Sometimes, ROI is not enough.

Sometimes, ROI is not enough.
February 20, 2024

In our decades of experience with sales professionals, we've noticed a recurring issue: they tout the value of a product, service, system, or solution as a cost-saving measure for customers. Yet, they rarely quantify it in a meaningful way. The promise of ROI loses its impact when it's not substantiated with clear evidence. Customers demand precise information about the benefits they will receive. As salespeople, we must understand these benefits and be adept at conveying them convincingly.

Showing your customer the ROI of your solution still might not be enough.

Even a well-articulated ROI case may sometimes fall short. Consider this scenario: we propose a $50,000 investment to our customer with the expectation of a $100,000 return over two years. However, our offer might be less appealing if the customer has an alternative opportunity that could yield a $150,000 return in the same period. We must recognize and prepare for situations where customers compare our solution's ROI to potentially more lucrative investments.

It's a misconception to think that we operate in isolation when, in fact, we do not. Reflect on the broader competitive landscape. Is it another firm offering a comparable product? Often, yes, but competition can also come from entirely different sectors. For instance, a client may be contemplating whether to invest in new laboratory equipment or fund a building renovation. These diverse options may be vying for the same financial resources, and understanding this dynamic is essential for an effective sales strategy.

It is also quite possible our biggest competitor might be the status quo, not doing anything at all. Your customers may postpone purchasing to help this quarter's numbers look better or lighten the burden on their cash flow. Customers don't always consider or understand the total cost of not deciding to buy.

Acquire the best information by asking the right questions at the right time. As salespeople, we may need to broaden the scope of our questions to determine what we are up against. We all know we will lose some business, however it is much easier to tolerate when we understand why.

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