Wednesday, September 14, 2011

When are ROI / TCO Calculator / Sales Tools best used in the sales process? Early or later?

ROI / TCO Calculators / Sales Tools can be used at multiple stages to help facilitate the buyer’s journey.

Earlier in the decision making process, during the discovery phase, the buyer needs to understand that the status-quo is not best, and could be changed to improve the business and improve the bottom-line. With less discretionary funding and more risk aversion, it’s easier for today’s more frugal buyer to “do nothing” than risk a change. At this stage, it is important to help the buyer understand that doing nothing actually has a cost.

Early in the sales cycle, TCO Tools can be used to quickly assess the current cost of ownership for the current solutions, often illuminating higher than anticipated costs. ROI Tools can be quickly used to quantify the economic value this change might deliver – focusing on estimating the potential benefits that could be gained via the change.

Later in the sales cycle, to help facilitate the buyer’s selection of a solution, the team can spend more time using the ROI Tools, creating a CFO ready business case – tallying all required investments, savings and benefits.

Finally, during the selection phase, the stakeholders want to be sure they are selecting the solution with the best value. At this stage, TCO Tools can provide comparisons of the total costs between various options, proving beyond just purchase costs, which solutions represent the best value.

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