Showing posts from August, 2011

“Value” Remains Most Significant Sales Challenge

Sales still remains challenged to add value during the sales process, and prove the value of proposed solutions to ever more empowered, skeptical and frugal executives, this according to a significant study by Blue-Sky, a UK sales performance consultancy.

The new independent survey of 212 sales executives worldwide, sought to identify the biggest sales challenges and priorities facing Fortune 1000 firms worldwide, and in the process, uncovered several significant challenges and great opportunities for improvement.

The Value Gap
First, these global sales executives indicated that there is a decided “value” gap between what customers want, and what sales is able to deliver. The survey responses indicated that the most important areas needing development included:

1.Identifying new ways to add value for the customer
2.Moving from ‘vendor’ status to become a trusted advisor
3.Gaining access to executive decision makers
4.Getting involved earlier in the customer's decision making process

Why Don't Spreadsheets Work for ROI / TCO Sales & Marketing Tools?

Many organizations have developed spreadsheet models to help economically justify solutions. Often these spreadsheets are developed by a field subject matter expert, out of necessity based on one or more client requests, and then shared / distributed to other sales professionals and channel partners for use.

These spreadsheet-based ROI / TCO Tools are meeting a great need, to help fight Frugalnomics and implement value-based sales / marketing campaigns, but are not the ideal platform to support sales / marketing success.

Here are a few of the most common issues we see with most spreadsheet based tools:

1.Expensive to develop, maintain and support the macros , reports and other features to make the spreadsheets marginally functional and usable,
2.Creating robust printed Word or PPT reports from spreadsheets are not impossible, but often a challenge,
3.Controlling distribution and usage access to spreadsheets is difficult, and although the spreadsheet engine can be password protected, it’s …

Alinean Named to Inc 5000 Fastest-Growing U.S. Private Companies for Second Consecutive Year

Demand Remains Strong for Alinean’s Interactive Content Marketing and Value-Based Sales Enablement Services and Tools

Alinean, the premier provider of interactive content marketing and value-based sales enablement services and tools, today announced its two-time honoree ranking among the 5th annual Inc. 500|5000’s list of fastest-growing U.S. private companies. Alinean was ranked 299 among the top Advertising & Marketing providers and 3,354 on the Inc. 500|5000 list, accomplishing 55% revenue growth over the last three years.

Market demand for Alinean’s solutions is driven by “Frugalnomics,” – an economic- induced condition where B2B buyers are more skeptical and frugal than ever before– requiring a more outcome-focused, value oriented sales and marketing approach from vendors. Interactive content and sales tools from Alinean helps these vendors better diagnose and prioritize buyer issues, configure and recommend solutions, and provide quantified economic justification.

“Today’s buy…

So You Think Your Sales Team Can Dance? Buyers Say “Think Again.”

In a recent discussion group on value selling, one of the participants indicated that they had just launched a new set of value-focused sales tools, and that the use of this approach was “old hat”.

The good news is that many marketers and sales enablement groups have realized the change in buyers over the past decade. Frugalnomics is in full effect, with buyers more empowered, skeptical and frugal than ever before. This presents a substantial challenge for sales and marketing to prove that “doing nothing” has a cost, and that the proposed return on investment is worth the change risk.

At the same time the purchase process has become more complex; buyers have more stakeholders than ever to deal with (more than 6 in large organizations), extreme resource constraints, and less time than ever to evaluate opportunities, select and justify solutions and drive an ever-more complex purchase process. Forced to “do more with less”, these buyers need more consultative advice and help from vendors.…

New AT&T Tool Helps Businesses Calculate Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Cost Savings

Carbon Impact Assessment Tool Takes the Guesswork out of Measuring Impacts of AT&T Smart Sustainability Solutions

Wouldn’t it be great if businesses could accurately estimate the benefits of using technology, both in terms of money savings and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions? Now they can.

With the new AT&T Carbon Impact Assessment Tool, powered by Alinean, business customers can easily calculate the estimated GHG emissions and cost savings of using solutions that replace or reduce business travel and increase productivity and collaboration. AT&T* is the first communications provider to offer such a tool for businesses.

Using detailed data such as company size, number of employees and employees’ travel plans, the AT&T Carbon Impact Assessment Tool calculates the estimated return on investment (ROI), GHG emissions avoided, and productivity enhancements that could be achieved through use or potential use of AT&T Telepresence Solution®, AT&T Connect, and…

Executives Turn to IT to Drive Performance in Tough Environment

Although macro-economic conditions remain challenging, or perhaps because of it, nearly 1/3rd of private companies are investing more in Information Technology (IT) to reduce costs to maintain bottom-line earnings and ignite growth.

According to PwC's Private Company Trendsetter Barometer, 233 CEOs/CFOs surveyed indicate plans to increase IT spending 19%, from 5.6% of their total budgets in 2010 to 6.6% over the next 12 months.

Even with the increases, senior executives remain frugal, focused on leveraging IT to drive and optimize business efficiency and effectiveness. IT priorities are foremost indicated to drive tangible Business Process Improvements (90%), and also drive improvements in performance monitoring, visibility and optimization, including initiatives to Better Manage Enterprise Data (75%) and Optimize Business Information/Analytics (73%).

The next highest indicated IT investment priorities focused on the ability to generate revenue opportunities and growth in a tough en…

IBM Smarter Planet Delivers Tangible ROI

Important research proof points & tools to help clients make strategic investment decisions to empower Smart Vendors and Partners.

Today’s more empowered, skeptical and frugal executive is reluctant to invest in new projects unless proposed changes can deliver a tangible financial benefit, significant ROI and fast payback. Frugalnomics is in full effect, and IBM knows that economic justification is key to help customer stakeholders and partners facilitate smarter decisions.

For its Smarter Planet solutions, IBM sought the poof points, researching whether the initiatives indeed delivered tangible bottom-line results.

The results of the ROI research were just announced via IBM's Smarter Planet Blog, presenting detailed research results that outline a vision and , specifically thehas driven key economic impact for customers in nine key industries. These findings provide the evidence, case studies and tools to empower other clients customers to pursue similar gains by working with IB…

Alinean Builds on Momentum for a Strong Second Quarter 2011

Alinean today announced the addition of three new customers and four new strategic partners during the second quarter of 2011.

Alinean has been selected to develop and power value-based marketing and sales tool campaigns for customers including Quest Software, Polycom and Finlistics. And our new partners, Tangence, The Vanella Group, Futurecurve and Rainier Group, help us broaden our customer reach and extend the services we are able to offer to our customers.

"There is a significant amount of attention and investment being paid to the role content has in the B2B buying process. Our customers have embraced the fact that interactive, relevant, value-focused content aligned to facilitate the buyer's decision making process leads to higher conversions, shorter sales cycles and less discounting," said Jefre Futch, President and CEO of Alinean.

Alinean continues to grow its customer and partner base, proving to be the preferred B2B value-based sales and marketing solution pr…

How do You Get Busy Executives to Engage in an Analysis?

In a recent group discussion about diagnostic assessments and economic justification tools, everyone agreed that they were vital for today's frugalnomics afflicted environment. Buyers are forced to do-more-with-less, and reluctant to invest in change. Maintaining the status-quo is the easiest route for buyers, unless you, the vendor as trusted advisor, show them that there is a cost of doing nothing.

However, the group consensus was that this was easier said than done. Not because they didn't have the tools needed to do the justification. Many were already Alinean customers and had tools to diagnose issues and prove economic justification.

The bigger issue was the difficulty in getting prospects, already shorthanded and overwhelmed keeping the lights on, to engage in the first place - to take an interest in the diagnostics and allocate some resources to do the analysis. Too busy executives just didn't have time to "go to the doctor" even though they often suspected…

Infographic: Frugalnomics Demands that Vendors Prove Superior Competitive Value

Business decision makers have been hit hard by the economy, and as a result, need to be sure that every purchase represents the best possible value. To many buyers, this means extracting a “pound of flesh” from each and every vendor – driving huge discounting, and often making the purchase alone based on who can deliver the best price.

Many know that this strategy can be misguided, and more costly in the end. To be successful in this environment, vendors must employ new strategies to move the discussion beyond price, to focus on total cost of ownership and value.

Click here to view this important infographicand research.

Infographic: Frugalnomics Requires New Outcome-Focused Approach

The Great Recession and continued malaise have resulted in customers having to do-more-with-less, in turn driving more economic-scrutiny, stakeholders and complexity onto the purchase process.

We call this condition, where buyers are more skeptical and frugal than ever before, Frugalnomics - requiring significant changes to sales and marketing in order to succeed.

Click here to view this Infographic and the latest research and findings

Infographic: Provocative Selling Required to Connect, Engage & Sell to the "Do Nothing" Buyer

Customers have been forced to do more with less, their purchase process has become much more complex, and they are under much more economic scrutiny. Frugalnomics is in full effect!

In this environment, it's often easier for buyers to "do-nothing" than to change, driving the need for a new, more provocative sales and marketing approach to drive success.

Click here to to view this important research and Infographic.