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7 Critical Use Cases for Value Selling Tools

By Tom Pisello | March 31, 2020

Value selling tools are growing in popularity as more buyers depend on assessment outputs to gain purchase approval. That is confirmed in a Gartner study that sought to answer the question from buyers: “Which content do you prefer to receive from a vendor you are interested in purchasing a solution from?.”

Responses to the Gartner 2019 Buying Survey of over 1,300 buyers reveal the growing importance of Value Assessment Tools.

According to the research, instead of focusing on what proposed solutions can do, buyers are increasingly focused on potential outcomes delivered. Sellers can use value selling tools to help buyers determine the validity and potential efficacy of proposed offerings.

The piece of content buyers value most remains Thought Leadership Created by Independent Third Parties, including analyst research studies, guides, and insights, provide buyers with a trusted point of view.

But value assessment tools are now the second most preferred piece of content, ahead of case studies, implementation guides, white papers, demos, and videos.

How to Leverage Value Selling Tools

An effective selling tool (e.g., an ROI calculator or business value assessment) can help a prospect self-service, or guided via a seller or partner:

  1. Uncover a buyer’s priority challenges and opportunities
  2. Quantify the cost of “do nothing”, tallying the current costs and business opportunities for improvement
  3. Configure the best solution to address priority challenges
  4. Tally the potential benefits of the proposed solution: cost savings, productivity improvements, risk avoidance, and/or business growth
  5. Specify investment requirements and sum the net cash flow, ROI, NPV savings, payback, and other key metrics
  6. Present relevant success stories proving that projected benefits and ROI are achievable
  7. Deliver a personalized business assessment report/presentation

According to Gartner, “Buyers are increasingly seeking value assessment tools that clearly articulate the path to value and accurately estimate the results they want from their purchases.”

Our advice? Be sure your value assessment tools:

  • Are easy to use to promote adoption and usage by clients and sellers alike
  • Produce credible results, not overstating current costs or benefits
  • Provide the ability to review and edit all metrics and assumptions (not a black box)
  • Document all assumptions
  • Are developed by a third party and populated with third-party and actual customer/success story data (Tools that meet these criteria are most well respected and received.)

The Bottom-Line

Gartner’s research proves that prior to the current downturn, Value Assessment Tools had grown in importance. Now, with even more risk-averse and frugal buyers, it is more important than ever to prove your differentiating value to prospects and customers early and often in the customer journey.

Gartner’s research findings represent a great opportunity for you and your team. Examine your current content investments and allocate budget to develop and deliver the Value Assessment Tools your prospects respect and demand to drive purchase inspiration, confidence, and support.

View value selling tool examples and success stories here.

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