7. Measure and improve –Tracking the adoption and use of tools and practices, and the impact that the approach has on sales success, measuring win rate improvements (vs. competition and “do nothing”), reduced discounting / deal size improvements, sales cycle acceleration, quota achievement and on-boarding acceleration. Leveraging customer intelligence data gathered from each engagement to deliver new and unique insights, benchmarks and advice.
2017 – The Year B2B Sales Reps Can Finally Sell Value? - SiriusDecisions
Decoding the Decision Dynamic - MHI Global
The Frugalnomics Survival Guide - How to Use Your Unique Value to Market Better, Stand Out and Sell More


Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Getting you Ready for the New Year: The Best of 2016

As we enter the New Year, a look back at what we can learn from the most popular Frugalnomics Survival Guide articles of 2016:

Gartner: buyers Demand Less Pitch, More Value-Story  

According to a study from Gartner, most solution providers are not providing what buyers need when it comes to content and sales engagements.

See the results from the survey of over 350 decision makers...

Read more

The Winner: Interactive Content Ignites Demand and Fuels Engagement

Business buyers are increasingly overwhelmed by the amount of content available, and as a result, extremely selective about the content they consume.

The research is clear: if you don’t build the right strategy, your content may be left out in the cold...

Learn more

The Importance of Getting Value Selling Right

If you think your clients are more ROI focused, and that your ability to deliver financial justification can assure greater success, new research proves you right.

See what the research says you should do now to assure success....

Read more

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

For 2017: Less is More with Interactive Value-Focused Content

Examine a typical content strategy and it’s all too often about producing more and more content. You would think that marketers are being “paid by the pound” for their content.

But if you ask buyers, less is definitely more. In fact, 83% of buyers indicate they are “overwhelmed by the sheer volume of content available”, this according to research by Demand Gen Report.

For your buyer it’s about quality over quantity.  They don’t need more content. Instead, your prospects want personalized research, analysis, benchmarks, advice, and guidance.

Interactive Content Leads the Way

Demand Gen Report reveals that 84% of buyers now prefer more interactive and visual content, providing users with the ability to dynamically self-explore interests, analyze opportunities, and obtain customized consultative advice. 

The closer the content comes to replicating expert advice, and focuses not on a product / service-pitch but on the value of potential solutions, the better.

The research revealed how content strategies need to change, with:

  • Interactive value storytelling, diagnostic assessments and ROI / TCO calculators all seeing steady and significant growth in perceived value to decision makers
  • 95% of buyers wanting more benchmarking insights to help measure effectiveness against industry standards
  • 81% of buyers seeking benchmarking and value analysis tools to guide future investments. 

Interactive value-focused content is the key, delivering a marked improvement in content marketing effectiveness, with IDC reporting that interactive value-focused content:

  • Garnered more attention, generating 2x more leads and engagement when compared to static content fueled campaigns
  • Improved buyer audience engagement and education, generating a 30% improvement in motivated buyers and qualified sales opportunities
  • Generated a significant 30% improvement in conversion rates.

The Bottom Line

Leveraging interactive benchmarking and value analysis tools on your web site and to fuel sales engagements, can help eliminate content overload: consolidating and dynamically customizing content to deliver real business value on a personalized basis to each and every prospect and unique opportunity.

What could this mean for your efforts? For every 100 leads currently generated by static content, you could capture an additional 200 leads, 10 to 15 more opportunities and most importantly 1 to 2 more deals leveraging more attractive, engaging and compelling interactive value-focused content instead. 

One example of this success: ADP worked with Alinean to implement an interactive content fueled campaign, the HCM Challenge. 

Prior to launching this campaign, ADP was challenged to elevate buyers to think about ADP beyond payroll and as a full HCM management provider. It was difficult to reach a higher level of decision maker earlier in their decision-making process, and motivate these engaged buyers to change. As a result, campaign responses were not meeting goals and 50% of ADP’s pipeline was stalled.

With the Alinean-powered HCM Challenge benchmarking and value assessment tool, ADP was able to:

  • Drive $1M in incremental pipeline and $250,000 in just the first three months from launch, providing almost immediate payback
  • Consistently generate 300+ new qualified leads each month
  • Decrease its stalled deals from 60% to 30%, a whopping 50% sales growth improvement.

Read more about our success with ADP here:

Learn more about Interactive Value-focused content here:


Smart Marketing Tools recognizes Alinean for Value Marketing & ROI Tools excellence

No sooner did we learn about inclusion in the Smart Sales Tools guide for 2016, then the sister publication Smart Marketing Tools includes us in their Smart Marketing Tools reference for 2016 as well!

Thank you to the Smart Marketing Tools team for the honor.

Checkout our profile here:

Read the full guide: