For the past few weeks, we’ve highlighted the changing B2B buying landscape and macro economic trends that can impact your business. Based on this, we examined two specific technologies - sales content management software and digital sales rooms, that can have an immediate and long term impact for your organization, such as:
- Accelerating sales deals
- Boosting sales productivity
- Reducing time to sales productivity
- Personalizing the buying experience
- And much more.
Catch up on our previous blog posts:
- Part 1 - The Changing B2B Buying Landscape
- Part 2 - Making the Business Case for Content Management Software
- Part 3 - Making the Business Case for Digital Sales Rooms
In this final installment, we’ll outline things to consider when presenting your business case to your executive team.
Highlight Revenue Outcomes
Manny Medina, CEO of Outreach, wrote in a LinkedIn post, “Invest in technology that helps you drive revenue outcomes.”
This can be done by driving top line revenue growth or bottom line cost savings. For example, in his blog on how to recession-proof your business, our CEO, Jinal Jhaveri proposed evaluating how tech investments can impact your revenue goals by asking yourself:
- Will this accelerate my sales velocity?
- Will this reduce my sales team’s time to productivity?
- Will this close more deals?
- How will this save my sales and marketing team time (aka, to focus on revenue activities)?
From a bottomline cost savings standpoint, instead of managing multiple point solutions, evaluate whether you can consolidate some sales and marketing technologies into a single platform. For example, many of our customers use Enable Us for content management, video recording, customer references, mutual actions plans, and more. This reduces your per use license fee and increases productivity by reducing time to manage and report across multiple tools.
What is the Total Cost of Ownership?
According to CIO, total cost of ownership (TCO) “is the sum of all direct and indirect costs incurred by that software.”
As such, the TCO extends beyond the initial investment for content management or digital sales room software. Here we highlight the following key points to consider in your discussions with executive management:
- Implementation time and costs
- Cost and time to integrate into your existing tech stack
- Customer support and training needs
- Future product innovation and ability to grow
Implementation Time and Costs
These are the initial costs associated with getting the software implemented, configured, and tested to your needs. For some software providers, there is a single implementation fee while others may add on fees depending on your needs.
Another consideration is the time to train users for full productivity in the new platform, which we’ve identified as sales time to productivity in our previous blog. Here’s the calculation for determining the cost of productivity for 1 week per salesperson:
- Assuming employee value of $50,000/year
- Delay in productivity by 1 week = $962 lost value
- $962 lost value per week x 15.2 weeks X 1 individual = $14,622 in lost productivity per sales rep / annually
Questions to ask:
- What is the implementation cost and what is included?
- Who should be included as part of the implementation process?
- What is the average time to implement, train users, and launch the technology?
- What are the costs to train and ensure user adoption of your new software?
Tip: Product review sites like G2 Crowd provide aggregated ratings on ease of use, time to implement, and time to ROI from authenticated users.
Integrating with Your Existing Tech Stack
Integrating a new platform with your existing tech stack can be simple (with a few clicks) or complex, requiring consultants to develop and test workflows tailored to the organization’s business needs or even tap into a sandbox account. Make sure to sync with your operations and IT counterparts to accurately forecast the integration lift and potential time away from other projects.
Assuming your integration needs are more straightforward, you can calculate the potential cost savings by consolidating multiple tools into one.
COST SAVINGS CALCULATION
Total Budget for All Tools to be Replaced - Budget for New Tool = Total Cost Savings
Questions to ask:
- What effort is there to integrate the platform with your existing tech stack?
- What is the cost to migrate data? Is this a flat fee or tiered?
- How will users navigate and interact with the software post integration?
- Is this replacing existing tools? If so, what are the business benefits in terms of cost, time, and training?
Customer Support and Training Needs
In an ideal world, you’ve implemented the software and have no problems moving forward, right? Even the best developed and tested platform will have some ongoing maintenance and need for support for the life of your contract.
Questions to ask:
- How easy is it to use and adopt the software?
- What type of support is provided - and is it to all end users or only the administrators?
- Do you have a dedicated customer success manager? If not, then what support channels are available - chat, email, help articles, etc?
- What is the SLA for responding to support tickets?
- Is ongoing training and support of new users included or an additional cost?
While you’re buying to solve your pain points today, future proof your investment with a platform that will grow or push your business to the next level. This requires understanding the vendor’s product roadmap, development process, and how quickly customer feedback is incorporated.
Because the last thing you want to do is rip and replace your investment in one year.
Questions to ask:
- How does the vendor respond to and incorporate customer feedback into their product roadmap?
- What is their long-term vision and how does that support your organization’s objectives and revenue goals?
- What are they doing that others in the industry aren’t?
- How often do they release new features, apply bug fixes, etc?
Conclusion: Prepare and Present
At the beginning of this series, we mentioned the economic headwinds pointing to a recession. And all too often, one of the first things cut is sales and marketing expenses. However, we believe it’s the best time to invest.
Those who did weathered the 2000-2002 recession better compared to those who didn’t. Plus, marketing expenses nets an average of 3 percent savings on future expenses according to the Journal of Marketing. Why? Because “satisfied customers are more responsive to brand marketing and sales efforts, more open to future company offers, and more likely to share a positive word of mouth.”
You’ve done the research. You’ve identified the right solution. You’ve calculated the ROI.
Now it’s time to present to your executive team!