Monday, July 18, 2016

Get a $120M revenue boost from partnering with customers on Value Selling & ROI / TCO? Splunk tells you how.

David Caradonna is the Director of Global Business Value Consulting (BVC) for Splunk, and with his team, they’ve achieved some incredible results from their value selling programs.

David was recently interviewed by the not-for-profit Value Selling and Realization Council, and the results of their Splunk BVC program are amazing.

With just a handful of resources, the Splunk team leverages the Alinean platform and analyst services to deliver a simple self-service catalog of ROI/TCO Tools. The program has resulted in sales reps engaging more often and partnering with customers and prospects on value analysis and delivery, with:
  • Over 1,500 business cases to prospects last year
  • 730 business cases in this last quarter alone
  • Influence on over $120M in annual new business wins each year.

The tools have been essential to get the company value-focused, with the Splunk BVC team able to quickly educate and train 150 sales reps and 300 field resources each quarter. The adoption has been incredible, with David reporting a whopping 60% adoption not just in sales, but across ALL employees.

Where most value engineering organizations have ratios of 24 sales reps for every value engineer, the Splunk BVC team runs lean and mean, leveraging the self-service tools to achieve an astounding 50:1 rep to consultant count.

David when asked about the top critical success factor for the BVC program at Splunk, indicated that “the vendor you choose to work with is vital to the program, turning your innovative ideas into a reusable tool that is going to be accessible and adopted by the masses in a self service mode so you can drive as much adoption as possible.“

David indicated that “In our case, we chose to work with Alinean, an amazing small company run by Tom Pisello.  They really understand value consulting; they live and breathe that. It was a no brainer to use these guys."

Discussing why the choice of Alinean was so critical, David adds: "You cannot succeed without a platform t that is not just to be used internally, but used with customers who are exposed to the process – one that is extremely simple yet creates and delivers comprehensive and credible deliverables.”

Developing and delivering this program with Alinean over the past three years, David and team have some poignant advice to assure a good rollout, adoption, usage and outcomes.

Learn more about Splunk's success:

SiriusDecisions Reveals Sales Content Research and Secrets to Success

The importance of sales content remains strong, with 79% of b-to-b buyers reporting that the content provided by a rep is very to extremely influential in their selection of one vendor over another.

New research results from SiriusDecisions show the significance of Sales Content to winning more business, revealed by Heather Cole, Services Director of Sales Enablement with SiriusDecisions, in a compelling interview with Alinean’s own Tom Pisello.

In the interview, Heather indicated that more sales content was being leveraged by sales reps throughout each stage of the buyer’s journey, with the research tallying an average of 6.3 pieces delivered to buyers in the Education phase, 6.1 in Solution, and 4.9 in Selection,

But more content does not guarantee accelerated decisions, greater deal size or more wins. The  
research quantified for the first time that all content is not created equal, with a decided difference in the assets used more often by the highest performing sales reps compared to low performers and middlers. 

Most importantly, the research uncovered and ranked content as to perceived value to buyers.

Interpreting the results, Heather Cole exposed how today’s B2B buyer isn’t valuing product videos and glossy brochures as high as one might think. Rather, decision makers want relevant insights and transformative advice, perceiving 3rd party research and articles as most valuable, as well as valuing solid ideas and proposals based on identified needs.

Three key sales content challenges

The discussion turned to getting sales content “right,” which is easier said than done. Clearly more-is-more doesn’t work. Despite more content being produced and leveraged, three key sales content challenges persist:

1) Better Identifying challenges and needs - 80% say uncovering buyer needs is critical to sales success, however 2/3rds of solution providers struggle to understand those needs. Many lack the right content to help guide discovery and discuss challenges / needs.

2) Overcoming one-size fits all content - With buyers getting 32% more content from solution providers compared to two years ago, fatigue is setting in, with many growing tired of look-alike white papers and canned product pitches.

3) Closing the value gap – For the sixth year in a row, the number one reason sales reps didn’t achieve quota is the inability to articulate unique value, partially fueled by a value content deficit.

To help solve these challenges, Tom Pisello demonstrated how storytelling, interactive content and ValueStory® tools could be leveraged for better Sales Content success.

Dynamically exploring buyer challenges and needs, personalizing value-centric messaging, delivering buyer specific business benefit calculations and elevating success stories is always a challenge, but Tom showed how this can all be automated with some great new client examples.

You can checkout the research and advice here:

You can listen to the compelling on-demand webcast here: