Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Enabling Sales for your next Event? What FIS did for their FinTech 2020 Event Series

Your prospects drop by your booth at an event. Are they:
a) Disappointed by the empty sales pitch they just got
b) Impressed with the conversation, provocative advice and personalized next steps roadmap?

Unfortunately “a) an empty sales pitch” is all too common, and unacceptable when you think of how much you invest in time, travel and expense for each event.

FIS had this concern as they launched an exclusive worldwide roadshow, FinTech 2020, to discuss compelling trends and digital transformation in Financials.

Instead of a sales pitch, FIS wanted their sales reps to interview prospects and provide value-added conversations and personalized takeaways.

FIS chose Alinean to quickly develop an interactive assessment tool and have it in time for the worldwide kickoff of the event series. The FIS Fintech 2020 assessment tool helps reps learn about each prospect’s challenges, obtain sentiment on future trends, and compare responses with benchmarks from prior participants.  

At each event, the assessment is run from tablets and laptops to collect responses, show comparisons, spark engagements and fuel consultative discussions.

At the end of each interview, the sales rep uses the tool to creates and e-mail a personalized takeaway – a 6-page report, providing the prospect with their unique assessment results, benchmark comparisons, solution recommendations and next step advice. This is great, as it allows the prospect to be a mobilizer, sharing the analysis and advice with other key stakeholders and decision makers.

The assessment tool is also being leveraged for post-event marketing follow-ups, to keep customers engaged in the FinTech 2020 dialogue, and get sales reps more follow-up meetings.

What are you using to help sales engage better at your events and in follow-on meetings?
If your not taking advantage of tools like Alinean developed for the FIS events, you aren’t optimizing your event investments.


You can see the FIS Fintech 2020 Assessment Tool in action and try it for yourself at: https://fis.valuestoryapp.com/fintech

Win Magic: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Value / ROI Selling

What if you had the secret sauce to win more than half of all your forecasted deals?

A recent study by CSO Insights says you can increase win rates almost 40% by elevating your Value / ROI Selling capability to Great. This means significantly less deals lost to “No Decision” or going with the competition.

So how do you accomplish such a competitive advantage and sales performance boost?

Click here to see our article in Smart Selling Tools: The seven things you should be doing now to elevate your sales performance from Good to Great:

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Alinean recognized as a Top Sales Tool of 2016

Alinean is excited to announce recognition, for the third year in a row, as a Top Sales Tool from Smart Selling Tools.

The review highlights our unique ability to helps sales rep overcome the top selling challenge - communicating and quantifying unique value to ever more frugal prospects.

Alinean was especially proud to be the sole award winning provider in the Value Selling and ROI category, cementing our leadership as we create a new and vital sales enablement capability.




See Alinean's review and award recognition 

Checkout the ToolSkoolReview w/ Nancy Nardin from Smart Selling Tools, reviewing Alinean and our value selling / ROI tools 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Is ROI Selling your Ticket to a 51% Win Rate?

Is a win rate of over 50% possible?

Recent research by CSO Insights says you can achieve this performance if your organization has a “superior ability to build a solid business case / ROI”.

CSO Insights uncovered that Win-Rates increase dramatically, and Competitive / No Decision losses decline greatly as your ROI selling capability grows. 

Those meeting or exceeding expectations with their ROI selling programs do much better than those needing improvement or redesign. In fact, moving your ROI program from basic to excellent can result in Win-Rate gains of 40% (to over 50% of deals) and reduction in Competitive and “No Decision” losses by 30%.


And the benefits don’t stop there. Those with superior ROI selling programs have:
  • A dramatically higher percentage of sales reps meeting / beating quota: 69% vs. 47%, almost a 50% increase.
  • An incredible improvement in sales reps achieving revenue plan attainment: 87% vs. 77%.
These gains are driven by increasing demand for ROI from buyers, which CSO Insights indicates has grown more than 50% over the past five years.

If you are able to meet this demand and step up your ROI game, the benefits are so dramatic, CSO Insights says value / ROI selling programs are one of the best investments a sales organization can make to improve performance.

Unfortunately, most admit that their ROI programs are underfunded and in need of improvement. Despite the overwhelming gains possible, almost 60% indicate their ROI programs need a major redesign or improvement.

Why do so many companies lag in their ROI selling performance? CSO Insights thinks it’s a lack of urgency, with ROI selling taking a backseat to other initiatives (which their own research indicates may not be nearly as effective).


Perhaps you have prioritized on-boarding, new product launches, sales asset management (SAM) or other apparently urgent programs? Our advice: stack up the impact of these programs against these metrics and see which could drive more revenue and growth.

Perhaps it’s seen as too complicated or difficult? Our advice: give us a call and we’ll show you how to cost effectively elevate your current efforts to capture these dramatic benefits.

The Bottom-Line
After seeing the incremental sales effectiveness and revenue performance, it’s hard to believe value consulting / ROI selling is getting so little attention and lackluster investments from so many.

For those who have invested in your ROI selling programs, you are realizing the benefits and competitive advantages in significantly higher win rates, accelerated sales cycles, reduced discounting and greater deal sizes.

Perhaps the time has come to take your ROI program from good to great, to realize these significant sales performance improvement and revenue gains.

Sources:
Decoding the Decision Dynamic, MHI Global 
The Frugalnomics Survival Guide - How to Use Your Unique Value to Market Better, Stand Out and Sell More

Monday, March 28, 2016

Forbes Insights: Value First

Although helping sales reps consistently find the right content for each selling situation is deemed important and is garnering much attention / investment, it’s not the top way to create higher performing reps and drive the most revenue.

A recent study by Forbes Insights indicates that top performing Sales Enablement organizations are distinctly different in their ability to:
1) Create content that is relevant to the needs of the customers they call on (67%)
2) Communicate the company’s value story (63%).


Because it is easier for buyers to research online before they meet with a rep, salespeople are ever more challenged to go beyond the easily available content and have high-value conversations, to help the buyers on topics they haven’t already learned on their own. 

As a result, the report indicates a distinct Value Gap between a typical sellers’ standard product pitch, and buyer expectations to have consultative guidance in uncovering challenges, getting competitive advice and understanding the unique value of proposed solutions.

“A key characteristic of a high-performing salesperson is an attitude to create value for customers,” says Tamara Schenk, research director at CSO Insights. “It’s a mindset. High performers have a need and desire to help a customer solve a problem, to create value for them. The business follows from that approach.”

In this new environment the research is clear: top performing sales reps are enabled to connect with buyers using more personalized content, to help interactively diagnose and assess challenges, and communicate and quantify differentiating value

“Content has got to be used to build credibility and open up a rich and meaningful customer conversation,” says Dan Smoot, executive vice president of market readiness at Salesforce.com. “If you are heavily competing, you want to be aggressive. But you fail if you are just talking about yourself. Customers want you to understand them.”

In the Forbes Insights study, over half (52%) of top performers say that “working closely with marketing to better support value selling with content is the top way that sales support (sales operations) can drive sales productivity”.


The research highlights the importance of value consistency, where sales enablement can have a big impact with tools and certification. “Value messaging and value conversations have to be consistent from end to end, so the salesperson tells the same story as marketing, but tuned to the buyer’s needs,” says Stephen Diorio, chief analyst, Forbes CMO Practice.


The Bottom-Line

When developing your Sales Enablement plans, don't forget that it's not just about helping Sales find the right content and investing in Sales Asset Management (SAM), but having better content and tools to help guide sales to better communicate and quantify your unique value.



Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Gartner: Buyers Demand Less Product-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.

From the survey of over 350 decision makers:

> Almost three quarters (74%) say Providers focus too much on their product features and technology, rather than the benefits.

> Nearly half (48%) don’t think Providers do a good job of communicating the business value (outcomes) that their technology and services provide.

> Customer stories and case studies are the best way that providers can communicate differentiation that buyers trust, this according to 70% of the decision makers surveyed.

Buyers have changed and are now more numbers centric, demanding more financial justification, as well as being risk averse, wanting assurances that other customers have achieved significant value and are willing to shout about it.

The challenge: Reshape your marketing content and sales conversations from
pitching-products to better communicating and quantifying your unique value and customer story.

Here are a couple of resources to help:

1) The definitive guide on how to shape your content and sales conversation from product to value: The Frugalnomics Survival Guide: How to Use Your Unique Value to Market Better, Stand Out and Sell More - http://www.amazon.com/Frugalnomics-Survival-Guide-Unique-Market/dp/0692350926

2) Schedule a value consultation so we can show you specific examples of how other sales and marketing innovators are better communicating their value and customer success stories - http://alinean.com/contact_us/