A value calculator seems like a selling organization’s dream come true: a tool that can actually demonstrate your solution’s real worth to a buyer. This is more than a flashy trick; this can motivate your buyers to act.
Recently, an emerging ERP software company realized this potential — and Mereo value engineering experts helped fulfill it in a uniquely rewarding way.
When it comes down to it, not many B2B organizations build value calculators that achieve the results they are supposed to achieve. As we started to develop this client’s calculator, we tested and assessed their competition’s current offerings. Each competitor had created a marketing tool that might attract mid-level influencers online — but would never influence real action in a sales cycle. Across the board, the tools’ output consisted of pie in the sky promises no decision maker would fall for. They lacked any proof or any indicators that they were different or better.
Value engineering is more than applying high-level financial metrics. And, with increased C-suite involvement in sales cycles, it is even more important to equip sellers with a tool that will demonstrate how your solution can enable a buyer’s specific business priorities. Salespeople need to cut to the chase with the benefits that differentiate them from the competition and drive the buyer to act.
In true Mereo fashion, we infused Seek to Serve, Not to Sell™ groundwork into this ERP provider’s value calculator — and helped them in-turn better serve their buyers for a win-win outcome.
The Mereo Approach: B2B Value Engineering2
As the Mereo team began the design phase of the project, we focused on a core driving question: What is the point in building a value calculator? Why create something that will not engage a true decision-maker — or, worse yet, that no one will gain justifiable results from if they use it?
For B2C businesses, brand-infused value statements can serve well as marketing tactics that drive demand. Yet tools that exist on a webpage can only provide so much output that is typically over-simplified. For B2B, salespeople need to be armed with a value engineering approach that actively engages the prospect to go deeper and provide specific, value-focused data.
The outputs need to be compelling and relevant to a prospect. The calculations need to drive home the sale. And the Mereo team has developed a proven three-part framework with real engineered value to do just that.
1. Configure Pain Points
What issues are your buyers trying to overcome? This is a vital first question to address in value engineering. Without an identified problem to overcome, a solution is irrelevant and useless. Organizations must dig deep and explore what pain points (issues) target buyers are facing that can be addressed with your specific solutions.
2. Emphasize Differentiated Value
Where can your solution drive value for the buyer — and how is that different from other solutions on the market? Value calculations need to emphasize these differentiated, value-backed elements of a solution to clearly distinguish your solution from the competition in the buyer’s mind. Make your solution the most valuable option in the equation.
3. Make it Believable and Provable
What relevant use cases can be built into the value calculations? Leverage the experiences of your customers to build realistic ranges of expectations for differentiated value directly into the value calculator you create. Consult third parties and analysts as well to understand what value best practices can deliver. These elements will provide a starting point for discussions as you hone-in on the unique, differentiated value your solution can deliver for each buyer. Then as your solution is selected and implemented, use the value calculator post-sale to validate the business case and truly demonstrate the value realized to your customer.
With this framework applied for our ERP client’s value calculator, salespeople are demonstrating specific, differentiated value. Unlike most value calculators that prove to be an equation for client expense without much return, our team helped this B2B organization better engage and convert prospects into buyers.
Prove Your Worth
Mereo has a decades-long history of value engineering that helps to serve sellers and buyers alike. From software companies to tech startups to Fortune 50 B2B organizations and more, Mereo experts have repeatedly applied this framework to help organizations realize sustainable revenue performance™ with value engineering.
If done right, this tool can be applied to any B2B organization’s solution for real results. Contact us to get started on your own value calculator.