The Heart of a Nxt-Gen ROI System – Outside-In Analysis

Nxt Generation ROIThe Heart of a NXT-GEN™ ROI System – Outside-In Analysis
Supporting all Three Ways You Get Into a New Opportunity

How do our sales opportunities get started? Fundamentally there are four ways:

1.  Seller helps prospect identify need
2.  Prospect identifies need on their own
3.  Competition helps prospect identify need
4.  Existing customer is buying more

SAP is one of the best in the world at this (and with 500 specialists in their value organization, they should be). Supporting the beginning of a sales engagement is a staple for them, as it is for every sales methodology. Whether calling it outside-in analysis, Door Opener, hypothesis, Challenger, provocative, etc., it’s critical to be personalized and specific to the prospect, and differentiated with respect to competition.

Traditional ROI approaches yield little capability for initial engagement, or don’t support it at all. A NxtGen ROI™ needs to support all 4. In today’s post, I’m going to deal with new sales, numbers 1, 2 and 3. Next post, I’ll address number 4.

Whichever of the three, the “initial point of sales engagement” is critical to establishing a competitively powerful position in the prospect account. See chart below:

The old adage “you only get one chance to make a first impression” couldn’t be truer or more DecisionLink.comapplicable than in our world of selling. A NxtGen ROI™ will ensure your best chance to make a great first impression…every time.

No Better Way To Impact Financial Performance…Sales Effectiveness + Value Selling

No Better Way To Impact Financial Performance…Sales Effectiveness + Value Selling

CSO Insights published a Sales Effectiveness eBook identifying some 30 technologies to consider for companies that want to impact Sales Effectiveness in a meaningful way. They categorized the technologies in four logical groups:

1 –  Find More
2 –  Win More
3 –  Keep and Grow More
4 –  Manage More
Most are well-known and easily recognized disciplines summarized in the following chart:

                                             VALUE SELLING: IMPACT ON SALES EFFECTIVENESS

This is super-relevant for the Executive Suite and 
Board of Directors because there is no more significant way to impact an organization’s financial performance than by improving Sales Effectiveness. And there is no more significant way to impact Sales Effectiveness than by “Value Selling”.  

While this list represents the 30 or so areas of Sales Effectiveness opportunity, the items with a check mark are directly impacted by the ability to consistently Sell Value. More specifically, the ability to Quantify, Articulate, Competitively Differentiate and Defend the value of the seller’s products, solutions and services.

DecisionLink.comIf that is true, then clearly it is an imperative to Sell Value all the time.

One company put it this way, “We invested in the best of the best to enable our sales organization. Salesforce for CRM, Corporate Visions for messaging, Challenger for sales methodology and much more. But it was when we got value selling right that the efforts at sales effectiveness started really bearing fruit. Value Selling is the glue that pulled it all together and made our sales effectiveness efforts really work.”

Over the next several weeks, we will examine many of these technologies and discuss the ramifications and implications of Selling Value on each.


Have Our “Value” Sales Cake, And Eat It Too.

Value Selling Success StoriesNormally when we think of business cases, customer value, ROI/TCO and the like, we think of the biggest deals, seasoned sales reps, availability of expert Business Value Consultant resources, lots of time spent in deep financial weeds, etc.

We don’t often think of small to medium-sized deals, less experienced sales reps, times when expert BVC resources are not available (most of the time), early stage conversations and business level simplicity that most of us understand…the kind buyers want.

In a perfect world, we would be able to have it both ways. Have our value cake, and eat it too. There’s no reason not to, and everybody wins when we do. That’s what this story is about.


The Story

So this story is about my personal journey, what got me started. While I ultimately built sales organizations of several hundred reps and 100’s of millions in revenue, I was a greenhorn rep in the hills of NE Tennessee when I experienced what is now called Challenger Selling, Command of the Message, Hypothesis Selling, Crossing the Chasm or whatever flavor you like.

The Prospect

ITT North TSD in Gray, Tennessee was getting ready to make a multi-million dollar, unbudgeted purchase of a new IBM mainframe computer. It was 18 months ahead of their lease expiration, so they were going to pay dearly in a new capital expense as well as writing off a previous generation computer. The tech dudes were all excited about the new, shiny computer, as was the IBM regional team.

Turns out, company management wasn’t so thrilled.

Turning to ADR

I happened to have a solution in my bag that would extend the life of the existing computer system and eliminate the negative financial impact on the business unit and corporate division.

As green as I was, I executed a play (that SAP today calls a ‘Door Opener’), and got their attention about my company and solutions.

Reactions from the Prospect

“You get to talk to those who you sound like.” Frankly, it wasn’t that hard. I validated my hypothesis, crafted a Door Opener message, practiced delivering it 100 times, and wedged into a conversation. After we executed a successful “Proof of Value*”, I was talking to the plant General Manager and his SVP instead of the techies we were usually shuttled to.

The End Game

When our ASP was about $30K, I closed a deal over 10x the ASP, about 50% of my annual quota. The guy who bought into the Door Opener got promoted. I was a trusted resource to the executives. The IBM’ers were…unhappy. I was a green kid, but it began business alignment, quantification of the economic impact and simple communication with those impacted.

Fast Forward

DecisionLink.comWith a Nxt-Gen ROI system, sales reps are enabled with powerful Door Openers for every sales engagement, and ultimately deliver professional Business Value Assessments to support every deal. Great initial conversations turn into bona-fide opportunities and winnable deals.

To read the full story, including tributes to Marty Goetz (the true founder of the software industry) and Joe Allegra (Edison Ventures General Partner and the product manager for the solution that made this deal a reality), check out

*  Notice I said Proof of Value, not Proof of Concept. The difference is enormous, and is subject for another day.