Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Value of Assessment ROI & TCO Tools for Demand-Gen and Sales Enablement Campaigns

Today’s buyers are more conservative than ever, demanding that any investment they make drive tangible savings and business value – a fundamental change called Frugalnomics. Leading B2B solution providers recognize that old sales and marketing techniques need to evolve to meet these new buyer demands.

Alinean business value sales and marketing tools can empower solution providers to align with frugal buyer needs, fundamentally changing the engagement with prospects by revolutionizing corporate web sites and sales presentations / proposals from antiquated feature / function / price, to customer focused value engagements:.

• Developed for B2B web-sites and on-line campaigns to help prospects assess opportunities and quantify the value of proposed solutions, Alinean’s value-based interactive demand-generation tools have been proven to entice 50% more leads compared to other initiatives, achieve 240% superior conversion rates, and increase on-line loyalty with 44% increases in repeat visitors and 65% increases in time per visit.

• Used to evolve direct and channel sales professionals from antiquated features / function / price selling, to modern solution selling techniques, Alinean value-based interactive sales tools have been proven to reduce the time it takes to develop credible assessments and business cases from days to an hour or less, reduce discounting and increase deal size by 20%, reduce sales cycles by 30-40%, drive channel partner loyalty, and increase the competitive success rate of proposals by over 60%.

In 2009, Alinean and IDC updated annual research conducted since 2003 on the ROI from implementing business value tools. In this research, we examine the monthly activity and usage reports of at least 15 Alinean customers to determine the tangible value these programs were delivering. Did the Alinean Business Value Tools drive incremental sales, reduce sales cycles, increase deal size, generate more demand, and improve sales / consulting productivity as anticipated?
Research Results

The results of the research were compelling, as the investment in value selling tools has proven to be one of the highest ROI investments an organization can make in sales / marketing operations. The survey revealed that the average Alinean Business Value Tools programs delivered:
• An ROI of 810%, meaning that each $1 invested in an Alinean program generated $8.10 in incremental benefits.
• A payback of less than 3 months from deployment.

How was such a high ROI and quick payback realized?

For demand-gen marketing campaigns, compelling value oriented interactive tools is an absolute requirement for today’s frugal and skeptical IT buyers. Without personalized and quantified value proof points delivered via on-line interactive benchmarking, assessment, ROI and TCO tools, it is difficult to meet demand generation goals – attracting and capturing qualified prospects, and accelerating the sales cycle. Programs using self-assessment Alinean Business Value Sales Tools from the corporate web sites were proven to deliver:

• Resulting in 12% higher visit-to-sale conversion rate (versus less than 5% for registrants of competitive campaigns).
• Produced 3 times as many qualified leads as other competitive web promotion programs.

The leading virtualization provider needed to drive more demand generation and educate prospects on the value of virtualization earlier in the sales cycle in order to generate competitive advantage, and drive cross-sell to other virtualization offerings. An on-line interactive ROI/TCO Calculator was developed and utilized as value added corporate website content, as the destination for worldwide print and banner ad campaigns, and in other on-line direct marketing programs. The Alinean driven initiative generated over 2,000 qualified leads per month, the highest success and ROI of any prior marketing campaign.

For sales teams, the tools were often applied to deals during the pilot phase, pre-launch, and these initial deals often resulted in competitive wins, or helping to move deals that were previously “stuck”. Less than two incremental deals on average were needed in order to realize positive cash-flow on the tools investment. Moreover, many of these deals were multi-million dollar sales, and compared to the modest investment for the sales tools, derived enormous return on investment gains. The first year benefits included a 3% increment in related revenue, and incremental savings per direct sales representative of $30,000.

An add-on management utility was being marketed by a major IT solution provider. The utilities’ value proposition was compelling, and investment cost modest, but IT decision makers demanded ROI proof, and as a result, several deals were stuck while the IT buyers tried to make the case, and the vendor sales teams struggled for proof points. Case studies were commissioned, but did not provide all the proof needed. Alinean developed a tool based on the case study research for use by sales, channel partners and consultants in making the business case for the utility. Within a month, several 100,000+ seat deals were being proposed using the Alinean ROI sales tool, and these deals were quickly realized largely in part to the compelling business case reports, resulting in several multi-million dollar sales.

Researched Realized Benefits Summary

The tangible benefits measured from an investment in Alinean Business Value Tool programs for demand-generation included the following:

• Generate more qualified leads through value added ROI content and services and targeted value-oriented direct marketing and sales campaigns, leading to reduced sales cycles, and incremental sales, an average 20% increase in total lead generation, and a 40% increase in lead to conversion rates for related campaigns.

The tangible benefits measured from an investment in Alinean Business Value Tool program for sales enablement included the following:

• Reduce sales cycles by 20% via helping sales teams drive initiatives more proactively with prospects, and by automating business case development, eliminating the time it took prior to develop these reports for prospects or eliminating the time buyers spent developing their own cases.

• Reduce discounting and increase deal size for direct sales by 20% or more by migrating sales from features, function and price selling to business value selling.

• Reduce the time it takes to develop credible businesses cases from days or months to hours. Standardizing the team on a credible, enterprise class tool to help create benchmark, assessment, ROI and TCO presentations and reports, helped to improve sales and consultant productivity (40% savings in time used today to generate reports), and reduce sales cycles (by 20% or more).

• Increase the success rate of competitive sales engagements by over 10% by elevating perception of sales teams to strategic partners, and providing the quantifiable proof of TCO advantages.

• Improve the ability of consulting to offer more value added / billable services including benchmarking, assessment and ROI / TCO engagements, resulting in a 15% improvement in related services revenues.

• Empower channel sales with differentiating ROI selling approach and value added ROI services, helping to improve channels sales loyalty, effectiveness, satisfaction and retention. This resulted in 23% higher channel partner retention rates.

• Increase the success rate of up-sell and cross-sell initiatives by providing value proof for other product and service add ons, and via the implementation of on-going value measurement and reporting programs (using realized value of prior programs to sell new initiatives). A 25% measured annual improvement resulted for customers for which the sales tools were applied.

• Reduce the current ad-hoc investment in homegrown benchmarking, assessment, ROI / TCO tools and programs via standardization on a single provider, and eliminating internal SME burdens, a net savings of 25% in current consulting, licensing and internal labor costs.

Get your own Value Assessment on what Alinean Assessment, ROI and TCO Tools can produce for your economic buyer focused sales enablement / demand-gen campaigns:

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