|By Jill Konrath||
|September 7, 2012 10:33 PM EDT||
Most B2B strategic buying decisions begin with an economic impact study by someone inside your prospect’s organization. This analysis may consist of many calculations that begin and end with one simple question: “What's the economic impact from this purchase on our financial statements?”
A finance person, usually the CFO, looks at the investment in terms of C-Suite metrics such as cash flow, Internal Rate of Return (IRR), and possibly (ROI). Each metric reveals the possible impact on the corporation’s financial situation. These calculations are often based on their own research or worse yet, competitive input.
That can create a huge issue for you. Why? Because what ends up happening is that finance “plugs” in numbers that often become the budget and expected return for their purchase. Worse yet, you're not involved early enough to have any real influence on the decision.
It's time to start thinking about using a Value Hypothesis.
A Value Hypotheses is a way to provide prospects with great content, solid research and an ROI that will stand up to any scrutiny. To develop one requires diligent research, a thorough understanding of your value proposition, as well as the economic impact in C-suite terms.
If you design, build and deploy a Value Hypothesis properly, you'll generate interest and solid leads. If not and you simply "dump" an excel spreadsheet on a CFO, then you're sunk. That's not what your prospects want. They're looking for quality, well-research content to use in making their most difficult strategic buying decisions.
Delivery and deployment of a Value Hypothesis is critical too. We recommend that you create a high quality package with a well-crafted cover letter and a hand-written note.
The letter should explain the fact that the information contained in the package is about similar organization that shares similar issues, pains and goals as theirs. The financial information is then laid out to offer an economic impact model consisting of typical costs, values and impacts over a 3-5 year period.
Your note should be simple: “I hope you enjoy this value hypothesis. I'll be calling you tomorrow at 2pm to discuss the details.” Sign your name and print your telephone number beneath it. I shouldn’t have to say it, but be sure to make the call when you say you will.
I'll be covering more about what goes into the Value Hypotheses in the upcoming Prospecting Strategies webinar. Make sure you sign up now.
Michael Nick, author of The Key to the C-Suite and ROI Selling, helps companies create customized business cases, ROI & TCO sales tools. To learn more, visit his website at www.roi4sales.com.