Wednesday, September 14, 2011

How many questions does Alinean recommend asking a user to fill in before a buyer can receive ROI / TCO calculator results / report?

We are living in a world of short attention spans, where buyers have less time than ever before to engage. At the same time, these buyers need consultative advice, insight and comprehensive business case justification. So for ROI / TCO Tools a balance needs to exist between the number of questions needed in order to generate an analysis and the comprehensiveness and the thoroughness of the collection to personalize results.

For a self-service ROI / TCO Calculator from portal / corporate web site, the prospect does not have much time to engage, so the number of initial questions should be limited to 5 to 10.

For a sales enablement tool, usually used with the prospect in a workshop setting, there can be slightly more questions, but we still recommend limits, on the order of between 10 to 15 questions maximum up-front.

For both demand-gen and sales enablement ROI / TCO tools, the user can and should be provided with the option to review and edit default assumptions. With this option, the detailed questions around key assumptions can be provided in a layered fashion, via links and pop-ups, in order to spend more time and fine tune the analysis.

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